SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist silversurfer5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    534
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cool SEO Science or Art?

    Hi there,

    I am just about to launch an E-Commerce business after 1 year of development time. I have been thinking a lot lately about how I am going to approach the SEO as it is an entirely online company. This company is in a very competitive market sector so I understand that competent SEO must be my gateway to prosperity.

    I intend to spend significant time over the next months learning all about it but to date I am just a developer who is SEO-curious. I am aware of the basics so I don't ask this question from an entirely naive point of view, I just haven't delved deeper yet so I would appreciate input from those who have.

    I would like to ask those with more experience on the forum the following:

    Is SEO more of a science that you can learn and master like software engineering?
    Can you literally spend the hours online and with the books and tech-talks and achieve a good guaranteed result? Or is it more of an art form where innovators must constantly turn new ticks to keep ahead? Is it brute force or something else entirely?

    If this is a science, is online marketing beginning to become dominated by those same corporate forces who rule the non-cyber advertising world? Are they always going to squish smaller businesses underfoot just because they have resources and can afford to pay a team of SEO managers £25k++ a year to spend 48 hours a week working on it.

    Am I at a distinct disadvantage because I have to work as a developer and do my business SEO in my spare time?

    I understand that the answers here are not necessarily as straightforward as I make out but I must begin testing the water so I look forward to hearing your views
    "Persistence is the path to perfection"

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member triggerphish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wish there was a clear answer for that. I would have to say that science is the best description. Better yet, the science of evolution. No one has pinned it down perfectly and it continues to evolve.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist silversurfer5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    534
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey thanks for your response trigerphish,

    Yes I am hearing that it is a bit of a mystery myself. Someone told me the other day that google themselves are yet to have a clear set of boundaries for what works best because it's still new and the data is yet to be collated and analysed properly.

    Lots of studying ahead methinks
    "Persistence is the path to perfection"

  4. #4
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,892
    Mentioned
    123 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Somewhere between 'art' and 'science' is a lot of hard work...

    In theory, SEO is more of a science, because there are definitely rules – Google's algorithm has very precise factors that index and rank pages – the problem is that no-one knows what all those rules are and how they interplay with each other.

    No-one can guarantee a result, not using legitimate means. A lot of the snake oil salesman who promise a certain ranking use dodgy techniques that are outlawed by Google, and which might get you to the top for a short time but will then leave you in freefall.

    It is difficult to break into a competitive sector by SEO alone. It would be a good plan to (a) set aside a budget for advertising, and use online ads to drive traffic to your business, and (b) try to find a tighter niche that is less competitive, and a USP to focus on, where you are not fighting against so many large and established sites.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist silversurfer5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    534
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your advice, I understand what you're saying, it's very difficult to quantify something which isn't public knowledge, I will take that into consideration and advertising budget is an important consideration yes but you have basically confirmed my other presumption that corporate powerhouses with huge advertising budgets are always going to come up higher than the little guy :/ unless as you say, you're in a niche which they are either unaware of or don't care about.
    "Persistence is the path to perfection"

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member hostas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think that best SEO specelist are these who see SEO as Art. I mean guys with this point fo view are more created, can offer something unique and fun.
    If you SEO see only like science, then is harder to stay in top, because you going to try to understand search engine formula, thats is not easy, theses furmulas are created by other scientists

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member DanielMilstein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think in my personal opinion the SEO is certainly an Art! not a science that is for sure.. when an artist picks up a brush and paint, he has a vague idea of the painting will look like, while painting he gets better ideas and make improvements.. same is with SEO!

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think SEO is Science + Art.

    Rules of the science can never be changed. These are same in all over the world. And the rules of art can be changed.
    That's why I think SEO falls in both category(Science+Art).

  9. #9
    Technical Director at StuckOn JakeCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    765
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is a great question, and something I've thought about quite a lot over the years. I think the answer does lie somewhere in between. SEO is fundamentally a science, and many people who work in SEO come from mathematical or web development backgrounds. SEO can, and should, be very process driven at the base level, with clear rules outlined to ensure consistency across a campaign.

    However (and here’s the art bit) there are always aspects of SEO that require some ‘outside the box’ thinking, some flair and some creativity. Creating an SEO strategy that grows with the client, pre-empts algorithm changes and does more than just follow the standard patterns requires an artistic element.

    I like to think that developers make good SEOs, creative thinkers make great SEOs.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I couldn't be sure which one it is. I could be wrong but years ago, it could have been either of these. Don't quote me on this :

    Years ago, I THINK, you could do various SEO tasks and begin to see good or bad results from what you did, so you could learn what worked and what didn't.

    Now.

    SEO tasks that you perform, take a long time to filter through, so it's a long waiting process to see what worked and even if it did the 1st time around, things change.

    Nobody really knows what they are doing to be honest. Link building and content are the only real sure thing I personally think are a constant factor and it's building lots of links and creating fresh and regular content, so that in itself is a lot of hard work.

    SEO techniques and the ranking factors are a mystery to all but google and they change so much you can't keep ahead, but you have to try and keep afloat. You could get to page 1 and be happy, but the next week drop out into non-existence.

