Search engine optimization or SEO or Search experience optimization whatever you may call. Everyone around the blogosphere is talking about the transformation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Search Experience Optimization. Many experts had even declared this the era of Search experience optimization. Everything over here is very confusing. At one dwelling we declare that content is king and at the other side we talk about keyword research and the stuff related to it such as off page SEO and on Page SEO.
But, I wanted to ask one question. Is it the right time to rebrand SEO to Search experience optimization?
Then, Why SEO is not considered search experience optimization?
Also, Is this transformation actually taking place?
Is it a reality? What are your thoughts? Before going to the reality, let me take you the actual situation and also introduce the term ‘Search experience optimization’ to you.
Real Scenario of SEO
I would like to start this discussion with the actual meaning of SEO i.e. Search engine optimization. I won’t go deep into it but I wanted you to understand that what we are doing in the name of SEO now.
First of all, we find the keyword. The Keyword is the guest celebrity in the party. Then, we go to our next part of SEO.
There are always two parts of SEO now. One which we perform on the post itself called as On-page SEO and the other is Off-page SEO which is done outside the blog post.
First, let us discuss On-page SEO. This is performed by adding the chosen keyword at different places such as in post title, headings, and some places over the entire post. It is proved by various experts that using keywords in the above mention places will help the blog post to rank higher on search engines.
Later, we perform Off page SEO by making blog post social. We also submit blog posts to Webmasters for search engine indexing. We then plan guest blogging strategies, forum policies, etc.. The whole lot of trouble that we take as Off Page SEO is to build links and nothing else. These links act as a vote for a candidate in the election. Our blog post is the candidate here.
These are the tasks that we have to carry out for our blog posts before and after publishing. Till these SEO strategies are alive and used conventional SEO cannot die. To know more about the reasons why SEO cannot die go through the below link.
Now let me introduce you to the term ‘Search Experience Optimization’
What is Search Experience Optimization?
Search experience optimization is a term that proposes a search experience where the user who is performing the search is fetched with the best possible content on the web related to his/her query.
Search experience optimization takes two factors into consideration. They are
- Content is king
- Maximum end user satisfaction
When we talk about absolute rule of content, then we are talking about search results that are free from constraints such as domain age, backlinks, and ranking of the website but more dependent on the quality of the content.
Quality content is the key to better user experience. If these two criterions are met, then only the term ‘Search experience optimization’ is possible.
Now, do you think search engine optimization is transforming to search experience optimization?
Barriers in the way of Search Experience Optimization
There are various barriers for search experience optimization. The most important and the only barrier which I can see is the present conventional form of SEO.
Am I insane to say that?
Absolutely, no. Let me explain
Present SEO is mainly focused on keyword research and not much focus is given to content. Don’t take my words otherwise. I too add keywords at specific places to rank higher on search engine results page (SERP). In doing so the actual passion of writing is lost. Sometimes, we add keyword at places where it is not at all necessary. This addition would help us to rank higher but result in poor end user experience.
The next barrier is focusing on long content. I too recommend writing long content but do you think it is worth it. Content length should depend on the topic which we are covering.
Many bloggers are following this rule. Especially I like blog posts from John Chow and Daily blog tips that generate up to the mark articles. Unnecessarily increasing the content length to keep it in the range of 2000-4000 words is very unusual in many cases. A 1000 words article is enough with some images and maybe a video to explain its cause.
Also, readers are becoming busier and they don’t have much time to read long posts. Thus, in my opinion trying to cover everything in a lesser number of words is a better approach for increasing end-user experience. This would result in considerable reduction in reading time of each blog post. But, the present practice is just opposite. Many so called blogging researchers have shown that long content is ranked higher on SERPs which is actually the reality.
Also, the search engine ranking is largely influenced by domain authority and age and backlinks. I have seen better articles on page 2 or 3 on the Google search as compared to the first page.
What was the problem with those articles?
Either they have not carried out keyword research properly or they are new in the blogging field. It may also be a case where they are not linking as much as the websites on the first page do.
Will it produce a better user experience? Not, at all
Thus, we can easily say that the present SEO is hurting the transformation to Search experience optimization.
When Can Conventional SEO transform to Search experience optimization?
This is an excellent question with a complicated answer. The better question would be how this transformation would take place?
For this change to take place there are various factors that are to be improved and rectified. The first is the dependency on Backlinks. Yes, this hurts user experience a lot. Websites with a large number of backlinks appear on the front page even though there is a well-written article present on the second on the third page.
The next step toward transformation is to remove the dependency on domain age as older websites get preference over newer ones. I recommend ranking of pages based on domain authority but the authority should be granted based on the usefulness of the content produced by that website.
Another big drawback in the present system of designing SEO is the dependency on keywords. In my opinion, keywords are important but synonyms should also be considered in search engine algorithms to increase end user experience on search results. This would reduce the chance of landing on a page that provides poor user experience.
Strategies synonym is Tactics. So, if a user is searching for a term SEO strategies then, pages with keyword ‘SEO tactics’ should also be considered. Even, the keyword may rank higher if the content is better.
The last thoughts
Here I had shared my personal thoughts. These ideas came from my urge of reading better content on the web. Coming to this article, search engines depend upon algorithms rather than humans to judge the content of any blog post. Present day conventional SEO design is very fruitful but as far as end user satisfaction and experience is considered, it is far lagging behind. Thus, it is the time to redesign search engine algorithms to better suit the end user needs.
Through this article, I just wanted to make you realize that Search experience optimization is a remote dream and actually present SEO strategy is hurting this dream of transformation.
What are your thoughts on search experience optimization? Let me know in my comment section.
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