It’s easy to say Search Engine Optimization: but true thing is, the meaning of SEO is still blurry to both normal users (who also have some troubles to understand how ranking on Google works) and who owns or manages an online activity. The latest confirmation comes from a study performed in the United States on a sample of about 1000 people, half of which entrepreneurs on the Web. The results of the investigation, carried out by the Fractl digital agency (from where we drawn all images below),  are quite discouraging: over 20 years passed from Google’s debut, and still the importance and value of research-oriented optimization is not fully understood by most entrepreneurs. Fractl interviewed 977 people right on their competences and general knowledge concerning Google and SEO, 400 of which were owners of online activities: only 219 of them owns companies with less then 5 employees, while the others occupy the 5-100 employees range (the most part owns average companies, with a staff range between 10 and 24 entities).

Little knowledge on how Google works

The survey’s question to customers and company owners were initially aimed to find out the level of awareness on how Google ranks its search results: only the 13% of consumers surveyed and 26% of entrepreneurs deem to have a “good” or “expert level” knowledge of why Google decides to display specific results rather than others, and hence of the entire process of ranking and its factors. Risultati sulle conoscenze SEO On the contrary, the most part of both groups deems not to have a clear comprehension of how Google sorts out its results; a kind of general ignorance also emerged from more specific questions on SEO knowledge.

Entrepreneurs and SEO, a spark that doesn’t ignite

To astonish the most is surely the piece of data involving entrepreneurs: it was easy to guess that common people could have low awareness of the SEO terminology and mechanics, but to find out that even who owns an online activity does not care that much to the search engine’s leaderboard is honestly a little depressing. Specifically, about half the sample claimed to have a “sufficient” or “good” familiarity with SEO, while 10% knows nothing about it and 14% only has a vague idea. Even worse when investigating on the relationship between search engine optimization and business: only the 18% of entrepreneurs know that SEO is “very important” for the health of their own activity, while for the 26% the work of site optimization is whether useless or not that relevant.

SEO knowledge generally limits to keywords

Fractl’s work as well focused on deepening the kind of knowledge of entrepreneurs and general public on SEO: the most familiar notion is the one concerning keywords, while the least known are the backlinks. I termini SEO più conosciuti This suggests us that, on one hand, people seems to have some kind of idea (whether vague) of how Google works in the advanced mode – by typing keywords and acquiring the results (we hope) that better match their query – but on the other, they could not be fully understanding how Google actually decides which sites to rank on the first places (because we know that link building plays a key role in this climbing).

What the study teaches us

Prior any kind of evaluation, the study actually pictures us a reality we often face on our daily activity: the market still needs a substantial amount of training on the importance of the SEO and on the best tools and techniques to prove the value of a website on the search engine. Is easy to take for granted Google’s functioning: you look for something and then see the results appear. But a better comprehension on how the system works, how payed results appear, how can authority and trust be builded and all of the other optimization components could really help users to become consumers of better online contents and to acquire a higher awareness of what is “best” and thus succeeds to rank on top positions. A different matter is for company owners: SEO is extraordinarialy more important to them and it is then crucial to understand how search engines work in order to successfully rank their website better and gain more traffic on their pages (and we know how much Google ranking impacts on their visits). This could be the perfect 2020 resolution!