What is SEO?
What is Search Engine Optimization?
First of all, I would like to make a confession; this is the first article published in the SEOlium blog, as well as the first article of the of SEO written so far. So know we are quite aware of the responsibility that we bear. Trust us, and ... Good luck!
The theme that we have chosen is the result of a brainstorming session, during which we’ve got an obvious idea. Right, you guessed it; I will talk about SEO and what it means for the business activities, which take place on the Internet. I will not talk about how to implement the principles of SEO, or what are the advantages and disadvantages of promotion on the Internet. I will try to focus on relatively complex concepts:
• What is SEO? Determination and significance of websites. History of search engine optimization.
• What is not related to SEO?
• Where is that science end point?
• Who needs SEO services, and what are the expected results?
• Conclusions: The SEO’s goal is to improve the quality and to increase the profitability of the website.
Definition of SEO. What does promotion and search engine optimization of the website mean?
SEO concept was introduced in the 90s of the twentieth century. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. At the same time, the same abbreviation applies to people who practice this kind of activity.
In the early days of the Internet when in total there were only "a few" websites (in fact, several million, compared with more than twenty billion as estimated at the moment), appeared and search engines that were not complicated - they were quite good at indexing the content of the Internet and they were the starting point of navigation, thus representing an important source of traffic to the sites. At the same time experts have realized the need of conscious control over the process of increasing visibility in search engines; it resulted in the introduction of SEO, which aims to increase quality traffic to websites.
This is a relatively new branch of "industry" that refers to a specific set of operations carried out by the promotion team aimed at the promotion on reaching higher ranking in the search results by certain keywords or phrases, interesting and relevant from the point of view of the appropriate scope of the business relationship.
This can be achieved by monitoring and "location of objects criteria in order of priority" improvement, that is, factors which are taken in aggregation and analysis of the search algorithm, leading to a better position on the pages displayed in the search results. Based on these criteria, SEO can be of two types:
Internal optimization (optimization of on-site) – the promotion measures are applied directly to a particular website and can be basically changed by SEO team. For instance: thorough titling and description writing, error removal, improved download speed, image processing, optimization of the structure of URL-addresses and internal links, moderate use of advertising. In other words it is the experience improvement received by visitors.
External optimization (optimization of off-site) - in this case, the promotion does not directly depend on the SEO team, but rather on the will of the Internet. This means that, the objective reality regarding the quality of the web site, search engines is always trying to find measurable signals against the relevance and importance of the website in relation to the analyzed keyword. These signals are indicators of quality, performance and popularity, and as for example we can cite the following: the number and quality of links on the page that should be analyzed, the number of social interactions (Facebook likes, shares, comments, Twitter status, +1, etc.), the context in which we find the references, the reliability and credibility of sources, global and local query volume for the relevant keywords and other related aspects.
Because of the huge commercial potential of the Internet, just after the search engines were introduced, there were the so-called "spammers”: those who practice unethical or illegal manipulation of objects location criteria in order of priority aiming to increase the number of quality points of SEO, and therethough increasing in websites visibility. These methods could have worked in only a short period of time, but as practice shows, the search engines keep battling against spamming on the Internet and always eliminate possible "holes" in the system. At the same time they publish official documents describing the "Guidelines for Webmasters", that is, moral, legal, permitted and recommended methods of promotion, which should be taken into account by every single website owner. Non-compliance with these principles, if revealed, can lead to the imposition of sanctions on the website or definitive exclusion from the database.
Depending on the level of morality of the methods used in the promotion, SEO can be divided into several types such as the following:
White methods of search engine optimization (white hat SEO) – this type of promotion corresponds to the proposed policy or hints of search engines. The methods used are aimed at creating a positive experience for the visitors, but they are fully based on the growth of the positions on the pages displayed in the search results.
Black search engine optimization techniques (black hat SEO) - the purpose of this promotion is to manipulate the perception of search engines in terms of quality (relevance and priority) of the website. For instance: the excessive use of keywords within the titles and page content, concealing words behind the images, the demonstration of different content to visitors and bots that index the website, buying links or social interactions, excessive optimization of anchor text, adding a large number of pages with no valuable content, etc.
Gray search engine optimization techniques (grey hat SEO) – is a combination of both methods described above, in which all the same moral standards are fulfilled. However, in this case, some techniques are dubious, and can be easily revealed in the long term perspective, which would entail the imposition of sanctions.
As a result, together with the Internet development the SEO concept has evolved so that at the present time this concept also includes other branches leading to a traffic increase with regard to the site through any source without limitations to conventional search methods (natural and free search results).
