Many “so-called” SEO pundits had already elaborated on the idea of SEO, and yet, there are still millions or maybe billions of people out there who are not cognizant of what SEO is. In fact, if you would engage in a survey on how many people understand what SEO is, you would surely be taken aback by the result of your survey, for it would surely show that many people don’t even have the smallest inkling of what SEO is. Well, this is understandable, considering that not all human beings need SEO. If you were a simple farmer who regularly till your land, and plant and harvest crops, you would surely have no need for any knowledge of SEO. And if ever I would survey you, you would just simply scratch your head and shrug off your shoulder. But if you are a businessman who has a business website, it is imperative that you have a working knowledge of SEO.
The Evolution of SEO from Obscurity
There is an age-old belief that you will surely not know what a thing is unless you know its origin, and I think there is some truth in that saying, for ignorance abounds because most of us do not really dig deep into the origins of most phenomena. Similarly, you will not really understand SEO if you don’t dig deep into its origin. Hence, I deemed it proper to provide you with a brief overview of the origin of SEO.
SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.” Its origin dated back to the first amalgam of websites that have populated the internet. Hence, SEO is an offshoot of the development and expansion of the internet. Back on August 6, 1991, the first website was launched by Tim Berners-Lee. Soon after, many more websites emerged and now we have the World Wide Web. Along the way, search engines likewise emerged due to the pressing need for structuring the mishmash of emergent websites. Hence, Yahoo (1994), Google (1997), and many other search engines were born and began cataloging and ranking websites according to relevance and accessibility, paving the way for the emergence of SEO.
At present, if you want your website to rank high in the search engine result page (SERP), you need to engage in some types of search engine optimization. If you have a business, for example, that sells Prefab Homes, it is not enough that you have a website for your prefab homes. If you want your prefab homes to sell like hotcakes, you need to make your website more prominent online. Moreover, you must ensure that your website is indexed by search engines. You can do this by optimizing your website.
On-page and Off-page SEO
There are basically two aspects of website optimization. There is the on-page SEO, and there is the off-page SEO likewise. On-page SEO refers to page settings that you apply on your website to make it easily accessible and highly optimized. These settings include having highly optimized descriptions and titles, correct URL structures, user-friendly navigation, text formatting, optimized internal links, image optimization, mobile friendly pages, fast loading pages, and many other measures.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to the different moves and activities you engage in beyond the confines of your website. These activities include social media marketing, social bookmarking, and the most important of them all—link building.
White Hat and Black Hat Tricks
Human history has its origin, dark ages, renaissance, and modern periods; similarly, the evolution of SEO also passed through various stages. SEO had its origin, dark age, renaissance, and modern period. The dark age of SEO, for example, was a time characterized by the proliferation of website owners who usually padded their websites’ rankings by resorting to black hat tricks. During this dark period, masters of black-hat-trick abounded, and via their ingenious and underhanded expertise, they were able to circumvent the rules of search engines to benefit their clients’ websites. To be a black-hat-trick master, you need to know how Google algorithms work.
These shadowy SEO masters perfectly understand how Google algorithms worked; hence, they could freely engage in unethical SEO practices that prodded Google to initiate and roll out many succinct updates to curb these unethical practices like keyword stuffing and bad linking practices. There are still some black-hat-trick masters out there, but their activities have been greatly limited by these updates and innovations in search engine algorithms.
White hat tricks, on the other hand, although also referred to as “tricks” are SEO practices that are not unethical. These practices are designed to anticipate what would prod a search engine to rank a website high in the SERP. Since the rolling out of many Google updates, there has been a shift to quality contents and links. Google algorithms have been generally designed to figure out if a website has quality links. Moreover, these quality links bring in link juices to a website. With more link juices flowing in and out of a particular website, search engines would be hard-pressed to rank that website higher in the SERP.
The Ultimate Goals of SEO
One of the primary goals of SEO is to make a website rank high in the SERP. It is a fact that there are many searchers online who really don’t bother to click on websites that do not belong to the top three rankings in the SERP. This is understandable because it is typical of human nature to only click on the top three websites. To capture these sizeable number of online searchers who don’t click beyond the top three rankings, SEO experts must aim to catapult their clients’ websites to the top three rankings of the SERP. However, it is not enough to reach the top three rankings of the SERP. Your website should likewise be relevant, full of substantial information, mobile friendly, and user-friendly, and all these characteristics are by-products of on-page SEO. In a way, on-page and off-page SEO should complement each other to produce a high-ranking website that is truly worthy of its ranking high in the SERP. Lastly, SEO is critical in creating a veritable reputation and branding for your business and for lead acquisition and direct marketing.