“Do not be misled by companies offering to get you in top ranking positions, on thousands of different web search engines. In reality there are only a few big search engines, the most take content from those big few”, explained Ausaf Ali Khan, CEO, Chillizone Ltd, a web design and marketing agency. He expressed these views in a two-day workshop on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) held recently at a local hotel in Karachi.The workshop covered several important topics related to SEO such as SEO scope in Pakistan, important search engines and directories, optimising a heavy-graphic website, monitoring search rankings and site traffic and many more informative issues.SEO is defined as the development and designing of websites according to the search engine guidelines and policies that make search engines easily find web pages. The goal of SEO is to have website pages listed in the top 10 results of search and to target traffic that can turn into paying customers.The workshop was organised especially for marketing executives who are assigned to promote their company's or client's websites, webmasters who want to increase traffic to their websites, small business owners eager to learn how to promote their websites on search engines, owners of e-commerce websites so that they can increase paying customer conversion ratio of their websites visitors, website designers who want to offer search engine marketing services to their clients and fresh graduates willing to learn SEO in preparation for starting their own SEO business or applying for a job as an SEO or SEM.The day one of the workshop covered introductory topics. “There are three big search engines Google, Yahoo and MSN and two big directories Dmoz and Looksmart”, told Ausaf during presentation. He also gave an overview on what search engines consider “SPAM”. Here is the list of SPAM techniques:· Cloaking· Link farming· Blog and forum SPAM· Keyword stuffing· Hidden text· Useless meta tags· Misuse of directories· RedirectorAusaf also highlighted the importance of Title Tag of a website. He said, “Title tag is the most important tag. Almost all search engines evaluate webpage with title tag and check the relevancy with other elements of the page as well, and search engines also present results of a search by displaying webpage titles as links in the first line of each query result”.The step-by-step optimisation of each page of website was another useful and interesting topic for the participants. Ausaf presented a comprehensive commentary on this issue. He told that a website is the collection of relevant web pages which are linked with each other. To optimise a complete website you need to concentrate on each page individually. So basically you are going to optimise individual pages which is called ‘page optimisation’.He also outlined the procedure of page optimisation, which is described below:a) Group the relevant keywords, but don’t exceed the limit of 5 keywords per page.b) Distribute keywords with their relevance to the web contentc) Keywords density should be 5 per cent to 15 per cent depending on the situationA very significant issue for web designers – search engine compatibility – was also the part of discussion. The presenter of the event described about this topic that user friendliness, attractive design, beautiful flash animation and easy navigation are the elements that must be kept in mind while designing a website but what benefit is your website if it has no visitors. Search engine compatible websites are designed and developed keeping search engine policies and algorithms in mind, which enable websites to be easily crawled and understood by search engines.