What is Search Engine Optimization?
Yesterday someone asked me what the acronym SEO means. I was a little surprised that there are people who still don’t know. It is Search Engine Optimization – The process of getting found by the search engines in response to a search term being entered into Google, Bing or whatever search algorithm. It is the constantly changing and unknowable techniques to rank your online content higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Once upon a time, Google introduced a way to organize search results in a hierarchy based on inbound links to content. Google discovered that the number and quality of links worked like votes for the best content. The public fell in love with search results that seemed almost magical in how relevant they could be. Marketers wanted to pay Google for higher SERP placement, and Google said no. The integrity of their search results and happy searchers was more important than selling placement. Google then offered up Adwords which provided an online auction approach to selling the most popular search terms or keywords. They made a ton of money without compromising the magical feeling provided by their search algorithm. Google did a great thing by clearly noting that some results are paid-for ads and some results are unpaid organic algorithmic responses. Most searchers rely on organic results, and most marketers highly covet those organic results.
The search engine algorithm is ever-changing. Where inbound links from high authority sources used to be everything for ranking, the search engines discovered some marketers were “gaming the system” through manipulating links. Google has done a brilliant thing lately, instead of picking a million fights with the marketing world Google now just wants to serve their searchers. If a company can answer questions quickly and accurately then Google will serve their sites up to searchers, period. What are you doing to align with Google’s goal?