What is seo?

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SEO means Search Engine Optimization và is the process used lớn optimize a website"s technical configuration, content relevance and liên kết popularity so its pages can become easily findable, more relevant and popular towards user search queries, and as a consequence, search engines rank them better.

Search engines recommover SEO efforts that benefit both the user tìm kiếm experience and page’s ranking, by featuring nội dung that fulfills user tìm kiếm needs. This includes the use of relevant keywords in titles, meta descriptions, và headlines (H1), featuring descriptive URLs with keyword rather than strings of numbers, and schema markup to specify the page"s nội dung meaning, aước ao other SEO best practices.


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Search engines help people find what they’re looking for online. Whether researching a hàng hóa, looking for a restaurant, or booking a vacation, search engines are a comtháng starting point when you need information. For business owners, they offer a valuable opportunity to direct relevant traffic to lớn your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of orienting your website to lớn rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP) so that you receive sầu more traffic. The ayên ổn is typically khổng lồ rank on the first page of Google results for tìm kiếm terms that mean the most to lớn your target audience. So, SEO is as much about understanding the wants & needs of your audience as it is about the technical nature of how to configure your website.

Here are the basics.

How vị tìm kiếm engines work?

Search engines provide results for any search query a user enters. To bởi vì so, they survey and “understand” the vast network of websites that make up the website. They run a sophisticated algorithm that determines what results to display for each search query.

Why SEO focuses on Google

To many people, the term “search engine” is synonymous with Google, which has about 92% of the global tìm kiếm engine market. Because Google is the dominant search engine, SEO typically revolves around what works best for Google. It’s useful to have sầu a clear understanding of how Google works and why.

What Google wants

Google is designed to lớn deliver the best search experience to lớn its users, or searchers. That means providing the most relevant results, as quickly as possible.

The 2 core elements of the search experience are the tìm kiếm term (the user input) và the tìm kiếm results (the output).

Let’s say you search “thangvi.com guides and tutorials.” This is a clear, unambiguous search. Google understands what you’re asking for, and it delivers a useful page as the top organic result—thangvi.com’s own page with that title.

From Google’s perspective, this is a very good tìm kiếm result and a positive sầu user experience, because it’s likely that the user will cliông xã the top result and be happy with the outcome.

How Google makes money

Google profits from people trusting & valuing its search service. It achieves this by delivering useful tìm kiếm results.

Google also provides businesses with the opportunity lớn pay for an advertorial placement at the top of tìm kiếm result pages. The word “Ad” indicates these listings. Google makes money when searchers click on these pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, which you purchase through AdWords. You’ll see these ads on more generic queries in particular.

Other than the small label, these search results look almost indistinguishable from other tìm kiếm results. Of course, this is intentional, as lots of users clichồng on these results without realizing that they’re ads.

This is what Google counts on. Advertising revenues accounted for more than 80% of the $182.5 billion that Google generated in 20trăng tròn. So while search functions remain its core hàng hóa, it depends on its advertising business.

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The anatomy of search results

SERPs consist of paid search results & “organic” search results, where the organic results don’t contribute to lớn Google’s revenue. Instead, Google delivers organic results based on its assessment of a site’s relevance & chất lượng. Depending on the type of search query, Google will also include different elements on the SERP, like maps, images, or videos.

The volume of ads on a SERPhường. depends on what users have searched. If you were lớn search the word “shoes,” for example, you’d likely find a substantial number of the top results are ads. In fact, you’ll probably have sầu khổng lồ scroll down the page to lớn find the first organic result.

A query like this usually generates so many ads because there’s a svào chance that the searcher is looking to buy shoes online, and there are lots of shoe companies willing to lớn pay for a feature in the AdWords results for this query.

On the other hvà, if you tìm kiếm for something like “Atlanta Falcons,” your results will be different. Because this tìm kiếm is mostly tied to lớn the professional American football team by that name, the top results relate to lớn that. But it’s still a less clear query. You’ll find news stories, a knowledge graph, & their homepage. These 3 kinds of results at the top indicate that Google doesn’t know the precise intention of your search, but provides quichồng pathways to learn about the team, read their lademo news, or go khổng lồ their website.

Since there appears lớn be no purchase intent behind the query, advertisers are not willing khổng lồ bid for the keyword, so there are no AdWords results.

However, if you change the query to “Atlanta Falcons hat,” which signals to Google that you might be shopping, the SERPhường results change to feature more sponsored results.

The role of SEO

The goal of SEO is to lớn raise your ranking in organic tìm kiếm results. There are different practices for optimizing AdWords, shopping, and local results.

While it may appear that so many competing elements taking up real estate on SERPs push the organic listings down, SEO can still be a very powerful, lucrative effort.

Considering that Google processes billions of search queries daily, organic tìm kiếm results are a very large slice of a very large pie. And while there is some up-front & ongoing investment required to secure & maintain organic rankings, every cliông chồng that sends traffic to lớn your trang web is completely không tính tiền.

Written by Patriông chồng Hathaway for thangvi.com. Patrick is a co-founder of Sitebulb, a technical SEO auditing tool.