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What is Optimization? When are You Optimized? There’s No Such Thing as Half way Optimal.

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 13 years and 276 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Just a quick rant for those who would rather debate than execute and implement.

Optimal is the best case scenario in any given set of circumstances.

Optimized is creating a site that gives users and bots what they are looking for realtime, and IS an ongoing process (show me a site that has too much content or too many links…I dare you.)

The process of someone that practices GOOD SEO (an optimizer) is balancing optimal solutions (which are generally the “ideal solution” within a vacuum of no variables) with all the other variables that impact the web, business, and marketing decisions that form the strategy of how a company website is operated and budgeted for in real time.

SEO is not voodoo – it is making informed decisions based rules and experience and applying them to complicated sets of variables to create a process and strategy that has the highest likelihood of success, and adjusting the strategy quickly and effectively as new information becomes available.

SEO’s don’t work within a vaccuum – which is why it is important to let your SEO know about your strategies and implementation. Optimal solutions aren’t always IDEAL solutions based on things like budget, risk, and ROI. Please understand that proper SEO is about more than meta tags and anchor text:)

OPTIMIZATION: The search for the best solution among alternatives, or the extreme value of a variable or a function.

What’s your definition of optimal, optimized, and an optimizer?

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  • Brian Mark

    I’d say optimal is a balancing act online. What’s optimal for conversions may not be optimal for traffic, so optimal to me ends up being a myth. I’ll settle for something that works and forget about trying to get optimal… that takes far too many usability studies, meetings with consultants, committees and other nonsense.

    If it gets traffic that converts, I can tweak things, but there isn’t an optimal state to me.

    Also, what’s optimal now may not be optimal in 6 months due to demographic changes, outside factors, public opinion, etc.

    My final thought is that optimal to me may not be optimal to you. I may see something and not convert, but it may be perfect for someone else to convert. A website can’t be everything to everybody.

    Tough business we’re in, but that’s what makes it fun.

  • heapseo

    I was having a bit of a rant about something similar earlier – the old ‘over optimisation’ saying. Like you said – there is no such thing as half way optimal – there is also no such thing as over optimised. Impossible – by definition!

  • Alastair McDermott

    show me a site that has too much content or too many links…I dare you


  • Stuntdubl SEO


    Great answer Alastair…that’s definitely the most likely candidate for the question…although I would argue that wikiepedia is the zen of information architecture, and therefore can never have enough content.

    As much as I dislike wikipedia as an seo sometimes, it is definitely very useful, and easy to find the information, despite the absurd amount of it.


    Isn’t “optimization” but a means to an end? Don’t these words simply represent a facilitation that results in more traffic to one’s website? Sometimes I think that focusing on the technical meanings of these words leads us away from the task potential clients are looking to pay us for–and that is to bring more qualified traffic to their site at a cost that is within acceptable ROI boundaries. Use whatever words you want, I think that ultimately it boils down to dictating client perception and expectation of what they are going to get for their money.

  • kane

    I’ll be optimized when I don’t have to work anymore :)

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  • iMarketingGuru (SEM Wiki)

    Its amazing how information architecture and seo go hand in hand in many cases. When it comes to optimization, the sites must be optimized first for humans and then for robots with streamlined navigation and architecture. After this, the site should be optimized more and more and updated constantly. Many times, like on my wiki (in my sig), the architecture is difficult for the niche is too deep. Does anyone have any suggestions for optimizing the architecture of an SEO/SEM wiki?

    As for this article, the biggest part of optimization is continuous optimization based on your audience, yet that still goes into the arena of something much larger, usability studies and such. Wikipedia is the best for architecture, but the pages aren’t entirely optimized, Wikipedia just has the ultimate authority.

  • New Owner

    As a new website owner this whole optimization thing is very scarey! I have an online party invitation company. We have been learning that links are the most important thing. This all seems like a foreign language and very expensive. I find myself in a panic about not doing the right thing and have google shun me.

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  • Dan Nedelko

    Very well said.

    In my mind, optimization is a very loosely utilized term, when working on any site you need to identify what it is you’re optimizing. Organic search? Conversion rates? User interaction? On and on…

    Invariably the answer is yes to any of the above. If you’re a site owner then you should be optimizing every aspect of your business continually. If you’re an SEO then working to understand the business model, state of the business, and business objectives is a huge part of the process.

    Optimizing a site for search is only the first step in the process. Working to turn search traffic into converting traffic is also a goal (for me anyhow).

    Also instilling the concept of relevant content, targeted messaging, strong site structure (technically and design wise) so those goals are achieved on an ongoing basis by everyone involved.

    I may have restated your post but I honestly could not agree more. Now I should get back to work :)

  • Maria Cintas

    I think the optimizer in this discussion holds the key as to what is optimal and optimized. If he/she is a successful optimizer then that gives said optimizer credibility – his/her optimal and optimized solutions will then gain more weight.

  • hikdis57 (Over Googled)

    In the beginning I didn’t even understand “SEO”! Then I landed here, and the help just poored in! Thanks!

    I also got help from a guy named James Brausch, who has some pretty smart SEO software called Nemeas, which you can find at: .

    Between all the help and the SEO software I seem to be pretty optimized…

    Now just to get through being Xmasized – lol!

    Merry Christmas To You All!

  • jifonaga

    wow , what can i say this is good this is really good articel to read , i really like it , kami adalah pakar seo dan salah satu pakar seo indonesia yang cukup ganteng di jajaran nya, jika anda menginginkan jasa seo maka jangan sungkan untuk datang kepada kami , kami menjual jasa seo profesional yang akan memberikan kepuasan kepada anda sebagai penikmat jasa seo murah namun tidak murahan, memang saat ini sangat banyak sekali layanan jasa seo, namun kami yakin kami adalah yang terbaik dari segi harga dan layanan, maka apakah anda masih ragu untuk berlangganan jasa seo dari kami? semoga saja tidak. dress wanita apakah kami adalah yanana jasa seo terbaik ? kami rasa iya begitu !

  • seo fighter

    little shared understanding as I’m concerned, if talking about optimization so far from what I have been practicing is associated with the website which in this case my website about sumatra travel packages that discusses the interesting sites that exist in the field, North Sumatra, Indonesia managed mengoptimasinya using techniques seo and was approaching the final stage where hopefully the result desired.