Updated: Jun 16
What is SEO?
SEO is a noun, short for search engine optimization. In practice, search engine optimization is the process of making your website search engine-friendly. Search engine friendly means bots can crawl your website and precisely determine what it is about and what user questions it answers. Once the bots have determined your website's value, a search engine will rank you on the SERP, i.e., the search engine results page. Businesses use SEO to boost the number of visitors to a particular website. In doing so, they get more sales and leads than they ordinarily would through conventional marketing techniques such as email, cold-calling, or paid advertising techniques.
When Was SEO Invented?
Like a lot of great and complicated things, SEO like us is a millennial. That's right, SEO is goal orientated, focused on making a difference, innovative, and was born in 1991. As search engine usage steadily grew through the 90s, SEO grew up with them. However, some true things then are still true now. Search engines rank according to the usability, validity, and relevance of your site compared to keywords users use to search for an answer to their particular questions. The secret to successful SEO is to provide the answers to the user's questions by using similar keywords in your titles, content, and backlinks. If you follow this simple structure, you will have a solid ranking on the search engine results page.
Is SEO Free?
Technically, SEO is free. However, if time is a commodity you value, SEO costs a lot of time. This is because SEO or search engines like Google and Bing value content, backlinks, and page structure. So if you were to focus on SEO as a marketing tool, you would need to create content. This means creatively answering user questions through compelling keyword-optimized blogs. Backlinks are also challenging to develop as they usually include creating content, finding high-quality, relevant links, and negotiating link placement with a provider. Finally, page optimization means knowing best practices concerning title tags, https, flow, and linking. So yes, SEO is a costly time-orientated practice that is only getting more and more complicated. However, sometimes people confuse SEO with paid advertising, colloquially known as PPC. SEO is free activities while PPC is paid activities such as Google ads etc.; when you combine the two, you get search engine marketing.
Does SEO Apply To All Search Engines, i.e., Bing SEO vs. Google SEO?
SEO applies to all search engines. That means all the blogs, infographics, videos, courses, and content you digest relate to Bing and Google. However, Google dominates the global search engine market in 2021 and has done for some years. Therefore, SEO is coming to be known as Google Optimization, and threads are developing for other search engines like Bing optimization. The key thing to remember is that if you are focused on Bing optimization, follow the Bing webmaster guidelines and are concentrated in Google optimization, follow the Google webmaster guidelines.
To learn more about backlinks and backlink strategy, check out our ultimate guide to SEO.