What is SEO? Definition of Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO by True SEO Ireland

Does SEO still matter in 2021? 

There are almost two milliard websites in the world (source) and new ones are added to them every day. Of these, there are registered websites in Ireland with the suffix ie. – just over 320,000 (source). In addition, almost 5 million blogs are published every day (source).

How can such a large number of websites and blogs make your website or blog visible in search engines for related keywords that people search for? The answer is SEO, ie Search Engine Optimization. Don’t know what SEO is? So read on. Because the goal of today’s article is to present an up-to-date and clear definition of SEO for anyone who wants to understand the practical importance of SEO.

What is a search engine and how does it work?

First, we need to explain what a search engine is and how it works to understand what SEO is. A search engine is a program that crawls a large amount of content and evaluates many factors in order to offer its users relevant answers to their questions. The most used search engines include Google, but of course, there are other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Yandex and others. Let’s take a closer look at how Google works (source). Google uses three basic steps to generate results for its users.

  1. Crawling is a discovery process (source). Google sends its crawlers (known as crawlers or spiders or Googlebot) to find new and updated content.
  2. Indexing is the process by which Google crawls a webpage and tries to understand its content (source). Google then processes the information and stores it in its vast databases.
  3. Ranking is the process of evaluating web pages and sorting search results by relevance. Google uses algorithms that are constantly changing to determine relevance. 

If you’re looking for something on Google, the algorithm works in real time, and Google crawls relevant web pages in its index to show you the result it considers best. Google’s #1 priority is to provide the user with the best and most relevant result. Therefore, Google always strives to determine the highest quality response that provides the appropriate response and best user experience. And it shows search results in order from the most relevant to the least relevant.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO includes procedures, methods and strategies for optimizing a website from the point of view of search engines and users in order to increase the amount and quality of traffic from organic, ie: unpaid search results. The goal of SEO is to optimize a website so that it achieves the highest possible position in the search results for specific keywords and increases targeted website traffic. SEO tries to understand what people are looking for online, what words or phrases they use, as well as what answers and content they are looking for. SEO also tries to understand Google’s algorithms and tries to show search engines that the content on your website is the best result for the search topic.

SEO is a complex process that takes time and cannot be accelerated without being penalized by search engines. Based on our professional experience, the basic SEO strategy can take a minimum of 6-12 months. The time of the SEO process is determined based on goals, size and history of the website and strength of competitors.

The goal of SEO is to optimize your website for search engines so that the search engine considers your website to be the best overall result for the user. The search engine determines the best result using its algorithms. Google has more than 200 algorithms in its algorithm system that evaluate many factors, such as the loading speed of a web page, quality content, website relevance, website authority, user experience, backlinks and more. 

Why is SEO so important?

Most web traffic comes from organic Google results. Therefore, your website must rank as high as possible in Google’s results. And the higher your website appears in the browser, the more visible your business is and the more likely your website is to get more traffic and so your business will produce more sales. SEO will help your website get more consistent and free traffic.

On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO deals with changes to your website and includes all the on-site techniques that will help your website rank higher in search engine results. On-page SEO is interested in the technical aspects and content of your website. Technically, your website needs to be structured and easy to read for Googlebot. After the content page, the content of the website must be relevant, high-quality, original for targeted keywords or phrases. On-Page SEO factors that matter and that need to be set up correctly include:

  • Website speed
  • Image optimization
  • Unique and relevant content
  • Optimized content for Keywords
  • Relevant metadata – Meta description
  • Responsible design
  • Internal linking of the website and others

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO deals with how your website is mentioned elsewhere on the Internet, outside of your website. Your website should include quality backlinks from authoritative sites, as this ensures that Google considers your website to be relevant and important. Although Google considers the number and quality of backlinks, quality is much more important than quantity. Just as important as building quality backlinks is the presentation of the website on social media. The most important Off-Page SEO factors include:

  • Quality backlinks on relevant website with relevant content
  • Active social media profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and more

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

The basic difference is that while white hat SEO follows search engines’ guidelines and tries to improve the user experience, black hat SEO ignores search engines’ guidelines and usually ignores the user experience.

White hat SEO uses techniques and strategies to optimize a website exactly as required by the search engine. White hat SEO follows the guidelines of a search engine and creates a positive user experience for its visitors. And unlike black hat SEO, white hat SEO requires more time and work until you see the results you want to achieve. But on the other hand, white hat SEO will bring you long-term results and in particular will not put you at risk of being penalized by search engines.

Black hat SEO uses techniques and strategies to optimize a website that is banned by search engines. Black hat SEO violates the rules of search engines, tries to deceive search engines, manipulate search engine algorithms and achieve results as quickly as possible. While black hat SEO can work and deliver results, it’s a short-term affair. Search engines update their algorithms quite regularly and when they detect black hat tactics, they can penalize and/or deindex your website (remove it from search results). Black hat SEO tactics include, for example, buying backlinks, duplicate text, hiding text, and things of that nature.


The goal of SEO is to improve the placement of a website in organic unpaid search results. However, there is no single, accurate guide to reaching the top spots in Google results. Again, if you want to be successful, be consistent and patient. You should depend on unique and relevant content with the right keywords and ensure that a website’s technical aspects are optimized for speed, efficiency, and keywords, and combine external linking to trusted and authoritative domains. Don’t try to fool Google because your website and your business will pay for it at the end of the day. Google doesn’t like black hat practices, but it likes quality user-friendly content. If you want to improve your ranking and increase traffic to your website, consider hiring SEO experts with a proven history.

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