What Is SEO, and What Are Organic Results?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the act of optimizing some kind of website or digital asset to rank higher when a user searches for something on any particular search engine. A search engine is a tool designed to help users find what they’re looking for. The user normally inputs some words, referred to as “keywords,” and the search engine runs those keywords against its database, looking for items that match what it believes users are looking for based on the query.

Google is the largest worldwide search engine.

Photo by Charles Deluvio via Unsplash.

There are hundreds of search engines, many of which we encounter on a daily basis. The most commonly used search engine is Google. Google serves over two trillion searches every year across the globe. However, there are many other search engines we use on a regular basis to help us find what we’re looking for. Amazon uses a search engine to help us find items we might want to purchase. YouTube uses a search engine to help us find videos. Netflix helps us find movies and TV shows, while Apple’s App Store helps us find new apps to download to our phone. Even Google Maps uses a search engine to help us find businesses or other points of interest. Really, search engines power the world today when information is the main asset we need.

Because search engines are so ubiquitous and so many people use them, it’s natural to wonder how the search engine works and how you can get your app, product, film, or website to the top of whatever list the search engine produces. The reason SEO is so important is due to the sheer volume of traffic that is funneled through search engines. Knowing how to get your site or your content to rank higher for keywords within that search engine can lead to some drastic increases in traffic, which could then lead to some drastic increases in conversions.

Before you can optimize for a search engine, you must first develop an understanding of how search engines work and the problems they’re built to solve.