But What is SEO?Search engine optimization is a blanket term for numerous strategies used to make a web page appear in the top of the search engine results page (SERP) in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. SEO itself is a subset of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) with Pay Per Click (PPC) the other subset.Basically, it involves selecting your target topics, defining high traffic keywords, tailoring your page or blog post to suit it, and then hustling to get backlinks and social media exposure for social signals.
SEO is Synonymous to Google Page RankThere’s no denying that Google has won the search engine wars. Their domination of the search engine market has led most SEO to be geared towards pleasing Google’s algorithms. But this doesn’t mean that the future is certain.As I just mentioned, over the years, SEO has evolved from finding the right keywords and stuffing pages with them, into the science of ranking website on top of search engine result pages for relevant keyword through a systematic approach to other search engines ranking factors such as content optimization, keyword density, website click-through-rate, video optimization, website bounce rate, website user experience, etc.
The Future of SEOFor me, I strongly agree with Neil Patel that the future of SEO hangs on the three factors listed below:
- Click-through rate – as you know, this metric is about the number of people who see a listing and actually click through to the site. For example, if most of the searchers inputting a specific query are clicking on the second listing and not the first, it should tell Google that the second listing is more relevant. According to a report by Larry Kim at Moz, the rate of change of organic CTR of any website is directly proportional to the website search engine page rank
- Bounce rate – if users are hitting the back button within their browsers and going back to the search listings page, chances are they didn’t find what they were looking for, especially if they click on another listing after they hit the back button. In an ideal world, Google wants to give you the best result first so you don’t have to keep going through listings to find the answer you are looking for. Hence, a significant increase in bounce rate will cause a sharp decline in your page rank and position in search engine result pages.
- Average time-on-site – after users perform a search, they tend to click on a listing. Assuming a portion of those people will hit the back button, Google will eventually (if it already isn’t) analyze the time it took the user to hit the back button. If users do this within three seconds, it will tell Google that the result is less relevant than the result that kept users on-site for five minutes before they clicked back.