Google has changed the language of the Internet. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is currently most sought after buzzword. Almost every person on the Internet whether content creators, marketing executives, blog writers, digital marketing and social media teams among many others remain focused to make their creations SEO friendly. They seek to decode the ever-changing algorithm and guidelines drawn by Google and other search engine companies to make their presence visible. What makes them so curious is the wide popularity and reach search engines enjoy, especially Google.
The Google which is the pioneer in SEO technology, keep changing the algorithm for its search engine. It makes their search engine more optimum and useful for the users. As with any other technology in the modern world, it gets used for malicious purposes. SEO has its own challenges in the form of spammers, click-baits, false advertising and fake news. As the competition becomes stiffer for various stakeholders to get into the top search results, the intent to manipulate the SEO to gain a foothold or get a lead against competitors becomes more desirable.
What is SEO? In simple terms, SEO is the method by which different websites or portals can secure higher ranking and thus become more accessible to search engine users or targeted customers. This effectively means generating organic or natural traffic by redesigning the web pages and redefining the content. The primary focus of any SEO technique is to gain as much attention as possible. It is an open secret that most viewers or users rarely go beyond the first search engine result page(SERP). That is why it becomes imperative for companies or website owners to make their website rank high to appear within first SERP. Coming on the second or later search engine result page almost makes them invisible.
SEO and its opportunities
Why SEO? The question is always asked by naive, inexperienced and uninitiated webmasters and web page owners. The answer lies in the numerous possibilities the SEO provides. Constantly increasing competition drives the companies, the portals, the websites and the web apps to indulge in some remodeling of web pages. This tweaking allows them to generate some extra traffic to their sites.
The Google and other search engines have become the gateway to information for its users. Whether to find any information, person, place or object; these search engines direct us to most relevant or popular results. We choose the most suitable option among many given in the form of search results. We click and open the results to verify ourselves whether a particular link or search result is relevant to us or not. However, due to time constraints or our short attention span, we often ignore the search results that go beyond the first page.
The behavior mentioned above of users becomes the primary reason for companies or webmasters to employ SEO techniques to enhance their visibility and thereby the increase in the traffic. Substantial time constraints and too much competition encourage them to push for SEO.
SEO has many opportunities for small traders, businessmen, start-ups or individuals to get noticed by the crowd or online users. Small changes in title or heading, including most searched keywords, updating content, including links to relevant websites and other such manipulations, yield in better visibility and increase in overall ranking. Improving UX design services and UI elements make the web page more appealing and interactive. This enhances users’ traffic on the web page.
It must be noted that besides the quantity of traffic, webmasters should also focus on the quality of traffic. There is no advantage in attracting motorcycle user traffic to visit a car selling website. Traffic may get increased but soon it will bounce off, and users will leave the website. This will also depreciate the overall ranking of the web page.
SEO and its challenges
The SEO has opened the floodgates for dubious and malicious content. SEO had made easy for spammers, click-baiters, false advertising and fake news to make prominent space in search engine results. The advertisers and spammers take advantage of existing SEO techniques to promote their own websites and products to the users. Bogus websites with links to third-party products and propaganda content have also increased over time.
It is not only the individuals who participate in spamming or propaganda. Some well-known brands also indulge in creating backlinks on various blogs or web pages directing to their own portal with false or misleading information.
Apart from spamming and propaganda, there are some technical issues with SEO that need to be refined further. Such as duplicate web pages, poor link structures, reading non-text content like audio, video, images or Flash files. They also find difficulty in matching correct results for offensive or archaic words, language differences in spelling of words (‘color’ or ‘color’), unclear contextual meanings between posts and their headings and native language searches.
After receiving the complaints from the users or finding violations, pages are often banned. However, we still find many violations by subtle and sophisticated means, despite all the efforts from search giants to weed out the malicious, dubious and misleading content.
Ultimately, it is a collective effort to make online searching an enjoyable, enlightening and satisfactory experience for all the concerned parties.SEO has made the life easy for many individuals and entities that want to create awareness about their products, services or purpose. It has also served the interests of users by delivering the best and most relevant results to them. However, the dubious and misleading content has made the life difficult for users. It also has forced search engine companies to form specific guidelines as well as strictly following them in greater interest.