Originally coined as a term in 1997, SEO is an acronym for the term Search Engine Optimization/Optimizer. SEO is used to influence the online visibility (and therefore potentially the number of 'hits') of a website on an internet search engine's unpaid results (also known as 'organic'or 'natural'). This is likely to have a direct influence upon 'click throughs' (the amount of clicks on the link to the webpage) and the success of the individual or company who own the webpage. As a general rule, the higher a web page is positioned on a search list, the higher the number of visitors it is likely to receive.
Just as an internet search can be tailored to focus on text, images, academia and videos, so can SEO. It will take into consideration several factors, including how a search engine works, the algorithms it uses, the search terms used and the search engine preferences of the individual. Each search engine will have it's own algorithm that determines what content it deems most relevant to its users, dependent on both the search terms they have used and their search history. All of this is combined to list search engine results in a preferable manner for the user.
There are several strategies that may increase a web pages visibility on a search engine and web sites may use these individually or in a combination. One of the most widely used tactic is to write content that includes words or terms that are frequently searched for, thus increasing the likelihood of appearing in a search query. Other successful methods of utilising SEO is by cross-linking pages of the same website, thus increasing the number of links to that site. Frequently updating content and adding key search terms to important aspects of the web page such as the title tag is also likely to increase the visibility of the webpage.
Whilst SEO as a marketing tool can be successful, it is recommended that web pages do not solely depend on it to generate traffic. Search engines can and frequently do change their algorithms which may have a dramatic impact on the visibilty of a web page, potentially sending it down the search order. Search engines are not paid for results of organic searches and therefore do not have a vested interest in how successful they are. It is advisable for a webpage to combine SEO with other strategies to generate interest and revenue, such as pay per click and search engine marketing (paying to optimize search engine results).