Everybody has heard of SEO by now. Search engine optimization is a technique used to make websites easier to find through search engines like Google. While it has been called this for many years now, the head of the Google team responsible for monitoring spam, Matt Cutts, recently noted that SEO should stand for search experience optimization.
So let’s take a little refresher course, shall we? To get listed in search engines, you need to perform optimization techniques on your website and outside of it. This means you need to include keyword rich text that is relevant to your subject matter as well as implement an effective marketing campaign so that other websites link to yours. People who do this legitimately will rank higher. People who do this is illegitimately may rank higher for a time, but they will almost always be bumped down in the rankings when their nefarious techniques are uncovered. Google often changes it’s algorithm to prevent people from taking advantage of its techniques for determining rankings.
SEO focuses on building a search engine rank for high quality website. Search engines like Google consistently change how they rank sites to prevent low-quality sites from manipulating the system. SXP or search experience optimization focuses on the quality of a user’s experience on a site. This way, sites won’t be built solely for search engine rank and will be built for the quality of the user’s experience. Factors like how long a user spends on the site, how long the pages take to load, and how often people return to the site can go into factoring a site’s ranking. That’s why the head of Google’s spam team suggests this name as it would more accurately reflect what people are actually looking for when browsing for websites and it’s basically an updated term to match the current age of search.
Whether or not there will be an actual change in preferences for the terms used for SEO is something that only time will tell but it is definitely an interesting idea and it does more accurately reflect what people want out of a website and how webmasters can go about accommodating it. The business of search is always changing and this may just be another step along the road toward helping people find the information they’re looking for. That is likely something Matt Cutts can agree on.