What is SEO? (Part 1 of 3)

This is the most common question we get. Often times, the people who need SEO most are those who don’t quite know what it is. So we’re going to start off this off with a basic definition.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a continual process with the end goal of boosting a website’s rankings on search engine result pages.

Of course, if it was really that simple, we’d all be out of a job. But thankfully (for us at least,) it isn’t. Search engines determine how important a website is by looking at several criteria. The most important, and the one we’ll cover today in part 1, is linking. By linking to another website, search engines feel that the first website is “vouching” for them, and saying that they’re a trustworthy source. While that might not always be the case, it works more often than not, and search engines rely on it.

As time has gone on, the type of linking that matters most has changed. Originially, a website could simply spam their links on blogs, forums, and various other places, and achieve instant search engine success. But that’s no longer the case.

Today, search engines are smart enough to realize what links are real and which are simply being put their to try to boost rankings. They look at social sharing (such as on Facebook and Twitter) to try to determine what actually isn’t important, and what only exists as a quick scam.

So how do you get websites to link to your content? Well, just think about what people talk about in the real world – what interests them, or shocks them, or makes them say “Wow!” Creating interesting content is key to rising to the top of the search engine rankings – no matter what the industry is. You just have to be creative.

Which brings us to the end of the first part of our SEO definition. Expect parts 2 and 3 next week, and let us know any other topics you would like us to cover by sending an email to [email protected].