By the late 90s with the advent of more advanced searched engines, things started to change. In a broader sense, search giants like Google indexes through millions of websites over the internet with the help of web-crawlers and creating a model of data using complex mathematical indexing algorithms. So, whenever a user tries to search something, he or she is provided with the most relevant info instead of being slammed with something which is just better advertised.
The relevancy (or rank) of a website, as mentioned above, is determined by the algorithms these engines employ. Google, for example, uses certain standards by which it determines the rank of a particular website and rates in its system. Thus, to get a higher ranking in Google’s system (or any other search engine) we need to design or modify our website in accordance with its algorithms which in turn could generate more traffic to our website. This process is known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
Importance of SEO
The current internet usage trend shows that more than 90% of internet usage is search queries. To get noticed online, it becomes crucial to adapt these patterns and adjust your online strategy to reap maximum benefits. Since Google is currently the biggest search giant by its market share, we’ll be using Google Search as an example.
For a particular search, Google returns around millions of different results in less than a second from its system, which it finds most relevant for the search query. These millions of search results are displayed in a particular order and are spread throughout thousands of pages. Statistically, most of the users don’t even click on the second page, and on the first page itself, the first three organic search results have over 90% of chance being clicked. So basically, if your website doesn’t show on the first page of the search result, then it is non-existent. We do not have to explain the seriousness of this situation. To get your website to rank higher on the search results, you need to use SEO techniques.
All these techniques mentioned above are the ‘legitimate’ ways by which we can improve our website’s ranking. Using these techniques, we are putting more emphasis on Human Readers instead of search engines by creating more relevant content. This would turn out to be beneficial in the long run and would help in increasing the authenticity of a website. These guidelines come under the ethics of SEO practices and thus are called Ethical SEO or popularly as White-Hat SEO.
SEO is more like a technique or a concept which branches out further into more complex topics instead of being any single tangible thing. The scope of this article is limited to elaborating on SEO abstractly and briefly.