Updated SEO definition 2014

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. The acronym “SEOs” can also refer to “Search Engine Optimizers”. These are consultants (like myself), who perform optimization projects for their clients, or in-house SEOs that work as an employee for a business.

SEO is not new. It began in the mid 1990s. Today SEO is hot – and everyone seems to be doing it. And… depending on whom you ask, the definition of SEO can vary greatly.

Web Developers may describe it as building a “Search Engine Friendly” website. In other words, a site design that allows Search Engines to crawl and index content on the site. It could also mean installing a SEO module that allows for Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Keywords to be implement in a site’s code. Content creators that do “SEO”, may develop new relevant content for a website. And… then there are Webmasters. SEO can simply be submitting various XML sitemaps to the major Search Engines. The list goes on and on….

So what exactly is SEO?

According to Wikipedia, their definition is as follows…

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.”

While we don’t disagree with Wikipedia’s definition our favourite is from Jill Whalen from High Rankings.

“Search Engine Optimization – Making a website be the best it can be for the search engines as well as the site visitors. (This is High Rankings official definition!)”

While “Search” is key to finding anything on the web, it is web visitors that convert (they buy, sign-up, join etc…) – not Search Engines. We believe websites should be built for people (first and foremost) – taking Search Engines into consideration during the development process.

WebFuel’s official definition, however, takes it one step further (beyond just the website).

“SEO” stands for “Search Everything Optimization”.

We believe that anything that can appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) should be optimized. This, of course, includes Social Media.

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