The other day, while researching a client issue for Trigon
, I ran across an acronym that I had not seen before - SEO
. Having spent time in the Board Room of a few companies as well as knowing a few persons that held various ‘C' level positions, I thought that I had been exposed to all possible executive level naming schemes. SEO - what was this?? A quick trip to Wikipedia provided the answer. To my surprise, SEO was not a new executive level position that I could now aspire to, but rather stood for ‘Search Engine Optimization' - a term I had run across in the past but not paid too much attention to and subsequently moved to the black hole of my mind.
I work in the IT Support field and you could say that I'm pretty savvy. However, for those who maybe in the dark as much as I when it comes to SEO, Search Engine Optimization (according to Wikipedia) is a term or rather the practice of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines that are classified as ‘Organic' (i.e. un-paid) as opposed to search engine marketing which deals with paid inclusions. After reading this definition, I, of course, asked myself the question - What is the difference between an ‘Organic' search engine and one that deals with paid inclusions?
To be brief and minimize the possibility that I missed the boat on the whole concept, web sites are constantly looking for ways to improve their page ranking through the various search engines. Two ways (further reading indicated that there are more than 2 ways to accomplish this) to accomplish improving your page ranking are to rely on filling your web site with specific key words and phrases that are relevant to your line of business, thus attracting visitors who are initiating a search of the World Wide Web using similar key words and phrases - the Organic way. Or a site can utilize a method known as ‘Pay per Click'. In short, the advertiser will pay their host only when their ad is selected. Through this process, a site does not solely rely on cultivating exposure via use of key words and phrases but improves their chances of being recognized because they have previously agreed upon a fixed price for those key words and phrases. Pay per Click sites are more than likely going to be the sites that are listed first on the results page of your search but can also be a sponsored link or feature that appears on the top or side panel of the web page. So which is better?
Proponents for each side will argue that their process is the best. An organic search, because it is unpaid and relies on careful planning and execution of specific key words and phrases in tune with you line of business seems to be the best way to attract visitors to your site. Albeit though, I think this process will ultimately take a longer period of time for your goal of being the number one result of the search to be realized, however, there seems to be a more honest vein in this approach. Pay per Click, as with anything that uses the almighty dollar to fuel its existence, promises to make your rise to #1 on the page a fast and most assured certainty. However, the term ‘Flash in the Pan' comes to mind as my opinion leads me to think you are relying on the power of money to guide you as opposed to a well thought out plan to the success of your site.