What is Search Engine Optimization?

Optimizing for search engines can make or break your website. It's an essential skill for anyone creating content for the Internet. Let's dive into it for the next few lessons.

What is SEO?

“The best hiding place for a dead body is really on the second page of Google search results.”

SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization,” is simply the process of using known methods to ‘optimize’ your content/website so that a search engine’s (usually that means Google’s) ranking algorithm picks it to be among the first few results. So, suppose you work at Educative. You’d want to aim to optimize the site’s content so that the first result that comes up when anyone Googles ‘front-end interview course’ is this course. That would result in more traffic, and hence more revenue.

Why is achieving this so tricky? Why are there entire job positions at companies dedicated to optimizing a site for search engines? Well, because no one knows for sure how Google’s ranking algorithm works. In fact, they change how the ranking is done very often. So, we can only make educated guesses based on data and observation. Hence, front-end developers with SEO expertise who have experimented with SEO exist, and we want to get you up to speed as quickly as possible in case this comes up in an interview. We want to make you an SEO expert, of sorts.

Why learn SEO?

SEO skills will benefit you in any organization or company because getting to the front page of Google’s search results is a surefire way to get your website more traffic. More traffic means more revenue for the organization you work for. If you directly impact revenue, that puts a possible promotion for you on the table. Or if you can prove you already have the skills before getting hired, you may get a far better position than you expected. Employment reasons aside, these skills give you the key to getting any content that you really believe in to as many people as possible in an organic way.

Black-hat SEO

If you learn as many SEO tricks as possible and apply all of them to your site in a way that completely compromises your content’s quality and usefulness, you’re doing black-hat SEO.

This is a great way to rapidly get a website to the top and earn some quick cash. It’s also a wonderful way to get blacklisted, despised by users, and off of Google search result pages forever.

You don’t want to do this. It results in nonsensical content that benefits no one.

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