Definition: What Is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO’s aim is to increase the likelihood of a webpage getting the most traffic from queries (keywords) typed or spoken into search engine* . The aim of a search engine is to provide relevant webpages based on a query. If particular webpage appears on the first results page, it is likely to attract more traffic than another page appearing lower down in its results. Where a webpage appears listed on a results page is called ‘ranking’. Rank 1, means it appears first on the first page of search results.
What’s The Aim Of Search Engine Optimisation?
Search engine optimisation’s aim is to increase website visitors/ traffic by promoting, increasing and maintaining their website in a search engine’s results pages based on queries. Various methodologies, techniques, and tactics are used by individuals depending on the goals of the website. SEO practitioners may follow the guidelines specified or insinuated from a search engine (white-hat SEO), or use techniques which get results but go against the ‘ethos’ of the search engine (black-hat SEO). What distinguishes them is sadly not just intent. Methodologies which were previously accepted by search engines to pick a good page frequently changes.
Search engines change their preferences about which pages they choose as ‘relevant’ to a query. They employ complex and countless algorithms to select a ‘relevant’ page. In 2017, other factors such as ‘user experience’ was a large factor defining if pages would be shown as ‘relevant’.
Why is SEO so mysterious?
Nothing is written in stone for practicing SEO. Techniques used in search engine optimisation are partially verifiable. Search Engines sometimes publish guidelines e.g. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. There are a lot of grey areas in the community as to ‘what is best’. The writer believes an unpublished guideline may be answered with a high degree of accuracy, ‘if I was Google what would they think is right’.
*Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baido etc