SEO is the practice of ensuring that your website is put together in a way that is appealing to search engines. Search engines like Google issue guidelines to website owners (webmasters) to help them ‘optimise’ their website in a way that makes Google want to rank it more prominently in search results.
Google’s aim is to offer its users the best possible search experience. When a user performs a search, Google needs to ensure that it returns the most relevant and useful search results it possibly can. If it didn’t do this, people wouldn’t use it, so Google as a business would suffer.
Google, therefore, puts ‘rules’ in place for websites, to ensure that it only returns good quality search results for its users. These ‘rules’ are what web developers are encouraged to adhere to when building a website, and this is where we start getting into optimisation.
Google calculates it’s search result output using an ‘algorithm’ which takes all the elements that Google considers ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on a website, then calculates where that web page should appear in search results.