What is SEO and how to use it in your business?
What is SEO?
The term SEO (Search Engine Marketing Optimization) refers to the work of understanding search algorithms and optimizing your online presence to be more friendly with search engines allowing your content to position in an appropriate way to its potential in search results.
What does SEO not do?
SEO does not guarantee positioning, it has no magic or manual formula. SEO is not a resource to deceive search engines or to position content that is not that relevant to the user. Many even try to use it this way, a few succeed, but the risks outweigh the benefits.
A little of history
When search engines started to gain importance in website traffic in the late 1990s, search engines were still rudimentary tools compared to today. Lists of results in alphabetical order or very simple algorithms gave a great weight to the number of incidences of a keyword in the content of the page.
At this time it was common to see sites ranked in the top positions by simply repeating words in the text or code on the site. This, of course, led to a series of abuses by webmasters, damaging the user experience, since the results were no longer relevant.
That’s how some algorithm changes started that changed the way search engines interpreted relevance. One of the main changes in the algorithm was the introduction of Google’s Page Rank, which considered links that pointed to pages as if they were votes, not only for quantity, but especially for context and quality. Google founder Larry Page came up with the idea, hence the name “PAGE rank”.
The evolution of SEO
SEO evolves as algorithms evolve. With the introduction of page rank, the power to influence searches starts to get out of the hands of webmasters, reducing the direct influence of code and content. From there a series of updates, focusing on the user experience, begin to happen.
Google, for example, performs hundreds of algorithmic updates each year. In the same vein, Microsoft incorporates the browser rank, which considers the user’s navigation after clicking on the result, a factor that is made possible by the browser property. Google follows the same line with Chrome.
With the growth in the importance and use of social networks , interactions in these networks also begin to influence the results in recent years. Hence, not only the content and quotations become important, but also the context and meaning of these interactions, in a process of transformation where the semantics start to make more and more sense.
The modern SEO
All of these algorithm changes make modern SEO more and more focused on the user experience. Having unique, relevant content that influences interactions is an increasingly significant part of modern SEO. More than that, the view of the context to the detriment of the page and the keyword becomes the focus of both strategies and analysis. Being an authority on the content of your area becomes a priority for search professionals.
And the future …
What we currently see as a major trend for SEO is predictive search, where, equipped with behavioral information, search history, location and other data, the search engine tries to anticipate what information will be useful to the user at a given moment and send this information before even if it does a search.
Example: when arriving at an airport (identified by GPS or wifi triangulation) for an international flight, Google can interpret the flight number in its schedule, identify which country it is going to and anticipate the conversion value from its local currency to currency country of destination.
With the popularization of mobile and mobile applications, not to mention the potential of the internet of things and wearables, the search increasingly points to a model in which the relevant information reaches the user even before they do a search, often even before him to know that he needs certain information.
Applications such as Siri (Apple), Now (Google) and Cortana (Microsoft) introduce not only voice search in a more natural way, but also anticipating people’s needs. Today, for example, Google Now can now tell you what time you need to leave home for a meeting, considering information about your schedule and traffic. The possibilities here are endless and this is probably where we will see the next big changes in search.
Whatever it is that all search engineers agree is that the search is still in its infancy and we will see major transformations in this market in the coming years, with that the practice of SEO should change a lot and the future will be both challenging and promising for professionals who are attuned and follow and understand these changes.