Search engine optimization

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic [2] or paid traffic. Unpaid traffic may originate from different kinds of searches, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.[1]


Website owners recognized the value of a high ranking and visibility in search engine results, creating an opportunity for both white-hat and black-hat SEO practitioners. According to industry analyst Danny Sullivan, the phrase "search engine optimization" probably came into use in 1997. Sullivan credits Bruce Clay as one of the first people to popularize the term.


As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, the computer-programmed algorithms that dictate search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.[2] SEO is performed because a website will receive more visitors from a search engine when websites rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). These visitors can then potentially be converted into customers.[3]


Search engine optimization is a key part of online marketing because search is one of the primary ways that users navigate the web. Search results are presented in an ordered list, and the higher up on that list a site can get, the more traffic it will tend to receive.[4]

For example, for a typical search query, the number one result will receive 40-60% of the total traffic for that query, with the number two and three results receiving significantly less traffic. Only 2–3% of searchers click beyond the first page of search results. Thus, even a small improvement in search engine rankings can result in a website receiving more traffic and potentially more business. Because of this, many businesses and website owners will try to manipulate the search results so that their site shows up higher on the search results page (SERP) than their competitors. This is where SEO comes in.[5]


SEO is critical for online businesses and websites for several reasons:[6]

  • Higher ROI: Properly executed SEO efforts can provide a high return on investment due to increased traffic and potential conversions.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to paid advertising, SEO can provide a long-lasting source of organic traffic without ongoing advertising costs.
  • Increased Visibility: Higher search engine rankings lead to more visibility, which in turn brings in more organic traffic.
  • Credibility and Trust: Websites that appear at the top of search results are often perceived as more credible and trustworthy.[7]
  • Better User Experience: SEO involves improving various aspects of a website that also contribute to a better user experience


  1. Digital Marketing - Internet Marketing Services
  2. [1] from WhiteCat link building agency
  3. Website Success - Website Strategies
  4. Designful Inc - Game-Changing Marketing Agency
  5. Is link building still relevant to SEO?
  6. Rankstar services Google Penalty Recovery
  7. Search Engine Optimizing For Europe