What is SEO
A lot of information (mostly of an advertising nature) will come out in search engines for the query “what is SEO”. Some resources, answering this question, quote each other, some give their own definitions of SEO, but this does not add clarity to the question.
What is especially interesting: some resources do not even write “SEO” in English, but “SEO” in Russian, introducing some confusion in understanding the issue. This abbreviation is not deciphered in any way, since it is written in Russian letters of the English letter combination, accordingly it does not carry any meaning.
Wikipedia defines SEO as follows:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of measures for internal and external optimization, to raise the site’s position in the results of search engines for certain user requests, in order to increase traffic (for information resources) and potential customers (for commercial resources) and the subsequent monetization of this traffic.
I agree with this definition. But for an unprepared user, information from Wikipedia can seem a little complicated and confusing.
Here is the definition that I give when I explain this question to my clients:
- SEO is any action aimed at bringing your site or any other resource of yours to the top positions of search engines to attract visitors.
- Here I am expanding on SEO. This is not only direct promotion of your site, but also indirectly attracting visitors to your site by posting your materials on other Internet resources.
So, I distinguish two types of SEO:
- Direct SEO is the direct promotion of your own site, when a search engine gives a link to this site in the results at the request of a visitor.
- Indirect SEO is the promotion of your company by posting your materials on other Internet resources in order to subsequently attract visitors to your site. In this case, the result of search results does not lead to your own site, but to someone else’s, from where visitors, if they are interested in the information, can go to you.
If the way direct SEO works is clear enough – the search engines themselves write about this, direct SEO services are offered by various specialists and companies, then additional explanations are needed regarding indirect SEO.
How Indirect SEO Works:
- You post an informational article (specifically informational, not advertising) related to the product of your activity on any relevant Internet resource (forum, community, Internet publication).
- Your article can reach the top positions of the search results for certain queries.
- A user visits this resource, reads your article.
- If a visitor is interested in your information and you, he can become a visitor to your site (follow the link from the article to your site, if the Internet resource allows you to place links, either by the name of the company, or by the name and surname).
A living example is my article “What are CRM systems and how to choose them correctly”, which I posted on Habrahabr. It ranks second after Wikipedia in Google search results for the query “What is CRM” or simply “CRM”. Many of my clients found me precisely because of this and other articles posted on Habrahabr, went to my site and contacted me personally. It’s indirect SEO, but it’s still SEO. I get search engine visitors, although not directly through my site.
Nowhere without history
In order to better understand what SEO is and how the current situation has developed, we need to dive into the history of the issue. When search engines first appeared (from the Russian ones, they were Rambler, Mail, Yandex), the influence of sites on the search results was great, since there were not so many sites themselves as now, and the search engines themselves were not yet so developed.
What time was it? It was a time of experimentation. The Internet (in its modern sense) was only in its infancy at that time. Accordingly, many practices have not yet been developed. Search engines were then one of the sources of information. They were not so highly developed and had not yet dictated their terms to the market.
I still found such a time when sites were called by ear, or transmitted direct links, and their names were entered directly into the address bar. Today, even if the name of the site is known, as a rule, it is still entered into a search engine. Some today do not even know what an address bar is, and in almost all browsers it is no longer just an address bar, but a search bar.
How was SERP ranking before? The search engines took into account the following data:
- page structure (so-called meta tags, headings, keywords);
- the number of links leading to the site.
The more links led to the site and the more technically correct the page was designed, the more likely the site was to be in the top positions of the search results.
What is really most important in a site platform from a search engine perspective:
- The speed of the site and page opening. The platform must provide a high speed of work. The faster the site opens, the better for the user in the first place. And if you achieved speed faster from some bulky CMS than from some publicized framework, then the platform does not matter.
- Mobile version of the site. We must not forget that mobile versions are gaining momentum now. Your site engine must either support a mobile version or use a responsive design.