People often argue over whether SEO should be thought of as a science or an art. Itâs technically a mixture of the two. Itâs science because youâre dealing with algorithms that comprise hundreds of rules, youâre working to tried and tested ranking formulas and itâs possible to analyse everything, from your competitor set to the latest Google update.
But it is an art, too, because ultimately you are targeting people â not soulless search bots. And Google might be smart but its algorithms will never fully understand all the quirks of human behaviour. You need a human to truly understand how to create content compelling enough to grow â and, more importantly, convert â an audience.
Written by acclaimed artist, poet and film-maker Tim CummingÂ in collaboration with search specialists at the Telegraph, this composition melds the two interpretations in perfect format.
The Searchers, an SEO poem
When it comes to what
you want from all this,
when it comes to finding
what you canât bear to miss,
donât live your life in the lurch.
First, define the terms of your search.
What is it you want to find out,
take out, shake out, make out?
Does it lie at the start or
the end of an infinite scroll,
or will you tear it off like toilet roll,
wipe it, type it, swipe it right and tag
the key words into your system,
throw the dice and let âem roll.
Get this: put your query in a quote
and youâll get what you searched
for, more or less. Now get your coat.
Itâs a bit like going to church,
raising your voice in search
of knowledge, tickets, porridge â
whatever the hell it is you wanted
at the end of your digital forage
through a labyrinthine web of mind.
Searchers, define your terms.
Seek and you shall find,
but youâll be followed too,
thereâs a whole army of souls
searching the area behind you.
Itâs called optimisation.
In search there are many parts
of you slipping into step together,
practising their dark arts,
deep as the ocean and light as a feather,
searching high and searching low.
In SEO, we search together.
Today, where are you going to go?
The algorithmic choir sings from its perch,
parroting your deepest desires. Search is a cage
with an open door. Bookmark this page.