Going beyond Traditional SEO
Introduction – Algorithm Optimization
“While traditional SEO focuses on Search Engines, AO encompasses social media sites, content recommendation systems, voice search devices, and more.”
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term that has dominated the world of digital marketing for years. It involves the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and thereby increase organic traffic. However, a new concept is emerging on the horizon of digital strategy – AO, or Algorithm Optimization.
What is AO (Algorithm Optimization)?
AO, which stands for Algorithm Optimization, is an advanced form of digital optimization that goes beyond traditional SEO practices. While SEO focuses primarily on optimizing websites for search engines, AO focuses on optimizing for the algorithms that govern the behaviors of various digital platforms. This includes search engines, but also expands to social media algorithms, content recommendation systems, voice search devices, and more.
The reality is that, as the digital landscape evolves, so do the algorithms that determine what content gets displayed to users. For instance, with the rise of voice-activated assistants like Alexa or Siri, content delivery isn’t just about displaying a list of websites on a screen. It could be about delivering one singular answer to a verbal query. In another example, on platforms like TikTok or YouTube, the recommendation engines decide what content gets shown to users based on their behaviors, preferences, and more.
How does AO differ from SEO?
To understand the distinction between AO and SEO, one must first appreciate the purpose of each:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): This practice involves optimizing websites and online content for search engines to rank higher in the SERPs. It deals with factors like keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more. The main goal of SEO is to increase the visibility of a website in search results, thereby driving more organic traffic.
- AO (Algorithm Optimization): AO is broader in scope. It’s about understanding the various algorithms at play across different digital platforms and optimizing content for those. While search engines are a part of this, AO also involves optimizing for social media feeds, video recommendation engines, voice assistants, and any other platforms where algorithms dictate content delivery.
Why is AO Becoming More Important?
One might wonder, “Is SEO no longer relevant?” This isn’t entirely true. As one article puts it, “SEO itself isn’t dead. But investing substantial digital resources into optimizing your website to increase search traffic is dead” . The nuance here is that while the principles of SEO still hold value, the focus is shifting.
The proliferation of digital platforms and devices means that consumers are getting content recommendations from various sources, not just search engines. For brands and businesses, this means they need to optimize their content for more than just Google or Bing. They need to consider the algorithms of Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Alexa, and any other platform where their target audience might interact with content.
How does AO affect SEO?
AO is not replacing SEO but rather expanding upon it. The principles of SEO (like producing quality content, having a mobile-responsive website, ensuring fast page load speeds, etc.) are foundational. These principles ensure that a website provides a good user experience and delivers value to its visitors.
However, AO takes things a step further. If SEO is about ensuring a website ranks well on search engines, AO is about ensuring that the content performs well across all digital platforms. This might involve:
- Creating bite-sized, engaging videos for platforms like TikTok or Instagram.
- Ensuring content is optimized for voice search for users querying via digital assistants.
- Understanding the content recommendation algorithms of platforms like YouTube to increase the chances of your video being recommended to viewers.
The digital landscape is ever-evolving. While SEO has been the cornerstone of digital marketing strategies for years, the rise of diverse platforms and devices has given birth to the need for Algorithm Optimization. As marketers, staying updated with these shifts and being adaptable is crucial. While the principles of SEO will always hold importance, AO is the next frontier in ensuring digital content reaches its intended audience in this multifaceted digital age.