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Title: What is Search Engine Optimization? - Netilly Blog

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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
5 Comments / Digital Marketing, SEO

The invention of the internet and its impact on the way the world works has been nothing less than revolutionary.
Take Google as an example. Today, we have become so dependent on the most popular search engine for nding the
information that we need, that people use its name as a synonym for the word “search.”
Google receives 63,000 search queries per second which translates to 5.6 Billion searches per day! Have you ever
wondered how website links are prioritized on result pages when you search for anything on a search engine like
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Google?
Do you usually click the topmost links which appear on the rst page of the search engine results? A lot of this makes
a fundamental di erence when it comes to businesses engaged in the selling of products and (or) services “online”.
Interestingly, 93% of all website tra

c is majorly driven by search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, etc. If we

speci cally talk about Google, 75% of people searching through web start their searches on Google, and the rst ve
results on Google get 67% of all clicks.
The higher your website link shows up on the search engine result pages (SERPs), the better it is! But how does one
achieve the topmost rankings for their website? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the obvious answer.
SEO is a technique of optimizing one’s website to “rank” higher in the organic SERPs. It is the most e ective method
to generate organic (natural or free) tra

c to your site.

The organic search results are those that appear directly below the top pay-per-click (PPC) adverts in Google, prexed with Ad icon and are most viable for the long-term. Such as highlighted below:

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An Organic Search Result below the Pay Per Click Advertisement

SEO can improve visibility in various other search result sets as well, such as map listings, videos, the knowledge
graph and more.
The SEO industry is expected to reach $80 Billion by 2020 according to a report by Borrell Associates that produces
advertising reports. The whopping number is for businesses in the U.S. alone.
How does SEO Work?
Google (or any other search engine) score their search results based mainly upon relevancy and authority of pages it
has crawled and included – every detail it crawled through- in its web index. That index is fed through an algorithm
that tries to match all that data with user query to provide the best answer.

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Google uses a cluster of ranking factors in its algorithm to score their search results and uses a hyperlink based
algorithm, PageRank, to calculate the popularity and authority of a page. This is still a fundamental factor in ranking
even though Google is far more sophisticated today. In fact, Google keeps updating its algorithm as the behavior of
people changes.
SEO further encompasses technical and creative activities to in uence and improve some of those known ranking
factors. SEO also includes actions to help improve the number and quality of “inbound links” to a website, from other
sites.
Relevant and renowned websites linking to a site is a strong signal to Google that it might be of interest to its users.
This also signi es that the website having backlinks is ‘authoritative’ and can be trusted to appear in the search
results for relevant queries.
Activities involved in SEO?
SEO activities are often grouped into “Onsite SEO” and “O site SEO.” These two categories split practices that can be
performed on a website, and away from a site.
Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO, also known as On-Page SEO, refers to technical activities to improve organic visibility within the website.
This broadly means optimizing the site and content itself to improve the relevancy, accessibility, and experience for
users. Some of the typical activities (though not the complete list) include –
Keyword Research– Understanding the user’s intent and their expectations from their search. Analyzing the
kind of words and frequency used by prospective customers to nd brands, services or products.
Technical Aspects– Ensuring the website can be crawled and indexed and is free from errors or user
experience barriers.
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On-Page Optimization– Improving the website structure, internal navigation, on-page alignment, and content
relevancy to target relevant search phrases.
Content Optimization– Ensuring amazing content with compelling data that establishes subject expertise,
authority and trust, and ultimately provides an excellent user experience.
O site SEO
O site SEO, also known as O -Page SEO, refers to creative activities carried outside of a website to improve organic
visibility. This aims to increase the number of reputable links from other domains hence often mentioned as ‘link
building,’ as search engines use them as scoring for trustworthiness.
Quality links from websites and pages with more trust, popularity, and relevancy pass more value to another domain
than an unknown poor webpage that isn’t trusted by search engines.
Some of the typical activities include –
Digital PR– Strong PR provides reasons for other websites to talk and link to your domain. This might be
internal news ow, writing for external publications, original research, expert interviews, quotes and much
more.
Outreach & Promotion– This involves communicating with key journalists, in uencers, bloggers or webmasters
about a brand, resource, or content to gain coverage and ultimately earn links to a website.
The more quality, relevant sites that link to your website, the higher your position in search engine results will be. If
the site won’t send any visitors, or the audience is entirely irrelevant and unrelated, then it might not really be a link
that’s worth pursuing.
Before we conclude, let’s quickly look at di erent approaches for SEO- black hat and white hat.

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White-Hat SEO, Black-Hat SEO, and Gray-Hat SEO
There are two major approaches to SEO – White-Hat SEO (the ‘good’ kind), and Black-Hat SEO (the ‘shady’ kind).
There are of course di ering opinions about the nature of each of these SEO approaches.
It’s important to remember link schemes such as buying links, exchanging links excessively, or low-quality articles
that aim to manipulate rankings- falls into the category of Black-Hat SEO. These are against Google’s guidelines, and
strict action can be taken by penalizing a website.
The best and most sustainable approach is White-Hat SEO. Best way to improve the inbound links to your website is
earning them rather than buying them. This can be achieved by providing genuine and compelling reasons for sites to
cite and link to your brand for who you are, the service or product you o er or the content you create.
There is another SEO practice called Gray-hat SEO, which is riskier than White-Hat SEO, but may or may not result in
your site being banned from the search engine(s). This may involve tactics which are ill-de ned and could improve
your site’s ranking without negative consequences.
But it’s not wise to get on Google’s wrong side, and if you aren’t sure whether a given method is in violation of
Google’s guidelines or not, it’s best to avoid that tactic.
Conclusion
Investing in SEO can return an exceptional ROI compared to other types of marketing and promotion. However, it
takes three to six months of ongoing e ort for results to come through and requires continuous analytics monitoring.
SEO activities require expertise to carry them though they can also be learned. The other option is to hire professional
SEO experts (like Netilly) to help you out.

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If you’d like to discuss how SEO can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact
details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO Specialists.

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5 thoughts on “What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?”

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liate Marketing? - Netilly : We help grow your business through online marketing

Pingback: Learn how SEO brings organic tra

c to the website. - Netilly Blog

ASHAMPOO WINOPTIMIZER 16 LIZENZSCHLÜSSEL
MAY 28, 2019 AT 1:10 PM

I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again
Reply
NETILLY SUPPORT
JUNE 8, 2019 AT 1:17 PM

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Thanks for your feedback. We appreciate it.
Reply

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