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FREE online SEO course: SEO Fundamentals 

Search Engines

31 lessonsApr 11, 2018


Introduction to the SEO Fundamentals Course

Welcome to the SEMrush Academy! SEO is an exciting discipline, but it's complicated and there aren't many places you can go to learn the basics. SEMrush realized that there was a need for an in-depth training and certification course, so the SEMrush Academy was born!

They asked me to help with the lessons, so here I am to walk you through SEO, from the technical tactics through content and link building. Each section is broken down into smaller lessons, so each video is typically 3 to 5 minutes long. At the end of each section, there's a quick quiz to test your knowledge.

So let's jump right in!

Before we can talk about everything that makes up SEO, we've got to start with the basics - how the internet and search engines work.

How Does the Internet Work?

Boiled down to the simplest concept, the internet is really just a huge collection of pages that are connected by links. I like to use cities as a metaphor - a website is like a house, where each room in the house is a different page on the site, with hallways and stairs connecting the different rooms, but the rooms add up to a cohesive whole. You have different houses on the street, but everything in the neighborhood is related. If you add even more houses, you end up with a city.

Think of links like roads - they connect the different buildings and neighborhoods together. A big popular website is like a large office building, with lots of roads leading to it. It's easy to see, and there are plenty of different ways to get there.

If you're building a new site, it's like you're adding a new building to the city. Where would you rather have that building? If you're right on the intersection of the freeway and several cross streets, it'll be a popular location that's easy to find. But if you build it way outside of town in the middle of a huge field, no one will know it's there.

Back in the beginning of the World Wide Web, when there weren't that many sites, you could only reach a website by typing in the address of the page or by clicking a link on another site.

How Do Search Engines Work?

In the early 90s, the web had grown too large to sustain such a simple navigation and discovery process. The first search engines were born - now users could type keywords into the search engine and receive a list of websites related to the search phrase. Excite, AltaVista, and Yahoo! quickly changed the way that people were using the internet.

In the late 90s, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on their own search engine, and they were the first to use links as a signal of authority and trust. When Google was finally released, it quickly became the favored search engine because the quality of the search results far surpassed the other options.

The search engines created advanced algorithms that analyze hundreds of factors for each website - both on and off the website. The algorithms are constantly updated and adjusted to ensure that search results are the best they can be.

SEO Basics: Lesson Summary

So that's it for lesson 1 of the SEO Fundamentals course, we hope you learned something awesome. If you've got any questions, feel free to tweet them to me directly at @greggifford or the awesome team of pros over at the SEMrush Academy at @semrushacademy.

Don't forget to check out the next lesson, where we'll dig a little deeper and talk about how search engines actually work, and when you think you're ready, head over to the SEMrush Academy page and take the test for this course so you can get officially SEMrush certified.