Let’s start with the enumerated form of the abbreviation “SEO.” It stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”
To understand SEO by definition, Wikipedia defines it as 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.
According to Search Engine Land, SEO is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
Similarly, you’ll find umpteen number of definitions when you ask the question “What is SEO” online. However, the fact remains that it’s an ongoing and highly dynamic process that’s changing every month. It encompasses everything from the look of your website to the content that it displays. Anything that drives your potential customer is a part of SEO. However, there are certain guidelines that have been laid down by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to rank your websites well in search results.
The Answer to “What is an SEO?” lies in Search Engine Guidelines too
The ultimate aim of search engines is to serve the internet traffic by offering information that is of value to them. The search engines don’t necessarily aim at ranking commercial websites high in search ranking. Contrary to this, every person who owns a business wants his website to rank higher. The solution to this contradiction is offered by SEO consultants.
When search engines like Google try to include only informative websites, they do so by writing various search engine algorithms. These algorithms are designed to exclude and devalue websites that are spammy or offer little to no information. On the other hand they encourage websites that are highly informative by ranking them higher. This is one reason why Wikipedia is ranked high on Google, even though it doesn’t particularly follow any SEO guidelines.
However, commercial websites need to conform to the guidelines set down by search engines. Failing this, the website may be pushed into oblivion. So, conforming to these guidelines through an SEO consultant is vital.
What Happens When You Don’t Conform to SEO Guidelines
Take the case of Ezine.com or About.com. These websites once thrived on the internet space and every search engine in the cyberspace had ranked them high. The reason: these websites had detailed answers to almost all the questions that internet traffic had.
Over the time, these websites started sporting spammy content that did little more than promoting various businesses and only adding little value in the form of giving information to the reader. Once the search engine algorithms realized this, both the websites were pushed back in search results.
In essence, if you had typed “What is an SEO” in Google search a few years back, the top results would have been from Wikipedia, About.com and Ezine.com. However, that is not the case today and you’ll only find Wikipedia at the top. The reason is simple – Wikipedia has stayed true to its cause of imparting information.
For a business website to thrive, it has to conform to the parameters set by Google algorithms, failing which such website too will be pushed back in search results.
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