The Most Searched Questions about SEO

Published on: March 27, 2023

One of the reasons we love SEO is because it gives you an inside look at the human condition. At the center of every great SEO strategy is keyword research, a process in which we uncover the search phrases that users type into search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. These searches are often done in private. They’re unfiltered, unsolicited. Discovering what questions people are trying to answer is incredibly fascinating – and often entertaining.

For the sake of fun and a little curiosity, we took the time to dig into the most entertaining and interesting keywords our team could find related to one of Search Nurture’s top services: SEO. 

About the data: The keyword volume referenced throughout this article was taken from Semrush in March 2023. Volume represents the average number of US-based Google searches each month. 

#1 “What does SEO stand for?”

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a marketing strategy that involves getting websites to rank on search engines for commonly searched terms that are relevant to the purposes of the web pages being ranked.

Most people over the past 30 years have not known what SEO is. This is to be expected because SEO is a newer form of marketing that rose approximately 10 years after the creation of the internet in 1983. 

SEO began to gain traction about five years after Archie, the first search engine, was created in 1990. The SEO industry as of date has really only been around for about 25 years. And like most new industries, it can take a long time for the general public to know about them. 

According to Semrush, one of our favorite keyword research tools, the search term “what does SEO stand for” gets an average of 3,600 searches a month! This shows how many new people are hearing the term “SEO” thrown around nowadays. Demand has never been higher.

#2 “Is SEO Dead?”

Oh, the drama of how this keyword is phrased! 

And do we love it? Yes, yes we do.

This search term “is SEO dead” gets 260 searches a month. These searches were likely prompted by click bait headlines on articles that claim SEO is no longer an effective marketing strategy. So, is SEO dead? No. SEO is not dead. Marketers have been prophesying the death of SEO as early as 1997. It’s our belief that SEO will never truly die. Because what is a search engine? Google, Bing and Baidu are the obvious answers. But there are even more marketplaces that run on algorithms – YouTube, Amazon, TikTok, Reddit, Facebook, Craigslist, eBay, Poshmark, Airbnb,, Wayfair, Instacart, Uber. Optimizing your representation on any algorithm-based platform is SEO. 

#3 “Can you pay Google for SEO?”

Thankfully, no. You can’t pay Google for better organic rankings. This search term gets 50 searches a month. If you could pay Google for better organic rankings, the entire SERP (search engine results page) would be dominated by cash-flush businesses. Can you imagine if the organic results were also up for sale? The best results would be crowded out by the highest bidder. This would present a terrible user experience. Eventually, users would stop returning to Google due to this over-commercialization, which would cause the entire marketplace to implode.

However, you certainly can pay Google for Google Ad space. Google Ads are the websites that are on the top of the search results and often are labeled “Ad” to let users know that websites are placed there due to payment for ad placement rather than off of reputable merit. 

Learn more about paid search services. 

#4 “What is an SEO strategy?”

This is a fantastic question! We imagine the term coming up in a marketing department in discussion about how to allocate marketing efforts. Or, we imagine an SEO Specialist trying to describe what they do for work to someone at a cocktail party. 

No matter the setting, this search term gets approximately 70 people a month wondering what an SEO strategy is. To answer this question, an SEO strategy is a strategy to optimize a website or web pages to rank within the top results on a search engine for relevant search terms.

#5 “How long does it take for SEO to kick in?”

This is a smart question to ask, especially if it’s your first time investing in SEO services or testing your own SEO strategy. In our keyword research, we are seeing 70 searches a month for this question. 

We love this question because it’s one of the most frequently asked questions among clients who are new to SEO and new to our agency. Not to mention, we relate with the ache of the question “When are we going to see results?!” We want to see them happen as soon as possible for our clients.

Like most answers to questions about SEO, the answer is “it depends.” The standard response was “approximately 3-6 months,” but it really does depend on what you’re implementing. The algorithms are growing more and more sophisticated every year (really every second, thanks to Rank Brain). For some SEO projects, we see results within a week of implementation, but it really depends what you’re implementing and how much.  

#6 “Why does SEO take so long?”

Maybe you’re not doing it right? There are about 70 people a month growing impatient waiting for SEO results. We already provided some context to this question in the previous section, “how long does it take for SEO to kick in?” We’ll add that if you’re still not seeing results three months after implementing your SEO strategy, there’s something not right. Either your strategy wasn’t sound or there’s something else standing in your way. 