What is not related to SEO?
Judging the above stated, we dare to say that SEO is not just an excellent content or website optimization. SEO is not manipulation, neither it is magic; SEO is a harmonious combination of science, poetry and magic. The undeniable truth is that SEO does not get your bored. It is rather a sport in which satisfaction is higher when you win.
Science vs magic?
Where is the science end point? Google officials have repeatedly stated that the best approach to SEO is "the absence", that is, no SEO, but is it really so? I think this statement is at odds with the famous words "Doing business without advertising - it is like winking to a girl in darkness. You know that you're doing it, but somebody else have no idea about that…". Another rule recommended by the search engines is the "advertising, promotion and optimization should be designed and implemented in such a way as if search engines did not exist at all". The last rule is the absolute truth, but sometimes the temptation is too high. You always think you are the smartest and underestimate the hundreds of brilliant "cerebellum" in the service of the search engines. The winner is the one who knows when to stop and stay cool. Those who fail on this they lose. It's so simple, so this is the boundary between science and magic with regard to SEO.
Again touching the extremities, science includes the implementation of some repeatable, and documented operations, such as:
• Keyword analysis, prioritization according to the number of search queries and content changes depending on these requests.
• Competition analysis and use of strengths for improved variants.
Together with all this, the magic and poetry relate to the creative and quite often risky part in which the used methods are the result of brilliant and original ideas, perfectly adapted to the situation for your website optimization. Below you can find several examples:
• Sacrificing a ranking factor in favor of the other, with the risk of reducing the pages displayed in the search results, though with the ability to quick rise up.
• Virtuoso handling the “numbers”. This approach does not only refer to mathematics, but it is also visioning. The formulation and adoption of the conclusions based on public and private data solutions collected from several sources.
• Attention to details, perfectionism and dignity perhaps the most important aspects of daily work. This refers to the provision of services at the highest level, based on the passion and the idea of creating something better, in the spirit of fair competition.
By SEO you should understand the balance and compromise between instinctual and acquired tendencies. We are talking about an excellent resource management and prioritization of efforts. We are talking about added value, which is a point of luck.
On the opposite side you can there are illegal methods of manipulation. I would like to ask you: with the help of what you can establish a website with an uncertain future full of risks and negative feelings, would it be better to focus your efforts in a creative and moral direction and develop a really good website that will be among the top 10 in Google only because it deserves?
Who needs SEO?
Now when we've come to the point what SEO is and what it does, let's find out who need such services. Actually all of you! But here arises another problem - it is clear that two different websites in one and the same time cannot occupy the top spot on Google. Just as they cannot take the second, nor the third place. So what should we do in this particular case? Who should work with SEO? The answer is really simple: those who can afford to invest into SEO’s development. Those who are willing to make the effort now and wait for the long-term results. Those for whom it makes sense from an economic point of view. For those who love sports, competition and music!
Endpoint is based at improving performance metrics
But what does SEO actually bring to us? And what about the end point of SEO? When you stop and say, "That's enough, we are done with the optimization"?
Just as with any other thing in life, the ultimate goal is to get satisfaction. If this means an increase in traffic, then let it provide you with as much traffic as possible. If it comes to profits, then SEO should be designed specifically for this purpose, and at the end of the path you will to wait for profits. If you want to increase your customer base, then SEO can easily give you this kind of service. You can keep going with the list without limitation: the popularity, number of fans, social activity, etc. To cut the long story short, any word that brings you to nirvana.
At the same time one of the most interesting aspects of the promotion of websites in search engines is that you should always be on the alert as the competitors are always awake. This means that SEO efforts never end. You cannot say "we did this, this and this, and everything and the site is now optimized." Optimization never ends. There are things you can always do better. You should always develop a strategy of promotion, depending on the development of competition, which is constantly coming up with new ideas. And even when you are already on the first page in Google, Bing or Yahoo! you can expand the keywords that cover other markets. You can work on optimizing the conversion of visitors to customers, or you can simply try to take the first line in Google.
Conclusion: SEO improves the quality of the website
Now that we have explained what the optimization of the website is, we should also mention the reason why we cannot avoid using SEO. The truth is that many things cannot flow by themselves, though you shouldn’t help them as well. The ultimate goal of the optimization should be the same throughout the entire project and online business which lays in improving the visitor experience. Only then you can be sure that your website stands in a fairly volatile climate on the continent of search engines. Just create a good product, useful and desired for visitors, and you will always be safe on the way encountering tornadoes, tsunamis and hurricanes.