What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym of Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of boosting visibility of your website or your web page on the internet by the help of search engines. The results that search engines naturally show are called unpaid or organic results. The very same ones that appear on the screen as soon as the user types the word on the search bar. These results are thus named because you are not paying money to the search engine to display your website’s result to users.

How then are these results being shown to the users, you ask? What is it that would set your results apart, ranking yours above the competition? You will discover the answers to these questions and more in the coming articles.

How SEO Works?

As simple as it sounds, the working of this process has layers upon layers to it and is versatile, all for the sole purpose of making the communication between the user and search engine easier and quick.
Search Engine Optimization, as the name implies, is the holistic process to allow readers to get exactly what they’re searching for. The major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing display results based on different criteria i.e. by determining whether the website contains relevant and valid information or not. It makes sure that the word the reader has typed is present on various locations on the website. Moreover, it ensures that the information on your website must be useful for the user.
Webmasters must use these techniques to rank well for users to end up at their website, and they do it by providing maximum value to the readers.

Advent of SEO

The concept of developing content on the web to increase visibility and traffic is not novel. With the evolution of the internet, the experts were not wrong to declare search engines as the soul of the World Wide Web. The only difference between past and present is “awareness”. Individuals who sought knowledge in books now search online. There is no denying the fact that SEO is deeply rooted in every aspect of the World Wide Web.

The Origins

To understand and see where SEO is headed, it is important to first analyze how SEO emerged over time.

The Dark Ages

The first website was designed in August 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee and is still operational today. This opened up the path for more websites, creating a gigantic beehive over the years. Right now, an estimated 14.3 trillion web pages are live on the internet! That’s more than a thousand times the population of the planet — this is a number beyond human comprehension. Of course, with such a flabbergasting amount of web pages, finding information would be impossible without search engines. And for readers to be able to find the most relevant information easily, search engines employed complex algorithms to rank websites according to relevance and quality of content, thus the need for search engine optimization.
Excite, an online service back when search engines were in their infancy, took the first step to initialize the optimization process using keywords from content and brief reviews. This encouraged other search engines to move forward and refine their search algorithms. Yahoo in 1994 and Google in 1997 took steps to make data optimization easier, entering the game and simplifying the task by encouraging the marketers to use keywords, links and tagging.
The search engines didn’t just stop there. They have been on an unceasing quest to improve their processes and algorithms, Google being the foremost player today, to provide the highest value to its users.

The Middle Ages

With website content continuously on the rise, the need for improved search became obvious. Google, therefore, paid serious attention to improving the efficiency of these search results. For this, search engine code has evolved a great deal to do away with old redundant formulas, for instance penalizing websites with unnecessary tagging and irrelevant keyword stuffing for the sole purpose of fooling search engine bots to rank their website higher in the results. As keywords were no longer used as the sole ranking factor.
Moreover, search algorithms encouraged the use of images, videos, and back links that provide weight to the content. In addition to this, the insertion of real life news and recent discoveries increased the authenticity of the content. In 2008, Google further enhanced search by providing an efficient tool that provided users with suggestions, directing users to content that they may find interesting or relevant with regard to their search query. These suggestions appear in front of user based on the history of search, enhancing usability and streamlining search greatly.

The Awareness

Enhanced search options increased the accessibility options between the users and web designers. This created a sense of awareness among the marketers to use search engine optimization tactics to their advantage.

With advanced search options, the marketers began branding their products using words, keywords, the user is looking for. Moreover, SEO introduced the ranking system for brands, differentiating each brand based on the quality of their content. Also, new search choices and results have provided users options to socially connect with each other. Features such as Google’s Knowledge Graph eliminated the need for users to get into details of the content to reach their point of concern.

Marketers, instead of bragging about their brands, began to focus on attracting user’s attention by publishing content which is widely shared over the web.
These web trends are the major reason we have such an engaging and personalized web today.

Modern Day

In the race of directing more traffic to relevant websites, the search engines seem to struggle in understanding the line between privacy and personalization. The search engines such as Google display results based on user’s previous search results. Not just this, but it also grasps user’s information such as location and device to offer personalized results. Another present advancement in this age is inclination towards searching through mobile search options. Websites that are optimized for mobile platforms are thus losing a huge chunk of potential traffic.

Responsive design and content, accessible through all devices, opens up the path to increased visibility for your website by providing ease of access and authority of content. At this point in time, the internet asks for personalization options and content quality to be more competitive. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of your website to be continuously updated to able optimally accessible on all major devices.

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