What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization (SEO Search Engine Optimization) is a discipline of online marketing and describes the technical and content optimization of a website, with the aim of certain keywords on the top places of the search results pages of a search engine to appear.

History of Search Engine Optimization

The beginning of search engine optimization can roughly be located in the mid-1990s. Back then, search engine optimization was mainly a manipulation of search results, with the aim of bringing dubious pages to the front or disrupting the way the search engine was working. So-called black hat methods such as keyword stuffing or cloaking were frequently used.

When Larry Page and Sergei Brin integrated the PageRank algorithm into the Google search engine in 1998, the then black hat search engines “optimizers” began to set massive spam links on other sites. The background to this was the functionality of the PageRank algorithm: the more links point to a page, the higher the relevance of this website for a particular keyword.

Today’s commercial search engine optimizers have strayed as far as possible from the black hat practices of the 90s and 00s. On the one hand, this is due to Google’s regular updates and anti-spam measures, which expose and penalize practically every single black hat method. On the other hand, on the experience that a white hat method is worthwhile and pays off in the long term. In addition, SEOs communicate more and more closely with Google: If Google’s goal is to offer the user the best result for his search query, this is also worthwhile for SEOs, whose customers want to be found when a user searches for the respective offer of the customer. Scatter losses should be minimized in this way

The success of today’s SEOs is based on a technically clean structure and programming of the website, a flawless user experience on the website and content marketing (or public relations) on the Internet. The terms OnPage SEO for working on the website and OffPage SEO for working on their pages to generate links have established themselves in the industry, but are currently losing some of their definition power due to a constantly changing market.

OnPage SEO

With OnPage all measures on the content and the (HTML) structure of a website are meant. A rough distinction can be made between technical and content-related OnPage SEO.

Technical SEO

Everything that has the goal of better indexing the website by the search engines is part of technical SEO. This includes things like the page loading speed, the control of the crawlers, the (logical) page infrastructure and the setup of the server. The HTML structure is not counted for technical SEO.

Content SEO / OnSite SEO

The entire creation and setting of the content of a page as well as the HTML structure are counted as content SEO, also called OnSite SEO. The goal is twofold: On the one hand, the crawler of a search engine should be given the correct data about the content and the intention of the website. For this purpose, the mainly textual content of a website is created. On the other hand, the user should be able to navigate the website as intuitively as possible (e.g. using breadcrumb navigation), and added informational added value. These goals can also be transferred to commercial offers on the Internet: The customer of an online shop wants to have all the important information about and about a product and to experience the simplest possible process when ordering.

Sometimes there are content-related differences in on-page optimization, depending on the corporate objective. The aim of local search engine optimization is to rank well in a particular region and to leave out other regions. An online shop makes different demands on the know-how of an SEO than a blog or a static company presence on the Internet. The conversion rate optimization is also included in the on-site optimization.

OffPage SEO

According to gradchem.com, OffPage SEO is understood to mean all measures that aim to generate backlinks for a website.

Link building – link exchange, link purchase, spam links

With the use of the PageRank algorithm, link building was born. In the past, this was limited to using all possible means to set as many backlinks as possible to a page on the Internet. So-called spam links still exist today: the comment function is often flooded with tons of spam comments just to leave a link. Even today, the “hacking” of websites in order to place camouflaged links on the site still occurs in exceptional cases. With the Penguin Update 2012 and the penalty for obviously bought links, Google was able to shift the focus of off-page optimization from link building to link marketing.

Link Marketing – Content Marketing

Link marketing describes methods with which links are to be generated by other users. Instead of actively setting links yourself, you offer helpful, original or humorous content via social networks and on your own website. This should be shared or linked, solely because of its added value. Link marketing also means that thematically appropriate blogs and newspapers, journals or magazines are researched with the aim of exchanging high-quality content for a backlink. Link marketing is closely related to content marketing.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)