SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimizer". In the simplist terms it is "the science and techniques used to improve the visibility of a website or page". You want your website to appear higher in the results when people search the internet. By utilizing SEO technology your site will get a higher ranking. At least that is what you hope for.
When you go to your favorite search engine (Yahoo, Google, Bing, or whatever) and type in what you want to find you are exersizing a very complex algorithim that each search engine thinks will list the best results matching your search criteria.
If you try the same search message at different search engines you will most likely get a different result. That is because each search engine uses a different algorithm.
At most search engine sites they will break down the search results into three areas:
- The top left is reserved for websites that pay the search engine for listing their websites.
- The right side for websites that pay a little less for a listing.
- The rest of the left side for the SEO search results that are not paid for.
Usually the Top and right have nothing to do with SEO optimization, just how much the website is willing to pay to get listed higher.
If you have a website that you want to have listed with better results, your can pay the search engine companies or utilize the SEO techniques. These are always changing. So you have to keep up with the technoilogy or hire a company to do this for you.
If your are just searching for information it is good to understand generally how this works so you can evaluate the results.