Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing your website so that search engines like Google will trust it and show it to users when they search for something related to your website.
Higher your website shows – better for you, as it means more visitors for your website.
The ultimate goal for someone doing search engine optimization is to becoming #1 result for the chosen keyword (a word that is core for your or your client’s website) – in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.
You can find about the origins of SEO by checking out history of seo.
Commons questions that comes to people’s mind
1. How to start with SEO?
Earlier you start better it is.
If you are about to create a website then you can optimize it for search engines in the beginning.
Earlier – people used to suggest that go for keyword rich domain to get ranked. But in 2013 – it makes sense to go for brandable domain names. See what Matt Cutts of Google has to tell on this.
It makes sense to what Matt is trying to tell – because he as head of Google’s anti spam team knows a thing or two about what helps go rank in search engines and what keeps you (your website) off them.
Also do not make or get a static website.
Find some one who can make a website with WordPress (a CMS – that is very well optimize for search engines).
It is so easy you can create one yourself.
You will find details of make your website page.
2. Is There Any Shortcut To Search Engine Optimization process?
Yes – you can speed up the SEO of your website by adding quality content on a regular basis and generating high quality links by getting mentioned in media or by doing guest posts on credible websites.
You can only do so much – and for most websites the authority building phase takes some time.
3. I do not want to do SEO, what are my options?
There is no logical reason to NOT DO IT.
If your competition is doing it – you should do if you want to stay in business.
It helps you get free traffic some effort.
You can also go for email marketing and social media marketing.
That said it pays to invest your time and money for both – search and paid media.
Choice is yours!
(Updated on 12/25/2012 with inputs from editor)