Thursday, 11 March 2010

Search Engine Optimisation, my definition

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) sounds like a very big word. It also sounds very scary and complicated. However, the actual meaning could not be further from the truth. SEO, in my definition, is the process of optimizing a website for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. When I say optimizing, I mean making it user- and bot/crawler-friendly, such that it provides an answer or solution to what the user requested.

Have you ever used a search engine to search for something on the Internet and not been able to find it? Or worst still, asked the search engine for oranges and got bananas instead! I know I have, and it can be very frustrating, especially if you know it should be there because you had seen it before. There are two main reasons why it might not be found:

  • You are not search accurately for it,
  • The website was not optimised to be found that way.

In a way, both reasons are actually linked together. You might not be searching for it accurately because you could be spelling it wrong or using the wrong phrase. If you are spelling it wrong, then really, nobody can help you there. Yes, a good search engine would try to suggest a similar word for you but that could still be wrong. However, if you search using the right phrase and you still do not get the answer you want, then there is a high chance that website was not optimised to be found with that phrase. Hence the relationship between not searching "accurately" and a poorly optimised website.This is where SEO comes in. Sometimes all a website needs to do to be found accurately is for it to get indexed by various search engines. However, in most cases there is a lot more work required for a website to be found right. We will go into the various strategies involved with SEO in future posts. I will also discuss Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is strongly related to SEO but quite different.

In a nutshell, that is my definition of Search Engine Optimisation. I'm sure a lot of you have your own definitions of SEO and I would love to hear about them. Feel free to drop a comment or two to tell me what you think about my definition or to give your own definitions.


Update: I've been looking for a basic diagram for SEO which I did months ago and I finally found it! so here it is...

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