What Does SEO Do?

Search engines use algorithms to “understand” the web and return relevant results for searches performed via their SERPs (search engine results pages). Each SERP contains links to pages matching your query as well as information such as title, URL and headers of those websites that meet it. When users conduct a search query on any search engine (like Google or Bing) the SERP displays relevant search engine results pages (SERP).

SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to any process undertaken to increase a site’s organic (or “unpaid”) search results on search engines like Google or Bing. An organic listing refers to non-pay listings which appear alongside paid results in SERP listings or as sidebar suggestions on SERP results pages.

As search volumes increase, more businesses are turning to SEO as a means of reaching their target customers. Unfortunately, however, with so much competition taking up space on search engine results pages it can be challenging for organic results to stand out.

Search engine optimization professionals employ several strategies designed to increase both the quality and quantity of organic search traffic to a website, including technical optimizations as well as off-site activities like link building, social media marketing and content promotion.

Search engines use an unknown algorithm to rank websites in their results pages. As a general guideline, however, relevance for specific search queries determines how high they appear in rankings. Search engines take many factors into consideration when ranking pages including targeted keywords, content on the page structure and linking sources.

Reputability is also a significant factor when assessing webpages, which often involves being mentioned by other websites as sources of information or for high-quality content. Links from other sites – or “backlinks” – are one of the primary ranking factors used by search engines’ algorithms to rank websites.

Technical and on-page SEO techniques include using keyword-rich page titles, descriptions and H1 headings; optimizing HTML code for crawlability; using descriptive URLs to display pages accurately; using schema markup to define page meaning; among many other best practices.

SEO is an ever-evolving practice, with new trends and techniques emerging regularly. But the fundamental principles remain the same; creating, curating and promoting high-quality content searchers find useful is what Google advises its users to do for years. That is also why its 2022 Helpful Content algorithm update rewards sites which publish posts which assist searchers with finding what they are searching for.

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