This is an interesting set of questions!
I’ll answer it in three parts to cover everything. ?
Part 1: Why do we study SEO?
Well, first of all, we’ll start off by defining SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Put simply, it is the practice of enhancing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results (Site traffic that comes to your website as a result of unpaid search results. ?
Essentially, the content on your site needs to be optimised for both:
- Your audience – by making the content high-quality, engaging, valuable and shareable
- The search engines – by optimising it for SEO
Having a better understanding of SEO enables you to be able to optimise your site increasing the ranking of your site.
Therefore, it is important to study SEO to get a better understanding of how search engines work.
The free search engine optimisation starter guide provided by Google recommends that all website owners get familiar with how search engines work. ?
Also without having an understanding of SEO best practices, you won’t know what practices to avoid like the plague, such as black hat SEO techniques.
Part 2: “Isn’t it kind of useless “cheating?”
Now that we have established the importance of optimising your website for search engines, I’ll now address the second part of your question.
When it comes to SEO, there are some people who use black hat SEO techniques. ?
In SEO, a black hat technique is considered to be any method of trying to improve your website’s rankings. Black hat SEO goes against a search engine’s guidelines. These bad methods include keyword stuffing, paid link schemes and more. ?
These black hat SEO techniques are unethical and classed as ‘cheating’.
Therefore, if you are considering hiring an SEO agency, I’d recommend that you study SEO.
However, white hat SEO is the complete opposite of the black hat SEO techniques described earlier.
White hat SEO refers to the usage of SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience and their user experience. ?
Part 3: Shouldn’t a clear focus on the user experience be enough to rank well and not be punished?
When white hat SEO techniques are put into practice the user experience is enhanced as well as the ranking of the website.
In fact, black hat SEO techniques are put into practice web owners run the risk of being penalised or even de-indexed.
If people are using spam tactics to rank their website, it isn’t going to last long. So if that’s what you’re worried about, just wait for the next search engine algorithm update.
Plus Search engines have ways of telling how the website visitor enjoyed the site.
- Time spent on page
- Number of pages visited
These things have an impact on user experience.
In conclusion, check out our SEO agency, Pearl Lemon.
Also, for more SEO related answers follow us on Quora! ?