1.1. SEO's Evolution
Originally fairly narrowly conceived as a set of techniques for rising to the top of search engine listings, search engine optimization, or SEO, has conceptually expanded to include all possible ways of promoting web traffic.
Learning how to construct web sites and pages to improveand not harmthe search engine placement of those web sites and web pages has become a key component in the evolution of SEO. This central goal of SEO is sometimes called core SEO (as opposed to broader, non-core, web traffic campaigns, which may include paid advertisements).
Search engine placement means where a web page appears in an ordered list of search query resultsit's obviously better for pages to appear higher up and toward the beginning of the list returned by the search engine in response to a user's query.
Not all queries are created equal, so part of effective SEO is to understand which queries matter to a specific web site. It's relatively easy to be the first search result returned for a query that nobody else cares about.
Clearly, driving traffic to a web site can make the difference between commercial success and failure. So SEO experts have come to look at search engine placement as only one of their toolsand to look at the broader context of web technologies and business mechanisms that help to create and drive traffic.
SEO is rapidly evolving into an advertising discipline that must be measured using the metrics of cost-effectiveness that are applied to all advertising techniques.