Search engine optimization (SEO) according to the Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) is “the process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a Web search” (Association for Interactive Marketing). Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) defines search engine optimization as “the act of altering a web site so that it does well in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines” (Sullivan).
Neither definition is entirely correct. The definition by AIM fails to take into consideration pay per click advertising as part of Web searches. Pay per click advertising can be used instead of SEO or preferably in addition to it. AIM’s definition would be more accurate for another term: Search Engine Marketing. SEMPO’s definition, on the other hand, only defines on-site SEO without a mentioning off-site SEO. I will discuss on-site and off-site optimization later in this chapter.
The two definitions combined provide a more accurate description of SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines.