ShoeMoney asked leading SEO practitioners in the industry for the definition of SEO. Â The answers included specific approaches (information architecture, inbound links, etc) to increasing web page rankings. Some respondents approached it from a marketing perspective, while one black hat just called it spam.
What is SEO?
At ForwardLeap, we believe that at its core, SEO is:
- The continuous study of the factors that tend to influence web content’s ability to be discovered, analyzed and ranked by search engines.
- The practice of defining and implementing legitimate strategies, based upon the study of factors, in order to maximize the chance for web content to be found by users seeking to find matching content from search engine inquiries.
Basically, it boils down to figuring out what search engines like and/or need and giving it to them.
Is SEO Needed?
It may be obvious to state, but the reason anyone cares about Search Engine Optimization is due the fact that a large number of users use search engines to find content and content publishers want to attract a targeted audience of users at a low cost. If you can relatively cheaply get your web pages to rank well for search terms entered in a search engine by users, then SEO is desirable to you. Â
A Basic Example of Why SEO is Beneficial
Search engines like site maps (documents that efficiently list the content, such as web pages, on a website). A site map can help a search engine to easily find newly added pages on your website. Your content won’t rank if it can’t be found by the search engine. If a page is buried several clicks away from the homepage, it can take some time for the search engine to find the page and thus longer for your website to begin receiving search engine referrals for the page.Â
Understanding the content discovery process for search engines and implementing a strategy to best take advantage of it can lead to more referrals from search engines.
The Evolution of SEO
Some have said that SEO has no future. SEO isn’t going to die, it just going to evolve. The practice of SEO has been evolving since its inception. As the search engines improve and expand their algorithms for ranking, SEO techniques will continue to evolve along with it. If social factors or the amount of traffic influence search engine rankings, then the SEOs of willÂ modify their strategies to maximize results. If personalized search becomes more pervasive, then SEOs will find ways to influence it.