Understanding Search Engine Optimization

Updated on June 2, 2017
Who enjoyed eating Spam as a kid?
Who enjoyed eating Spam as a kid?

What is SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the simple yet complicated process of using certain keywords in order to affect the visibility of your website. Often times people refer to this process as "earned search" or "organic" search results.

Not all of us have funds to invest in ad placement, therefore we must learn and employ methods that increase traffic to our sites using this SEO method. This method can be both simple yet difficult. This article hopes to simplify the process of good SEO practices in order to have better results on Google's search engine.

As you learn how to implement SEO content, you will need to keep in mind how search engines work, the things people in your niche are searching for, the exact words or phrases people are entering into the search field and which search engines are preferred by who.

As far as search engines go, Google is the king of search engines. Think about it: According to InternetLiveStats.com, Google has 40,000 searches conducted through its engine every second! That equals to 3.5 billion searches a day! That is an astonishing number when you consider that there are many other search engines out there bidding for the same traffic.

As of 2017, there are at least 1 billion websites on the world wide web. That is a lot of content for search engines to sift through. Developers of search engines had to find a way to optimize their visitors' web surfing experience and maintain quality. No one wants to visit a website that is full of blinking, spammy ads, right? Therefore, algorithms were specially designed in order to solve this crucial problem.

As quoted by The Atlantic, out of those over 1 billion websites, the average internet traveler only visits 96 separate domains monthly. I may be one of the few acceptions to this general rule since I am a writer who visiting hundreds of websites weekly doing research. Though, in most cases, I rarely make a return visit to any of those sites ever again. As a matter of fact, I couldn't even tell you the name of one site outside of my regulars that I visited within the last 10 minutes.

If this doesn't make you comprehend the gravity of how important good, Google-friendly SEO content, then I don't know what will.

A Great Tutorial

What SEO Is Not

Search Engine Optimization is like the X-Men character Mystique: what you thought it was today won't be the same tomorrow. This is why SEO science (yes, it could be considered a science in and of itself) is unique. The groundwork for providing a true definition for what SEO is and isn't is far from finished. Thus, the debates continue to rage. So, what is Search Engine Optimization not?

SEO Is Not (the) SEM

Get it? "SEM" and "same?" Okay, that was a bad joke. What isn't a laughing matter, though, is misunderstanding the two terminologies.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is most often than not referring to paid marketing strategies. Search Engine Optimization is utilizing hard-earned (but free of monetary expenditure) methods to drive traffic to your website. Some might argue that time spent and money spent are pretty much the same thing. This could be an argument that lasts forever. What fact does remain, nonetheless, SEO is technically free, which sets it outside the realm of SEM.

Who doesn't love free things?

Where this gets tricky is that most companies don't know how to do SEO marketing, so they pay outside sources to design this strategy for them. Hence the misconception that the two are related.

SEO Doesn't Work Overnight

There is this prevailing thought that SEO is a quick fix - that it is going to start providing results overnight. This is far from true. There may be plenty of marketing firms out there who boast that their techniques bring results within a short span of time, but they are leaving out the fact that most marketing firms use web analytic firms such as Fireclick. These companies employ other tactics other than plain SEO to drive traffic.

What makes SEO better than paying for clicks is that it lasts over a longer span of time. It is like growing a garden. It takes time to see the fruits of your hard labor, but when that labor starts producing fruit, you can live from it for years to come. And just like growing a garden, you can't just plant the seeds and never maintain it. SEO takes continual work and strategizing to keep producing.

The key to building a successful SEO campaign for the long haul is link-building. Link-building is not linking your site to other sites but other sites linking themselves to you. And why should they do that? You have to show that your information is credible and valuable. Link-building is a primary tool to the SEO strategy. This also takes time, nonetheless, it is time well spent.

Tags Are Not the In-Thing Any More

There was a time in Internet SEO history when entering tags into a web form was the hot way to bring traffic to your site. These tag web forms still exist today on many platforms. These are, like, so yesterday!

Meta tagging (also known as meta keyword tags) were once a very integral aspect of SEO marketing. But thanks to those uncouth spammers, this method was soon dropped by most if not all big search engines.

The PPC Conspiracy

Along with lizard-men and aliens taking over the government, lies the Pay-Per-Click myth. SEO firms would like to have you believe PPC is the tried and true method for driving organic traffic to your site and improves search engine rankings. This simply isn't true.

Big name search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing may offer PPC services but there is a separation between that and true SEO by its fundamental definition.

As Forbes stated in an article entitled 7 Things You Believe About SEO That Are Not True, Josh Steimle writes that PPC and truly organic rankings are totally different ball games altogether. You may get a positive ranking with China's search engine Baidu by paying for clicks, but not with Google.

Understanding SEO is essential to your website's success.
Understanding SEO is essential to your website's success.


Search Engine Optimization is a long process - there is nothing easy about it. Yet, being tricked into paying for clicks or ads and thinking that this will give you organic ratings is not the way to go. The best things come from hard work.

When I write articles. I focus on SEO and quality content. Search engines don't care about how much content you have or whether you paid them. They only care about their visitors' experience.

This is what you should be concerned about as well. People will naturally gravitate to sites that are informative, honest and well written. And that is the only key you need to follow. Don't fall for false gimmicks or bad information.

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