What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the techniques and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (Webopedia, 2016). The higher a website ranks in the organic results of a search on search engines like Google or Yahoo, the greater chances the site will be visited by users. In this Innovation Session, Shashika Gunasena from the CAKE OLO Team delved into the topic of SEO and how it plays a major role in helping users and organizations in making web browsing easier.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Search Engines have automated programs called SPIDERS which crawl the internet by following links from one page to another. As they go, they gather data on the content of a page and other factors, then index and rank them according to unique algorithms. When a user searches about a particular topic online, the search engine will present a search engine results page (SERPs) based on the rankings they have made. There are two categories of search engine optimization; on-site and off-site SEO. On-site SEO deals directly with the website where the search engine supports users to find the content they are looking for. Off-site SEO is a different concept where it is similar to a blog which refers to a particular website. Once the search engine SPIDERS read the content, it finds the back links to other websites related to the content. As of June 2016, Google dominates the search engine market with over 1,5000,000,000 estimated monthly visitors.
The Evolution of Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization has followed a steady path of evolution since the inception of data indexing and delivery during the 1990s, which led to the early days of the growth of the internet. The Middle Ages began when Google started leading the search engine market by the introduction of Google Trends, Google Analytics and Google Suggest. It was not until 2010 to 2012 that the concept of “content is king” came up, further highlighting the importance of online content aiding in commerce and learning. The modern age of the internet places a significant value on Search Engine Optimization, thanks to the ever advancing growth of social media usage and mobile optimization. Thus Shashika addresses the fact that the development of SEO has aided people and businesses in many aspects of efficiency and effectivity.
Why Use SEO?
As mentioned before, to ensure a webpage is SEO optimized, there are a number of key strategies that need to be implemented and which are carried out by different people within an organization. Keyword optimization of online content for example, lies in the domain of marketing and copywriting while UI/UX engineers and front end engineers ensure a site is SEO optimized by maintaining a clear flow of content ranging from text, images and videos. Other important factors to consider is the proper usage of HTML elements and attributes, ensuring no broken links. Shashika highlights that a good SEO strategy is essential for any organization in order to avoid over density of keywords, irrelevant content and higher loading time for pages, overall giving the most optimum experience to users when searching their related content.
In the long run, he foresees a good future for SEO where social content will gain prominence and mobile optimization will become crucial. New features such as voice search functions will rise someday, along with the growth of mobile app usage.