What is SEO? / Quick Guide to Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?

SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization which is a component of Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization is essentially the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to a website through the Organic Search Results.

How SEO Works?

You may think of a Search Engine like Google of a website where you search magically for answers to your homework problem or to find a local service pro.

That’s 100% true, but there is a lot more put into this magical search, and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about here.

Google, for example (or any other search engine), crawls the sites across the internet. Once content across the internet is crawled by the google search engine, it results in an index. This index is then put into an “Algorithm” Since Google is the largest and most used search engine on the internet, the algorithm is much much more competitive due to the amount of creators or websites being indexed.

MOZ has a phenomenal image that will help you understand the search engine aspect of Search Engine Optimization, a group of experts grouped the factors this way:

MOZ What is SEO

What is the Google Algorithm?

If you want to stay on top of the trends, you need to understand the concept of algorithms and how Google changed them over the years.

By definition, an algorithm is a set of rules designed to solve a problem in a finite number of steps. The definition applies to every algorithm, including Google’s, which basically means that the platform uses a highly specific formula to identify the most appropriate search results for each query.

Given that Google typically changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, it is essential to track progress and react promptly. It’s impossible to explain the entire history of Google algorithms in one post, but we can point out the most important updates:

  • Google Panda: Google released the Panda update in 2011 to reduce the influence of low-quality websites and boost the ranking of pages serving top-notch content. The point was to undermine sites with lots of duplicate content, low value, ads, and so on.
  • Google Penguin: Google released the Penguin update in 2012 to focus on sites with a huge number of irrelevant inbound links. From this point on, it was much more difficult to boost ranking by buying backlinks or generating them artificially.
  • Google Hummingbird: Google released the Hummingbird update in 2013 and it turned out to be the most influential change of all. Namely, the new algorithm has been designed to accurately interpret user intent and the true meaning behind search phrases, thus enabling Google to find better results and improving ranking results.
  • Google Pigeon: Google released the Pigeon update in 2014 with a highly specific goal in mind and that was to improve location-based search results. The algorithm takes into account maps and local directories to give more precise location-specific information.
  • Google Fred: Google released the Fred update in 2017 but refused to make any comments about it.

You can learn more about the google algorithm here.

What Are SEO Keywords?

Search Engine Optimization Keywords are essentially key terms that are likely searched by the users on the search engine. For example, if I search “Scottsdale SEO” into the google search engine. “Scottsdale SEO” is the keyword used in this particular instance. Search Engine Optimization Experts use keyword analysis when performing a search engine optimization campaign of any type.

Best SEO Tools

As an SEO Expert, I use a variety of Search Engine Optimization Tools. If you’re looking for an SEO Tool, first analyze what you need the Search Engine Optimization Tool for…Once you have figured that out, you can start doing your research and look for the Best SEO Tools that fit you.

Personally, I recommend finding a tool that has these features: Backlink Audit, Traffic Analyzer, Keyword Explorer, Site Audit, and Project Module. The following table will show you exactly which tools offer the best features.

Name of SEO ToolKeyword AnalysisTraffic AnalyzerSite AuditPrice

Learn more about the best SEO tools you can get right here.


Glossary of SEO Terms

  • SEO: Stands for Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM: Stands for Search Engine Marketing, PPC Advertising and Search Engine Optimization are the two main components of Search Engine Marketing.
  • 301 Redirect: Permanent redirect of URLs.
  • ALT Tag: The ALT attribute tag is the HTML tag for images, essentially telling the search engine what the image is about.
  • Anchor Text: The anchor text is the text from which the link is embedded in.
  • Backlinks: A backlink is essentially a vote from another website pointing towards your site, likely because your content is relevant.
  • Keyword: A keyword is essentially the term a searcher uses to research results.
  • Learn more about more keywords here.

Best SEO Strategies

Search Engine Optimization is very competitive, becoming an expert in SEO takes lots of experience including knowledge. This isn’t a set step process that will get you ranked, everyone has something else to say about search engine optimization, so here we will lay out the most important SEO strategies.

Keyword Analysis

Keyword Analysis is a crucial aspect of Search Engine Optimization. Without analyzing the search volume for your target topic or concept, you might waste hours of your time writing the article or blog just to figure out no one wants to read about it. Keyword Analysis may also be referred to as “Keyword Research.”

You can use a variety of tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to help you research key terms when writing on a topic or even during Local Search Engine Optimization.

Competitor Analysis

Running site audits and researching your competitor is the utter-most important component of any search engine optimization campaign. First of all, you must check your competitors ranking power, therefore take their domain and slap it into your SEO tool and check their status.

You will learn so much from your competitors, so you don’t miss out on the best opportunity.

Backlink Analysis

Run a few site audits for your site. Ahrefs & SEMrush offer a fantastic backlink audit module. This tool will allow you to check your backlink status and will also let you see what sites are linking to your content or domain.

“Backlinks, also called “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are created when one website links to another. The link to an external website is called a backlink.


Knowing this much information about your backlink profile, you will have a better understanding of how you want to go about creating your Search Engine Optimization Strategy. It’s very simple, simply analyze your backlinks on your website.

On-Site & Off-Site SEO

On-site Search Engine Optimization is often referred to as On-Page Search Engine Optimization. Here at Intricate Digital Marketing we focus primarily on on-page Search Engine Optimization. This is by far the most significant part of any Search Engine Optimization Campaign. My quick tip for today for on-site SEO is to optimize your title and meta descriptions so they are relevant and eye-appealing to the user-intent. There is a lot more put into on-site SEO, so you can follow this guide from the Search Engine Journal.

Off-site Search Engine Optimization is often referred to as Off-Page Search Engine Optimization. It’s pretty self explanatory, Off-site SEO is essentially the ranking factors that are influenced and controlled off of the site and not in the backend of the site. For example, my quick tip today for off-site SEO is to set up local business directories if you are a local service based company. This will help you look more of an authoritarian in your local community. Read this article from Ahrefs to learn more about off-page SEO.

Learn more about Search Engine Optimization:

What is Search Engine Marketing

On-Site SEO Techniques

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