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What is Search Engine Optimization? (SEO)

Updated on October 6, 2011

Search Engine Optimization has been defined in several ways, some experts don’t consider it as marketing whilst others consider it as a type of marketing. Actually if you never heard about SEO and read all its various definitions you would still end up asking what it is. Here is my definition of SEO, short but still very explanatory:

Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is an art of marketing – the art of making a website rank within the organic listings of search engines with the objective of maximizing the website's exposure.

I’m sure that the above definition raised many eyebrows but hold on; I’m going to explain it.

First of all, SEO is a form of marketing. Many argue that since ranking organically in search engines is free it should not be considered as marketing. Whilst I respect their opinion, I totally disagree with them as first of all SEO is rarely free as one normally has to invest a certain amount of money in tools and man power to rank for competitive keywords. Secondly, check out the definition of marketing by Oxford Dictionaries – the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. Is SEO done to promote something? Yes, it promotes websites therefore it is marketing, that’s why in my opinion Search Engine Marketing should refer to both PPC and SEO (I will discuss this in more depth in another hub).

Now that I’ve explained why SEO is marketing, I‘m also going to share with you my views on why I consider it to be an art of marketing. As many of you might already know normally marketing, in simple words, is made up of research, negotiation and getting the actual advert up and running to promote something. With SEO all this changes, as one still has to do research but then instead of paying someone to get the message shown (rank organically) the marketer has to go through a whole process to get his website to rank. This process is very vast, so vast that it normally requires more than one person to work on it. To start off there are on–site factors that need to be tackled such as having a website coded well (making sure its SEO friendly) and writing good quality unique content on it. Then there are also off-site factors that make up SEO (also known as Off-Site SEO) such as obtaining quality links from other websites. I haven’t even scratched the surface with what I mentioned but my point is that there is so much to do, so many variables in the equation, that in my opinion it makes SEO an art of marketing.

To conclude I would like to say that what I’ve wrote above is my opinion about Search Engine Optimization and I do hope that it won’t confuse anyone. If you’ve got some feedback about what I’ve mentioned above, feel free to leave a comment, I’ll gladly participate in the conversation!

Do you consider SEO to be a form of marketing?

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