Today the term Search Engine Optimization means something different than what it meant as little as three years ago. Using the term SEO in a sentence use to be for only a few people who really knew how SEO actually worked.
Back then knowing about SEO was the secret handshake needed to becoming a member of the SEO private club that only a few people knew existed.
Today, there is more information on SEO than any other subject in business.
However, there still is very, very, very little information available to answer the question over 90% of business owners still ask today…What the heck is SEO?
Lot of Words Nobody Understand
In most of the jargon ridden articles written about SEO the author will make an assumption everyone knows what the term SEO means. Most of the blogs written will jump right into explaining a microscopic portion of an issue SEO is causing or just give you the top three reasons you should use SEO.
There is little in the way of articles that define in layman’s words what SEO is.
I’ll have to be frank and say that even after recently becoming Google Certified as a Google Partner I never saw anywhere in the hours of studying for the certification where there was a simple and pure definition of what SEO means.
So, I did what any true blue blood Google aficionado would do..Googled the question..What is SEO?
Here are the few definitions I have found.
Definition of SEO
It is interesting what you find when you ‘Google’ the question, What is SEO?
Over at Wikipedia they say:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.
At SearchEngineLand.com they see SEO as:
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
Then over on the other side of the Atlantic RedEvolution.com say SEO is:
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the simple activity of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering.
Then this of course brings up the debate on if the word is spelled “Optimisation” or “Optimization” which just gets way to geeky for me.
According to Google, the undisputed heavyweight champion and founder of what SEO is today, says:
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results.
How I See It
You now seen how others are defining SEO. The question you now have is…How do I define SEO!?
Obviously SEO was created for businesses. I am not for sure why someone who is online to only post .gifs and pointless photos of cats would use SEO, but I am certain someone in La-La-Land there is a person attempting to do.
SEO started out as a guideline on how a web-site should be constructed and how content should be posted on a web-site to attract the search engine spiders. Over a number of years this became a well established process.
Then the internet evolved to be more about social networking which brought on the Facebook and Twitter era. All along the way the search feature developed by Google kept at the top of list as the number reason why 99% of the people around the world use the internet.
Unfortunately, social networking started to produce questionable content which started the fermentation of the internet that produced more of a cesspool image of the content being posted.
This woke up the giant killer Google. Google waded into the social marketing to take back control of the ‘search’ experience it created. They did this with the launch of Google+ as a very thought out way to encourage the creation of ‘Quality’ and ‘Relevant’ content.
That brings us to today where SEO covers much more than what it was originally intended to optimize.
A business’ website use to be all that was needed online to capture the attention of consumers in a hope that interaction would turns into commerce.
Now, the web-site..or more specifically the Blog portion of a web-site…is the center of a business’ online presence.
Around the business’ web-site presence is their social networking. This means in order to experience effective SEO, not only does a business have to now have a Blog in their web-site, they also have to have a quality presence on a number of social networks. All this is known as a business’ ‘Digital Footprint’.
But back to the question..What is SEO?
It seems SEO can realistically be defined as a method of modifying a business’ web online presence organically…meaning not purposely manipulated as it use to be… by using discriptive keyword phrases to describe the subject of the content offered in the business’ digital footprint. At least, that is how I see it should be defined.
Where is SEO Going?
So now you ask..where is SEO going?
From the conversations I am having with the businesses that stream through SyncLab Media, there seems to be a theme developing on what these businesses are all telling us.
Over 90% of the businesses I talk to about their business operations will quickly state they are spending too much on SEO and getting less and less from it.
They have determined from their own analytics that the leak to their marketing budget is being caused by the high cost of covering so many social networks. This cost comes from either paying an employee a salry to sit on Twitter or paying a digital marketing agency to represent them in the social spaces.
Business executives are saying things like…‘We understand we need to be online interacting with our consumers. We just are not going to be able to afford to be on all social platforms. Which ‘ONE’ social platform do we need to be on that will place more consumer attention towards our web-site so we can show them what problems we solve for them?”
This question is being asked more and more each day which means eventually one social networking is all any business is going to be able to manage.
As illogical as this may sound it is very logical for a business to focus on where they get the most out of their SEO and since SEO is centered around the business’ web-site their measurements of where consumers are coming from is going to make for them on what social site to spend the most effort.
When you look at the social arena online it is becoming clear Facebook is not interested in allowing the content created on it’s platform to be openly searched by Google. This will be the downfall of Facebook, but that is what their investors are investing in so that faith is what they will realize.
Twitter is now starting to see it is losing ground with businesses who now view their platform as becoming a dumping ground for worthless and pointless content.
LinkedIn and Pinterest..along with multitudes of other social networks.. are still trying to capture a portion of the social market but find they are just spinning their wheels in the muck of content produced by lost souls trying to gain attention to their shrinking niche markets.
Google Seems to Own SEO
Google seems to have strategically thought out the evolution of the internet. Since Google was online long before the social era arrived who better would understand how the internet actually works.
Their launch of Google+ was a brilliant business move. It was clear from the beginning their social platform was set up to focus on corralling quality and relevant content so as to serve it up to their ever growing Search Engine.
As a result businesses are starting to rapidly gain interest in Google+. Everyday people are asking me to train them on the effective way of using G+.
With more consumers moving to G+ more businesses who focus on using G+ are going to see their SEO starting to work better. Once they start tracking where their clients are coming from they are going to quickly answer their question…Which ‘One’ social network should I use? …as being obviously Google+.
If Google was to ever do any broadcast media marketing of the benefits of Google+ it would be ‘the blow from death horn’ for the rest of the social networks.
All indications are that in the future the definition for SEO will more than likely mention the need to be on Google+. For those who understand G+ now will quickly gain advantage. For those who don’t..well..they’ll be the few people asking..Hey, What Happened?
So, now this question is for you…Do you know what SEO is?
Let me know how I can help.