What is SEO?
SEO know as Search engine optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
What goes into SEO?
To understand what SEO really means, let’s break that sentence down and look at the parts:
Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.
Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
How SEO works
You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to webpages that could potentially answer your question.
That’s true. But have you ever stopped to consider what’s behind those magical lists of links?
Here’s how it works:
Google (or any search engine you’re using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your query.
That’s the SE (Search Engine) part of SEO.
The O part of SEO (Optimization) is where the people who write all that content and put it on their sites to the content and those sites up so search engines will be able to understand what they’re seeing, and the users who arrive via search will like what they typed in.
Optimization can take many forms. It’s everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you’re proud of.
This section of our site is here to help you learn anything you want about SEO. If you’re completely new to the topic, start at the very beginning and read the Beginner’s Guide to SEO. If you need advice on a specific topic, just look into which best suits you.
The changes of SEO
Search engine algorithms change frequently and SEO tactics evolve in response to those changes. So if someone is offering you SEO advice that doesn’t feel quite right, check in with the specific topic page.