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Why SEO is a science as well as an art

December 10, 2004

By definition, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the science and art of achieving higher visibility across today’s most important search engines. Such visibility needs to be delivered to the users on a carefully selected and pre-identified list of highly relevant keywords and key phrases to be really effective.

In order to achieve the maximum and most beneficial results, search engine optimization today needs to be carefully planned and executed as an integrated project. Such an undertaking is highly conditional upon the functionality, the content, the features and the overall layout of your site.

The reason why I say SEO is a science as well as an art is, if you really want to succeed in this important endeavour, with the help of the WordTracker professional search facilities, you need a good background in fundamental keyword and key phrase research, user evaluation, simulation testing and final “SEO quality control”.

The “science” part of the equation
Today more than ever, every major search engine uses it’s own proprietary search algorithm, which can differ widely from one of its main competitors. An experienced and professional search engine optimization firm can develop and implement SEO techniques that time has proven to be effective in achieving high search engine exposure.

Long-term SEO techniques that have proven successful over time and a carefully researched method do minimize the “uncertainty effect” of today’s search engines. Careful identification of long-term and short-term trends, seasonal changes in a user’s search habits, geo location-based similarities, different cultures and the thorough understanding of their many implications is imperative for any SEO campaign to be really successful.

Since technology is a science, all by itself it cannot reduce the problems or even deliver on the many challenges dictated by today’s competitive market forces. To be truly powerful and effective, any serious SEO program today requires a full and complete understanding of an industry's marketing goals, the client’s needs and the true nature and habits of its target audience.

As a real fundamental science, the true results of any search engine optimization program needs to be verifiable, quantifiable and, most importantly, they need to be proven that it makes economic sense. If the website attains higher visibility, that will later convert into sales, the science of SEO has proven itself beneficial and rewarding to its organization.

The “art” part of the equation
Since all search engines today are very protective and silent when it comes to their different search algorithms, the very way they make those algorithms work will have an immediate impact in the way a specific website will rank for certain of its keywords and key phrases. Additionally, some rules and formulas implemented in some search engine algorithms change constantly, further complicating the SEO landscape.

As a direct result of all of this, it is impossible to accurately determine with any amount of precision, the exact combination or identification of search factors in an effort to deliver top search engine ranking results. Since the search engine field is an exacting and very demanding specialized industry, search engine optimization is very much an art. Today, search engine optimization professionals each have their own unique ways of doing things and have, over the years, created specialized SEO solutions in order to deliver maximum search visibility in the search engines.

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To be sure, there is no single SEO technique or any specialized resources in attaining superior search rankings in any engines. By the same token, there aren’t any 2 websites exactly alike, which is why I say that SEO is also an art, since the very technique used can make a drastic impact in the final search results of any given site.

Conclusion
In the outset, what truly matters is that the right science and techniques be used in order to achieve maximum visibility in the search engines. Additionally, and depending on the exact needs of a certain audience, the right dose of art used in the final implementation will have a marked impact in the overall search results.

Remember that search engine optimization is a science, as well as an art. What truly is important is achieving just the right mix, the precise balance needed between the two.

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Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
President & CEO,
Rank for $ales
Copyright (c) Serge Thibodeau 2003

Unless otherwise specified, all content and material on this site is copyrighted by Serge Thibodeau of rankforsales.com and may not be reproduced by any means without express written permission. Using my content without permission is a theft of my work. Please contact sthibodeau@rankforsales.com to discuss certain reprint options that would be acceptable.

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