If Shakespeare or any of the similar greats of the past were writing for the World Wide Web their works might have turned out different than the ones we know. Would "To be or not to be, that is the question" have been written "To be or not to be, that be the question" to score more points with Google or other search engines?
The World Wide Web rapidly got very big. Had not search engines evolved, your chances of finding a needle in a haystack would be way better than finding what you wanted on the Web. Google was not the first of these search engines, but quickly rose to number one status in the United States.
Google uses programs called spiders, robots, or bots to crawl the web and rank websites. These robots have their limitations. However breathtaking pictures of a Haleakala sunrise might be, the Google spider will never be moved by their beauty. Nor will poetic words move these robots, or an emotional appeal bring them to tears.
Since Google's purpose is in ranking sites for humans, it tries to get around these limitations as best it can. If your web page is about sunrises, Google will search the web and see if anyone on Facebook is talking about your website, or if any other websites about sunrises are linking to yours. Google and other search engines develop highly sophisticated formulas called algorithms with which to rank websites. These algorithms are not perfect. It is possible that a work of art, music, or information that would be perfect for you doesn't even show up in Google's search results.
Because of this Search Engine Optimization, SEO for short, has evolved. It's a misconception that SEO is just a bunch of tricks to make Google or other search engines think that a mediocre low-quality website is really something hot and give it top rankings. There are very legitimate reasons to employ SEO. Without it, even a great website might go forever undiscovered. In its best sense, SEO is a way to make sure a good website is ranked and recognized as such by robots who see only cold code, who can't appreciate the beauty of a photo, the sound of music, or understand the pressing need someone might have for specific information.
At its worst, SEO has been, especially in the beginning, used as a way to trick a search engine into giving a website a better ranking than what it's worth. This is a disservice to the person using the search engine. Clearly too, Google is not going to look favorably on being tricked. After all, Google is an advertising company that offers a free search engine as part of its advertising strategy. Relevant and accurate search results equal good business for Google. Being caught trying to trick Google means more than a simple trip back to the old drawing board. Today Google will blacklist such websites and ban them from their database. They also hire the best and the brightest to be sure their search results are as relevant and accurate as possible.
Google also is constantly updating their algorithms, the system it uses to sort through all the information on the web. At the end of September, 2013, Google announced it had silently rolled out a new algorithm, code-named Hummingbird, to make users' search results more useful and relevant, especially when they are asking the search engine long, complex questions. This is another step toward an ideal where a search would be so effective SEO would become obsolete.
But not just yet. While not a dedicated Search Engine Optimization Company, we at Alama net do all we can to be SEO knowledgeable, to keep up to date on the SEO world, to use SEO in a positive way incorporating what we know in the websites we design.