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What Does SEO Stand For and What Does it Mean?

Google has made dozens of changes to its algorithm over the last 20 years. Every time they make a major change, it wipes out traffic to a bunch of websites that ranked well before the change and dropped out of sight afterward.

Optimizing your website to rank well in Google, and doing it in a sustainable way, will help it weather the storm when Google makes its next big change.

And make no mistake, they will make more big changes.

What does SEO stand for and why is it so important to your website’s success? Let’s take a look.

what does set stand for

Organic Traffic vs Paid Traffic

There are two types of traffic that come from the search engines, Google in particular:

  1. Paid traffic
  2. Organic traffic

Paid traffic is visitors who click on the ads that Google displays alongside the main search results. When someone clicks on one of those ads, the advertiser pays Google for referring that visitor to their site.

Organic traffic is the main search results. These are the pages that Google thinks are the most relevant and valuable for what the searcher wants.

When someone clicks a link in the organic results, nobody has to pay Google a single cent – that traffic is free, at least as far as the referral from Google is concerned.

What Does SEO Stand For?

The SEO acronym stands for search engine optimization. This is the process of optimizing different parts of your website and its pages to rank higher in the organic results.

The first page of Google results gets almost all the clicks. Hardly anyone clicks through to the second page of results, let alone farther than that. If your website ranks on the third or fourth page of the results, it might as well not rank at all.

But even the first page varies wildly from top to bottom. The clickthrough rate (CTR) of the number one position is nearly 30 percent. That drops to just under 15 percent for position 2 and 10 percent for position 3. By the time you get to position 10, the CTR is only 2 percent.

This is why SEO is so important. Your site needs to rank in the top results if you hope to get any significant amount of traffic from Google.

It’s Not Really About the Search Engines

Search engine optimization sounds like it’s about making your site more attractive to the search engines. After all, if you look at what does SEO stand for, it’s right in the name.

It’s not really about the search engines though. It’s about your website’s visitors.

Google makes money by having people use it to search for things on the web. If its results aren’t very good, those searchers are going to go to another search engine. Optimize your website for your visitors, giving them the best possible user experience.

If you can do that, along with some simple optimization techniques, high Google rankings and traffic will follow.

Did you find this post helpful? Check out the rest of our site for more interesting articles.

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