    What works. Who knows.

    Directory submissions. Who knows.
    Edu/Gov links. Who knows.
    DoFollow/NoFollow. Who knows.
    Blog Commenting. Who knows.
    Link Wheels. Who knows.
    Domain Age. Who knows.

    The reason I say who knows is as above. It takes a while for things to filter through, so you need to do one thing at time to see what did work. A true SEO EXPERT will know from ACTUAL testing which of the above worked 100% Maybe that question should be asked. Again. It may have worked 6 months ago, but does it still work now...

    I've gone from 500th position to 18th position in 6 months. I've just built, links and content. This is a for a keyword that has 44,000 exact results per month according to Adwords.

    I've also seen sites, which in my personal opinion shouldn't rank well.

    Science or Art. A bit of both but neither of each other.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    SEO is predominantly an ART, with a mixture of science. SEO is an art as it is quite dynamic as the rule of the game changes often. It is a science as it has rules. The rules are not static but dynamic. We can conclude that SEO is an ART.

  12. #12
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For me SEO is a Science since SEO strategies requires a lot of logic for you to rank in search engines. Algorithms always changes and there is always rules. Everything can be explained.

  13. #13
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    India
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In my opinion its a blend of art and science. Here is science as it includes more facts and figures but it also an art to attract customers and to get high pr on search engines.

  14. #14
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UK Nr Manchester
    Posts
    3,460
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a science, it's governed by an algorithm.... (several actually) so if you can figure out the rules, you can use them to your advantage.

    Just because Google are the only people who actually know what the rules are doesn't make it an Art. (although you can be intuitively good at SEO, like with anything)
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    zziapex.com
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    seo is art..only few people can do proper seo.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot ozsubasi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Turkey
    Posts
    139
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Science is about knowledge, and in the case of SEO that knowledge is unattainable because not only does only Google know what its
    algorithms are but it is constantly changing them.
    So if we think we've figured out what a particular rule is and then apply it and then wait for the results so that our theory can be tested,
    by the time we get them the rules could have changed again so how would we know if whatever results we got were definitely because
    of what we applied? There may be some apparent constants but this forum and many others are full of discussions on them so that even they are not
    universally agreed on.
    Art is to do with skill and imagination and I see far more of that in SEO

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ozsubasi View Post
    Science is about knowledge, and in the case of SEO that knowledge is unattainable because not only does only Google know what its
    algorithms are but it is constantly changing them.
    So if we think we've figured out what a particular rule is and then apply it and then wait for the results so that our theory can be tested,
    by the time we get them the rules could have changed again so how would we know if whatever results we got were definitely because
    of what we applied? There may be some apparent constants but this forum and many others are full of discussions on them so that even they are not
    universally agreed on.
    Art is to do with skill and imagination and I see far more of that in SEO
    Exactly what I said. Nice to know I am not that stupid after all.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well i think SEO is more science but Art is require to perform that science. Rules are defined but still everyone cant get same results

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist silversurfer5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    534
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Question

    Wow! I never knew I could start such a thought provoking discussion, thanks so much to you all

    What about the other part of my question, do those of you who are experts believe that big business can always outrank the little guy with pure brute force as in (advertising budget, team of SEO staff etc)?

    Has the web gone the way of the physical world where buying power is everything and allows the big players to dominate any market they decide to enter?
    "Persistence is the path to perfection"

  20. #20
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find seo always creative, because if i talk being as seo person i daily do things different from my last day working. You look for new strategies, new ways of doing things, all the time there is competition to be on top, and most importantly you keep your self updated with latest trends and enhancements of seo industry. So yo have to keep learning new things all the time.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    SEO can't be science because it is pretty hard to understand google and its algorithm. But the link building for can be called as as art.

  22. #22
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,892
    Mentioned
    123 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Abitha6 View Post
    SEO can't be science because it is pretty hard to understand google and its algorithm.
    I disagree. We know there are rules there to understand, we just need to keep working on figuring out what they are. Just like real science. We don't say particle physics can't be a science just because it's a bit difficult to understand!

  23. #23
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UK Nr Manchester
    Posts
    3,460
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ozsubasi View Post
    and in the case of SEO that knowledge is unattainable
    Not true.

    Think how much we already know and how we found it out. SEO isn't hard to understand, it's just hard to do well.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Allison2009 View Post
    SEO is predominantly an ART, with a mixture of science. SEO is an art as it is quite dynamic as the rule of the game changes often. It is a science as it has rules. The rules are not static but dynamic. We can conclude that SEO is an ART.
    Hi Allison. I agree with your post SEO is both Art and Science.
    Science because systematic knowledge of physical world obtain via observation and experimentation.
    Art because In SEO use skill and creative imagination. SEO is thinking of how a marketing program can link building, content generation, and PR to get a common goal.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i think that seo is science as well as ats...it is science as we have to no the techniques and procedures and technical knowledge to do seo...and it is also arts as we have to design or art the whole website in a manner so thet it can attract web followers.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •