Introduction to Search Engine Optimization

About this course: Ever wonder how major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo rank your website within their searches? Or how content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users? Welcome to the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This course is the first within the SEO Specialization and it is intended to give you a taste of SEO. You will be introduced to the foundational elements of how search engines work, how the SEO landscape has changed and what you can expect in the future. You discuss core SEO strategies and tactics used to drive more organic search results to a specific website or set of websites, as well as tactics to avoid to prevent penalization from search engines. You will also discover how to position yourself for a successful career in SEO should this subject prove interesting to you. We hope this taste of SEO, will entice you to continue through the Specialization.

Who is this class for: This course is primarily aimed at people interested in SEO, but have limited to no knowledge of the subject. Expect to learn foundational, basic elements.

Created by:  University of California, Davis

  • Rebekah May
    Taught by:  Rebekah May, SEO Manager & Lead SEO Instructor
    LeadQual & UC Davis Extension
Basic Info
EnglishSubtitles: Greek
How To PassPass all graded assignments to complete the course.
User Ratings
Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said
Getting Started & Introduction to SEO
Welcome to the first week of the course! In the lessons that follow, you will discuss and define the foundational overview of SEO and explore types of careers and salary expectations within SEO industry. By the end of this module, you should be able to define Search Engine Optimization and explain the basics of SEO as a business (as well as how SEO shapes the Internet itself.) You'll also be able to explain the differences between three main SEO job types, and be prepared to choose a career that best suits your current goals.
16 videos2 readings
  1. Video: Course Introduction and Specialization
  2. Video: Introduction
  3. Video: Introduction to SEO
  4. Reading: Why a Career in SEO?
  5. Video: What You Can Expect from a Career in SEO
  6. Reading: What You Can Expect from a Career in SEO
  7. Video: How I Got Started in SEO
  8. Video: My Role as an SEO Manager
  9. Video: Key Skills We Look for When Hiring
  10. Video: Tips for Finding a Job
  11. Video: How I Got Started in SEO
  12. Video: A Day in the Life of an SEO Professional
  13. Video: Key Skills We Look for When Hiring
  14. Video: Specific Skills Managers Want
  15. Video: Tips for Finding a Job
  16. Video: Tips for Interviewing
  17. Video: Building a Marketable Portfolio
  18. Video: Overview of In-house SEO
  19. Discussion Prompt: Building a Successful Career in SEO
Graded: Getting Started & Introduction to SEO
Evolution of SEO
Welcome to Module 2! We hope you're enjoying the course so far, and are ready to learn more about the evolution of SEO! By the end of this module, you should be able to at least summarize the timeline of search engine development, as well as demonstrate an understanding of key time periods and individuals who changed the way search worked and the way humans interact with the Web. Later on in the module, you'll gain the ability to critique the role of advertisements and corporate funding in the development of search, and explain the process by which the Web became monetized. This high-level look at the history of SEO will give you a solid foundation for understanding the material we'll be covering later in the course.
4 videos2 readings
  1. Video: Evolution of SEO
  2. Video: How Search Engines Work
  3. Reading: How Search Engines Work
  4. Video: History of Search Engines (1945 - 1993)
  5. Reading: History of Search Engines (1945 - 1993)
  6. Video: Advancement of Search (1993 - 2000)
  7. Discussion Prompt: Building a Search Engine?
Graded: Evolution of SEO
Current SEO Best Practices
In Module 3, we'll be discussing items that SEOs spend a great deal of time dealing with: SEO best practices, the algorithm updates that look for them and potential penalties for not adhering to them. By the end of this module, you'll be able to illustrate the concept of relevancy as it applies to search results, compare and contrast the functionality of search engine algorithm updates, and critically examine the ways in which webmasters attempt to circumvent these algorithms. You'll also be able to define important ranking factors used by modern search engines, and learn the necessary steps to avoid (or correct) any penalties applied by search engine algorithms.
9 videos7 readings
  1. Video: Current SEO Best Practices
  2. Video: Introduction to Search Engine Algorithms
  3. Reading: Introduction to Search Engine Algorithms
  4. Video: SEO Best Practices and Ranking Factors
  5. Reading: SEO Best Practices and Ranking Factors
  6. Video: Early Algorithms: Florida, Austin, and Brandy
  7. Video: Updates: Personalized, Universal, Vince, and Caffeine
  8. Reading: Personalized, Universal, Vince, and Caffeine
  9. Video: Panda: The Game Changer for Content
  10. Reading: Panda: The Game Changer for Content
  11. Video: Cleaning Up Links with Penguin
  12. Reading: Cleaning Up Links with Penguin
  13. Video: Refinements: Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Mobile
  14. Reading: Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Mobile
  15. Video: How You Can Avoid Penalties
  16. Reading: How You Can Avoid Penalties
  17. Discussion Prompt: Is SEO Spam?
Graded: Current SEO Best Practices
SEO of Today, Tomorrow and Beyond & Course Wrap-Up
You've made it to Module 4! In this module, you will gain an understanding of where SEO fits into the broader digital marketing landscape. By the end of this module, you will be able to explain how concepts like topic association and semantic analysis relate to the relevancy and trustworthiness of search results. You'll also be well prepared to write and optimize your own content for a website that will improve search results, as well as develop an optimization strategy for a client to implement that would help to increase their ranking while following best practices. Finally, by the end of this module you will be able to demonstrate the impact of brands and branding on search results, and critically analyze the role of social media and other emerging technologies on the landscape of SEO today, tomorrow, and beyond!
5 videos2 readings
  1. Video: SEO of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
  2. Video: Evolution of Keyword Optimization
  3. Video: Strengthening Your Keyword Strategy
  4. Reading: Strengthening Your Keyword Strategy
  5. Video: How Does Branding Influence Website Rank?
  6. Reading: How Does Branding Influence Website Rank?
  7. Discussion Prompt: Share a question
  8. Discussion Prompt: Poll Family & Friends
  9. Video: Course Summary and Wrap-Up
Graded: SEO of Today, Tomorrow and Beyond
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University of California, Davis
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