Website builders and digital marketing companies will tell you that the most frequently asked questions they get from clients are what is “SEO” and why should I care about it?
The answers are simple but involve a complicated and ever evolving industry spawned by the internet and fed by every business that uses a website to reach their intended customer base. Simply stated, SEO (search engine optimization) is a process that enables website owners to get noticed by people whot are likely to be in need of the product they are selling or the service they provide. Within the family of SEO strategies available to a website builder there are scores of ways to help clients realize their goal of being one of the first websites that pop up when a potential customer does a Google search.
As mentioned, the science of SEO is not a static one. The rules and methods used to achieve a high ranking website are on a constant path of change that more accurately targets the potential website visitor and provides them with the information and content that is most relevant to each individual. This is great for those of us who use Google searches as a main source of information, but website builders and digital marketers will tell you that it also creates an environment that demands constant evaluation and editing of websites.
To better understand where we are at today with SEO, it might help to take a look backwards to understand where we have come from.
Search engine optimization has been around for over 20 years. Before that, finding something on the internet closely resembled dialing random telephone number to call a friend whose phone number you had lost. Basically, you had to know the URL, or website address, or you probably wouldn’t end up there.
Gradually webmasters started recognizing the potential value of the search engine concept and would send their website address to the different early search engines who would then index that content using keywords and other relevant information. They also began to understand that these simple early algorithms being used by the search engines could be “tricked” into giving a higher ranking by stuffing the website content with keywords. At this stage of the game, there were several search engines that were beginning to recognize that the sophistication of the algorithms would become the determining factor in the quality of their search results and ultimately, of their survival.
Today, through a series of improvements and changes in how websites are evaluated and defined, search engines like Google have been able to create a search environment that rewards websites that have useful, original, and truthful content with higher ranking than competition that might be filling their website with copied or redundant content. Just as in a brick and mortar store, websites will invariable be visited more frequently if their content is useful, relevant and constantly being refreshed. In today’s digital marketplace a well-constructed and up to date website is often the difference between success and failure.