What exactly is SEO ?

What is SEO - Periodic Table

SEO Periodic Table, courtesy of SearchEngineLand.com


If the image above does not help you with the question of “What is SEO” or it seems confusing and reminds you why you didn’t enjoy science at school, don’t fret. What matters is that we understand it. SEO can be confusing to many, so today we are going to break it down into words, images and videos that can be easily understood.

The 5 Sentence Explanation of SEO – It’s All You Really Need

In layman’s terms, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a combination of ongoing activities that cause a website to move up in the results of Search engines. It can be divided loosely into 2 sections, namely On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO.

On-Site SEO refers to Optimization activities that is done on the website to make it appealing both to Google and people, while Off-Site SEO comprises of Optimization activities like backlinking from other sites back to your website, social shares (people sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, etc) and social signals (people linking back to your website content from social sites) and other activities. These activities are not performed directly on your site, but rather drive authority, trust, and relevance back to your website to help it perform better in the search results.

Both On-Site and Off-Site SEO activities are important factors in getting your website to continuously move up in the search engine until it can be found in the top of the organic search results.

So that is the simple explanation. Below you will find 2 snippets from reputable resources that do well to further explain what SEO is. For those of you who prefer movies over books, you can just scroll down to the video.

What is SEO by MOZ

SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic results in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Now a search engine’s results page very frequently looks something like this.


SEO Search Results

This is one of the most basic SERPs out there. We’ve searched here for “email open rates” in Google.

Ads vs Organic

At the top you’ll see ads – Google labels these – ads related to email open rates. These are search ads that you can buy through Google’s AdWords program. This is traditionally called PPC or pay per click search engine marketing.


Google Adwords

Next we see what’s referred to as the organic or natural search results. SEO is all about influencing these natural, organic search results to earn more traffic from them. Remember that these are organized by Google’s search engine algorithm. The ranking elements that Google considers in their algorithm determine the order in which these pieces rank.

Source: https://moz.com/academy/what-is-seo

Wikipedia’s Definition of Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic. As of May 2015, mobile search has finally surpassed desktop search, Google is developing and pushing mobile search as the future in all of its products and many brands are beginning to take a different approach on their internet strategies.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization