What is SEO and why is it important?

What came first? Google or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Interesting question. Google feels like it has been around since the days of the creation of the World Wide Web, and SEO does indeed revolve around Google today. However, SEO, like Google, wasn’t around when the first website was published in 1991. It looks to have begun in 1997, with Google search starting in 1998.

But what is SEO?

In the early years, you had to submit your web page to Google otherwise it would not show up in a search. Google was also heavily focused on the backlinks to help push web pages up in the search results. This has evolved since then, to the point that as soon as a page is published, Google has robots that crawl the internet and pick up changes or new pages. In this short YouTube video, Google explains how it made improvements to its search algorithm.

Currently, Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. If you’re interested in learning more about them, BanklinkO has published a list for 2023.

In simple terms, SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in Google, Microsoft Bing, and other search engines whenever people search for relevant terms. Google, for example, has their “General Guidelines Overview”, a 176-page document where they provide their ratings for the search experience, understands the search user needs, and where you might hear the term E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust).

SEO experts try to ensure that they work within the guidelines of popular search engines and social media platforms to maximise that site or page’s potential at being at the top of the search.

Why is SEO important?

You could also ask, why do they have guidelines and rules? The simple answer is that they want people to use their product, and for them, it is about providing the closest matched sites or pages that relate to the exact, or close to exact, of the words or phrases that were entered into the search engine. If they didn’t do this, then no one would want to use their product and try their competitors.

SEO is about maximising your website’s potential on search engines and other platforms. 

At Websites NOW, we’ve categorised our SEO Services into three main areas, designed to help maximise our client’s potential:


  1. SEO HealthCheck
  2. Keyword SEO Optimisation
  3. Competitor Analysis