What is SEO? The simplest explanation…

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a mysterious science that has baffled every online marketer. If you are an entrepreneur, you have been bombarded with communication from various individuals and agencies about how complicated SEO is and how they can help you achieve high rankings on Google with ease. (Well I say Google, because that’s what matters the most, most of the other search engines are quite irrelevant as of now).

If you are reading this article, you are in good luck, because today I am going to simplify this mystical world for you through a concept that should be refreshingly interesting, fingers crossed 🙂

Here we go;

Long time ago, on the 4th of September, 1998 a child was born. This child unlike other children was very special. It was born blind, it could not see the world in the way we see it. However this was never a major obstacle as the child was destined to go to places man had never been before. The child’s parents were Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Larry and Sergey were PhD students at Stanford University in Stanford, California and had named their child Google. They had worked hard on Google and had even taught it to read Braille (HTML).

Google was a curious kid, always eager to learn. Google was not shy of exploring and could wander aimlessly leaving no stone unturned. Google also had a habit of sharing its learning’s back with Larry & Sergey. Eventually Larry & Sergey realized Google’s potential and decided to let it explore the world more often. Google started visiting (crawl) people at their homes (blogs) and businesses (websites). It would visit a house / shop and understand who lived there by looking at the name plate. Google had great memory and would be able to relate to what it find in a Doctor’s clinic or a fashion store.

Gradually Google had explored a majority of houses and businesses around the world and knew what could be found where. It started sharing this information with people who were seeking help. If you were looking for a Dentist in London, all you had to do is go to Google and ask the question, Google would almost instantly give you a list of all the dentists in London. This was a relatively new phenomenon for a lot of people, especially because a lot of people were new to the Internet and Google was their best friend. It would give them information, quickly and trustworthy. Eventually Google started answering thousands of queries every minute. People from all over the world were reaching out to Google to get answers to their questions.

Google seemed to have thousands of answers to every question that was sent its way, however it would somehow prioritize and rank the recommendations / results it would provide through an undisclosed logic (algorithm). The world wondered how Google did this and what was the logic it used to decide which dentist in london should rank #1 amongst the thousands of others in its list. This uncertainity led to various speculations and the birth of many wizards (Search Engine Optimizers) who claimed to have this knowledge and had the magic potion that could take your website to the top of the charts overnight. Most of these wizards were continously speculating and trying to trick Google into believing that their business / clients business (website) was the best in its category. Some of these wizards believed in working hard and building assets that were worth recommending, whereas a big majority of others would often cook up devious ideas to trick Google into giving them a higher rank. The honest wizards would belong to the White Hat Optimizers clan, while the con artists were believed to be from the Black Hat optimizers clan.

Larry & Sergey realized that they need to explain the logic Google followed and help people avoid getting conned and reward the people who deserved the most. They revealed that Google would rank a business / person (website/blog) on the basis of the experience Google had while visiting (crawling) their business/home and the collective reputation it had built over a period of time.

– If Google came to your home / business and it found alot of Sofas lying around, it would understand you deal in Sofas
– If Google tried to open a door (link) at your home / business and the label on the door said Kitchen, it expected to find kitchen related items in that room
– If Google opened a door that was labelled Kitchen, and found itself in the washroom, it would be annoyed as it was misled.
– If Google tried to open a door that did not explicitly tell it whether it is allowed to enter or not, it would be annoyed
– If Google opened a door to find itself in the trash, it would be annoyed (Something similar happens when we send Google to a 404 page)
– If Google opened a door from your business to reach another business, it would believe you are endorsing this business and trusting it (Link building)
– If you gave Google a map of your house as soon as it visited you, it would be easier for it to explore (sitemaps)

By now you should have got the picture I was trying to build all this while. Search Engine optimization is actually quite easy, as long as you are honest and make it easy for Google to understand you. It was easy to trick a 2 year old Google, but now that Google is an adult (18+ years), its not as easy to trick this blind bot. It is much leaner and intelligent compared to its early years.

Moral of the story : If you want to attract traffic to your website and get ranked well by Google, follow the best practices Google recommends and stay away from the get famous quick / get traffic schemes

About Amit Gupta

Agile Marketer with Digital Acquisition & Production experience. Love converting data into actionable insights.