what is seo anyway? the seo enigma.
WHAT IS SEO ANYWAY?
When I first heard of SEO it was easy enough to decipher. SEO comes from its letters, S for Search E for Engine and O for Optimisation. Finding optimised words. That was the easy part. The hard part was understanding what it meant. So, what is SEO anyway?
Wikipedia describes it as “the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results and excludes direct traffic/visitors and the purchase of paid placement” Huh?
Any writer or publisher knows that SEO is worth its weight in gold. If your SEO is good and you’ve done everything well, it may get on the first page of Google. That means profit because buyers will go with someone on the first page.
How many times have you typed in Google, looked at the first page, and then chosen one of the few on the first page? 95 times out of a hundred probably, right?
Google will tell you that there are millions of pages associated with that subject. Yet only one in a million people will go past page 3. Why? Because we’re lazy and want to find something immediately.
KEY WORDS AND KEY PHRASES
When there were a million results to my search I often wondered who chose the order of listing. Now I know it was the Google algorithm looking for the words. The optimized words. The KEY words and phrases.
The Google algorithm gives each result its place on the list. From the electronic spider (ro)bot crawler that searches all the web pages out there on the internet all the time. Does it make sense now? No, it didn’t to me either.
SEO is the result of the right words on a page. The spider bot finds it and then determines where it goes on the Google search pages. When you use Yoast SEO, for example, it asks you what your key-words and phrases are so Google can find them.
The bot may find 5 billion references about water filters when it crawls its way through all the pages. Each web page containing the words water and filter are then listed in turn, depending on importance. The more times a web page says water and filter, the more times the bot picks it up.
THE OPTIMISED WORDS
So the Search Engine is Google and the Optimization part is the word. Search Engine Optimization is, therefore, the Optimized word on the web page, placed enough times to get picked up by the spider bot crawler.
That’s how I understand it. So writing SEO means writing a web page that uses the right words that you know your customers wants to find.
Let’s say you’re a company that sells water filters. You want customers to buy your water filters. How does your customer find you? They go to Google and search Water filter companies in (your town). Now if you’re the ONLY water filter seller in town then it’s easy. You’re going to be on the first page. Being the first result though is different.
The first result may be the water filter seller in the next town. Why? because they put “water filter” on their web page more times than you did, and because it’s close to where that customer wants to buy.
SHOULD YOU WRITE A BLOG EVERY DAY?
So, to get the best SEO means putting one or two optimised word descriptions, many times, on every web page you produce. This is why companies and agencies write blogs. Sometimes every day. This is so the web crawler spider bot can find them and list them on Google.
Now, because you write one blog and put in “water filter” 27 times doesn’t mean you’ll get to number one on Google. You have to do dozens of blogs and placements of those words every day. Then, after six months, you might get close to the first page. It’s not easy but some SEO agencies are making money at it.
Google’s algorithm for choosing the number one slot is a guarded secret so nobody can get bribed. It’s based on a whole number of reasons no one can figure out exactly. That’s why you might see your name at the top one day, and not the next.
I would say it was definitely a challenge though. Try it and see.