Nowadays everyone is talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you type it in _my_ favourite search engine you get around 660 millions of results in a time under one second.
I guess it is time to share my opinion on this topic too (and get one more result if you search for this keyword).
Well, the Wikipedia article describes the topic very good. As an IT consultant I think, I share some thoughts about how search engine optimization should work and what it should do — not closely in the algorithm-layer but with a birds view.
There exists no wonder tool
Regardless what people say on their website and at advertisements there exists no tool which can bring your website into the top ten for your search keywords — if you have a broad range of competitors. If you are unique you can get into the first ten of the result list.
Naturally there are methods to get a better ranking, however this does not go from one day to the next. And this is what the customers probably do not understand. You need patience and the right words and facts to understand them.
For example if I search for “hahamo group” I get 5 (yes only five) entries from the first ten results and this site covers the top three. If I change the search to “hahamo” only, the site is displayed at place 7.
There have been tools to reverse engineer the algorithms of the search engines to get better rankings but this ended with 2012: you can get a penalty from the search engine if your site is overstuffed with keywords which are not relevant for your site. So beware.
And this goes for search engines too. For example your search starts right before you tip in something into the search box. Your location, search history is considered and some search engines try to guess what are you looking for.
Or with new technologies as Google Glass for example you do not even have to tip in your search term.
Other example is Google Now. You can ask a question (for example “Who is the president of the United States of America?”) where you get Barack Obama. After this you can ask “Who is his wife?” and you get Michelle Obama as result (see — your previous search has an effect).
As you can see, the world is changing and keywords are not everything.
And Search Engine Optimization has to change too. For example into Search Experience Optimization. And not just in name.
SEO stays alive
The term of Search Engine Optimization is not dead. It stays alive as a reminder to help search engines: enable spiders the crawling of our site, providing help to understand complex data structures easier.
That we do not work with keywords we have to maintain the same goals: get a site which is capable of being read and represented by search engines.
Searching for example for “tree”. Which results should it yield? A big brown wooden something with green leaves on top, or some data structure representing a family relationship or something programming relevant?
Based on your search experience and your other accessible data (emails, conversation which your search engine has access to) it could result various things.
And what I mentioned years ago to some of my fellow students: a search where you can input a picture and get other similar pictures or websites containing the definition of the picture you have.
This could be possible by now, when everyone has (even kids have) smartphones (or the new Glasses). You walk on the street, see a picture or an object, you take a snapshot and search for it. For kids the traffic signs could be interesting: they see one and can look-up what is means (and it is not impossible because there exist cars which can read these signs too).
If some company could manage this, than it would be the new hype and a lots of money for the company 🙂 And a new era for searching entities.
The old way of SEO has to adapt rapidly to the quickly coming future to stay ahead. And what the abbreviation SEO means? Time will tell, but the meaning won’t be the old one tricking with keywords.