What SEO Is – and Isn’t

SEO sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s dead. It’s a scam. It’s cheating. People offering SEO are ripping you off.  And while any of those statements CAN be true, it is also true that SEO is a legitimate marketing practice that can yield great results.

Let’s have a closer look at what SEO is, and isn’t.

SEO is Dead

No, it isn’t. But the definitions and best practices change regularly. So SEO as it was done ten years ago, or 5 years ago, is dead.

The business is not dead, and in fact when done responsibly, is encouraged by Google. They’ve provided a useful guide on hiring SEO help. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

Quote from Google:

 “Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners.”

SEO is a Scam or Rip-off

Well yes, it can be. But just because your last mechanic didn’t fix your car doesn’t mean they’re all rip-off artists. There are many SEOs who follow search engine guidelines, care about your business success, and employ a range of techniques that work in concert to make your website more visible, and more valuable to your customers.

Another quote from Google, if we may.

“Some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways.”

Some are unethical. Most are not. They provide a legitimate marketing service.

Done properly and ethically, SEO is actually valuable to search engines. It helps them return search results that are most relevant to their customers – the people doing the searches.

Done properly and ethically, #SEO is actually valuable to search engines. Click To Tweet

What SEO Is

Assuming you’ve found an ethical company, or have taken the time to learn what’s ethical if you’re doing it yourself, SEO is a unique marketing process that helps qualified customers find your products, services or ideas.

There is no one thing that “is” SEO.  It is a process of getting traffic to your site from search engines, and involves everything from ensuring your website functions properly under the hood (to continue the mechanic metaphor), to researching what your customers are searching for, to writing valuable content.

Search engine algorithms measure a lot of factors – 200 or so – in determining where a site should rank for any given search. SEO is about getting as many of those factors right as you can, and knowing which ones are most important.

Parting thought: SEO is a wonderful tool but remember who your website is ultimately for…your visitors.

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