Is SEO More of a Science or an Art?

Is SEO More of a Science or an Art?

Most people as well as ideas and actions are put into one of two categories: science or art. In the past it has been believed that something in the science category is very logical or straightforward, whereas anything creative and arbitrary is an art. However, breaking things into two categories is just too easy. Some things are viewed as a science by some, an art by others, or something that many see as fitting into both categories. SEO is one of these things that can be classified into both categories.  

When SEO is a Science

A science is something that uses facts. Science is usually systematic, and there is almost always a right answer that can be proven through the laws of mathematics (even if it hasn’t been discovered yet). If you’re using universal truths to complete a project or create an opinion, you’re being scientific. Consider below a few of the ways that SEO can be seen and used as a science:

  • SEO uses algorithms and formulas; thus relying on mathematics for creation.
  • SEO must be organized in order to work. Companies are continually creating hypotheses as to how the algorithm works, and testing is a way to prove these hypotheses right or wrong. 
  • There is a right and wrong when it comes to SEO. If your website is ranking well on a SERP, you’re doing something right. If not, you’re doing something wrong. This makes SEO something that is not really objective. 

The large majority of companies think of SEO as a science. Many are usually more comfortable with science because it proves things. Once there is a definite answer, you’ve solved the puzzle. Unfortunately, it isn’t always this easy.  

When SEO is an Art

An art is something that is created out of creativity and imagination. It doesn’t focus quite as much on universal truths or testing to prove a theory. An art will occur because someone thought of an idea, and that idea happens to work. Below lists a few ways SEO can be considered an art: 

  • Part of SEO and marketing is creating social buzz. Where you place your links and the way in which you format the content and graphics will help a website gain popularity through social networks and rank higher on a SERP.
  • Content is extremely important, and this takes creativity. There is no “one way” to write content. You have to make a choice: blog content, infographic, video, etc.
  • Navigation for users is important when it comes to SEO. This means that a company will need to get creative when it comes to website design and code. 
  • Keyword research takes creativity. You must know which keywords work best for your audience and where there is an opportunity.  This forces a business owner to think outside the box and determine where there could potentially be opportunity.

Although most people wish that SEO were a science only, it’s tough to deny that some creation and creativity must occur in order for a website to be successful.

What Do You Think?

Do you think SEO is a science or an art? Is it even possible to place SEO into one of these categories? Do you think treating SEO as a science is wiser for most companies? Let us know in the comments!

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