What Is SEO AKA Search Engine Optimization?

It’s common to see people advertising the secrets to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Many people claim to have the ‘secret formula’, or the ‘proven method’ of internet marketing that will gain you instant success. However, to fully understand how many of these claims are dubious, it’s good to understand what SEO really is.












The end goal of Search Engine Optimization is to have an existing website be present in the top of search engine results (example, Google.com) when someone searches for a key phrase related to that website or business. For example, SEO is good if you own a small flower shop in Austin, Texas, and you want your website to be found by people searching for ‘Flower Shop in Austin Texas’.

However, search engine companies use complex algorithms to determine which websites are most relevant for individual key phrases (such as ‘Flower Shop in Austin Texas’). These results can not be purchased or ‘influenced’ by any amount of cash. It is Google’s end goal to provide users with the best search results possible, and therefore, they use their own criteria, which is unknown to the public, to rank websites in the order they see fit. While it’s not possible to purchase top rankings, it is possible to influence the way Google sees your website, and therefore the rankings.

Google uses a variety of elements to decide what a website is about and how credible the information is. These are the main two factors that determine how Google displays your website: