What Is SEO: SEO, as you might know, stands for Search Engine Optimization.
But what is it exactly?
When I started blogging, I had this vague idea that SEO is what you do to get whatever you write online, visible on Google. And it is kind of correct except that it doesn’t say all that involves Search Engine Optimization.
What Is SEO?
When you type something on Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) appears that contains various articles about your query.
Now, these results, the clickable links that appear in the SERP, could be “paid” results. For example, you search for “top hotels in Bangalore” in Google. The top result for this keyword (“top hotels in Bangalore” is the keyword) is, let’s say, Hyatt Hotel. Now, this is a paid result when it says “Ad” in green just below the blue, clickable link, which is a result. This means Hyatt paid Google for the keyword “top hotels in Bangalore” so that every time people search for this keyword, Hyatt shows up in the SERP.
There is another type of search result that shows up in the SERP which is called “Free” or “Organic” or “Natural” search results. This means you don’t have to pay Google (or any other Search Engines) for these results to appear in SERP. How do, then, these results pop up in SERP? How does Google know which particular link, the Organic result I mean, to show in number 1 position and which one in the second position, and so on? I mean, if we take the example of “top hotels in Bangalore”, there are probably tens of hotels which claim to be number 1 in Bangalore. So, how does list of articles/links appear in the SERP? Based on what?
What Is SEO?: How Does Google Work?
Let me explain it to you in the simplest way possible:
Google has something called ‘Google crawler‘ which, as the name suggests, crawls through all the content on the Internet – all websites, blogs, articles, etc. It basically goes through and gathers all the information available on the Internet and builds an index.
The index is then fed through Google’s algorithm. This algorithm matches all these information with your query and based on that, it shows you the most ‘relevant’ results. This means, the Organic results on SERP are ranked in the order of their relevancy.
But how does Google know which one is the most relevant article and which one the least? Google is not a human with a brain.
True. And that’s where the algorithm comes into picture. There are hundreds of factors that Google’s algorithm considers before creating the Organic search result. After all, the idea is to get correct and relevant information to the people.
This is where Search Engine Optimization comes to the picture.
What Is SEO Then? What Exactly Is Search Engine Optimization?
Optimization means “to make something as good and effective as possible”.
Search Engine Optimization means all the practices to optimize your website (and its content) so that its visibility increases. That is, its rank in SERP improves. The better the rank of a particular result, the better optimized it is. There are thousands of websites, articles, blogs, etc. that provide the information you are looking for. But you don’t go through all of them, do you? In fact, how many of us go to the second page?
So, the idea is to be in the first page of search results. And if you can get your content rank in the first position of the first page, nothing better! Why so? Because, people have a tendency to click on the top Organic result that appears in the search result page. And if they find whatever they are looking for in that article, they won’t even look at the second, third , or any other links.
Did you know that the first Organic result on SERP gets around 20 percent of all the clicks?
So, let me try to jot down what is SEO in short:
SEO involves all the practices to make the Search Engines understand the content of your website in a manner that it increases the visibility and ranking of your website and its content. This, at the same time, means it should satisfy the users and provides them with exactly what they are looking for.
Remember, your website might be having the most relevant information, but if Search Engines are unable to process the data, it is not going to reach out to the world. At the same time, you might get a particular article in number 1 position of SERP by some way or the other, but if the users don’t find it useful, its position will drop. Yes, based on user behavior, Search Engines can identify the relevancy of your content.
There is a reason why they say Google knows everything!
I hope you get a basic idea about what is SEO in this article. You can drop your comments below if you have any query regarding what is SEO and I will get back to you at the earliest.