Understanding Google Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): A Comprehensive Overview
What is SEO?
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a multifaceted process aimed at enhancing a website's technical configuration, content relevance, and link popularity. This optimization makes web pages more easily discoverable, relevant, and popular to user search queries, ultimately resulting in improved search engine rankings.
Search engines advocate for SEO strategies that enhance the user search experience while also benefiting a page's ranking. Key practices include incorporating pertinent keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and headlines (H1), utilizing descriptive URLs with keywords instead of numerical strings, and implementing schema markup to clarify the content's meaning.
The Role of Search Engines
Search engines play a pivotal role in helping individuals find information online, whether they are researching a product, seeking a restaurant, or planning a vacation. For business owners, search engines offer a valuable opportunity to direct relevant traffic to their websites.
How Search Engines Operate
Search engines fulfill search queries entered by users. To achieve this, they systematically survey and comprehend the extensive network of websites constituting the internet. An intricate algorithm governs the determination of the results to display for each search query.
Why SEO Focuses on Google
Google is the dominant search engine, commanding approximately 83% of the global search engine market. Consequently, SEO strategies primarily revolve around Google. A profound understanding of how Google operates and why is crucial.
Google's primary objective is to deliver an exceptional search experience to its users. This entails promptly providing the most pertinent search results.
Core Elements of a Search Experience
The two core elements of a search experience are the search term (user input) and the search results (output). For instance, if you input "Mailchimp guides and tutorials," Google comprehends your request and delivers Mailchimp's page as the top organic result. This outcome aligns with Google's mission to furnish valuable search results and a positive user experience.
Google's Revenue Model
Google derives its profits from users trusting and valuing its search service. This trust is fostered by delivering relevant search results. Additionally, Google offers businesses the opportunity to pay for advertorial placements at the top of search result pages, marked with the label "Ad." Google generates income when users click on these pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, managed through Google Ads. In fact, advertising revenues accounted for over 80% of the $279.8 billion generated by Google in 2022.
Components of Search Results
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) consist of both paid search results and "organic" search results. While PPC ads contribute to Google's revenue, organic results are based on Google's assessment of a site's relevance and quality. The volume of ads on a SERP depends on the search query's nature. For example, a search for "shoes" generates numerous ads, reflecting strong purchase intent. Conversely, a query like "Atlanta Falcons" yields different results since it relates to various aspects of the football team, leading to fewer ads.
The Role of SEO
SEO's objective is to enhance a website's ranking in organic search results. Different practices are employed for optimizing AdWords, shopping, and local results. Despite the apparent competition for space on SERPs, SEO remains a potent and lucrative effort, considering the massive volume of daily Google searches. While upfront and ongoing investments are necessary to secure and maintain organic rankings, each click directing traffic to a website is cost-free.