If this sounds like you, send us a message. We’ll be happy to check it out. 

#7 “Can you do SEO yourself?”

Of course you can! Just like anything else, you have to learn it. And then you have to create a strategy. And then you have to produce the work. And then you have to implement it. It’s a lot of work – and a lot of it is pretty technical. That’s why many brand managers hire it out to professionals who already know what they’re doing. 

At Search Nurture, we believe in a team approach. We like to teach our clients all about SEO (to the extent they’re willing to learn). That way, we can develop strategies together and divvy up the work. The more brains, the better. Many hands make light work. 

#8 “What is SEO juice?”

The term “link juice” refers to the positive impact that a link from one website has on another website or webpage. These links are called external links or backlinks. They are extremely important signals. In fact, they are one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. 

The concept of link juice was what made Google’s algorithm unique. In its early days, the algorithm was called PageRank. You can think of an external link as a vote of confidence from one website to another. Websites with more votes, especially from websites that had a healthy external link profile, were deemed a better source of information and would, therefore, rank higher in search results. Of course, this led to link spam and other black hat practices that Google has been policing since the very beginning. 

To this day, link juice is still a delicious ingredient in the search algorithm.

#9 “Do apostrophes affect SEO?”

Apostrophes do not directly affect SEO. However, the correct use of apostrophes is important for good grammar, which can indirectly impact the quality of your content and how it is perceived by both search engines and human readers.

Good grammar and spelling are important for creating high-quality content that is easy to read and understand. Search engines strive to provide the best possible results for their users, and they are more likely to prioritize pages that are well-written and error-free. Additionally, content that is easy to read and understand is more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites, which can boost its visibility and search engine rankings.

Therefore, while apostrophes do not have a direct impact on SEO, their correct use can indirectly improve the quality of your content and potentially improve its search engine rankings.

#10 “How to spy on competitors’ SEO?”

It’s actually a lot easier than you would think. With about 10 searches a month, this question can be the subject of a textbook. We’ll give you the condensed version. Here are three ways to spy on competitors’ SEO: 

Run their domain through Semrush or Ahrefs to see what keywords they’re targeting. Comparing your link profile to that of your competitors is called a keyword gap analysis. After you find a keyword that they’re ranking for but you are not, check out the page that’s ranking. Now your goal is to create content that’s 10x better than the highest ranking page. 

Audit your competitors’ link profile with your favorite SEO tool. We just explained the importance of external links in the “what is link juice?” section. If your competitor has an incredible high number of backlinks, it’s possible they’ve deployed a backlink strategy. There are many agencies that specialize in building backlinks by reaching out to various publishers who may find your content helpful. It’s also possible that your competitors are buying backlinks – we wouldn’t recommend it.

Examine the source code of their website. There’s not much you can hide when it comes to SEO. Inside the source code, you can tell whether your competitors are using an SEO plugin (like YoastSEO). You can also see whether they’re using schema markup (a language that highlights information on the page). You can also see whether they are optimizing images with keyword-rich alt text or serving images in web-friendly formats. There’s a lot you can learn by inspecting the source code. Of course, it takes a trained eye to know what to look for.

#11 How to pick an SEO agency?

There are 90 searches a month for this query – and for good reason. Choosing the best SEO agency can be difficult. SEO is not a simple service. It’s not like choosing a tree removal company where the measure of success is obvious to all parties. And that’s why our list begins with transparency. 

  1. Transparency: A good SEO agency will be transparent about their strategies and techniques. Avoid agencies that make unrealistic promises or use black hat tactics that could result in penalties from search engines. Make sure the agency understands your goals and provides regular reporting to see how they’re pacing toward those goals. Transparency is the key to accountability. 
  2. Experience: Look for an agency with a proven track record of success. Check their portfolio and case studies to see if they have experience in your industry or niche. Often, the most expensive agencies are the most experienced. 
  3. Communication: Choose an agency that is easy to communicate with and responsive to your needs. You should be able to contact them easily and get updates on your campaign regularly.
  4. Core Values: A great SEO agency will act as an extension of your team. You’ll be working closely together. It’s important that your values align. At Search Nurture, our core values include Collaboration, Initiative, Innovation and Integrity. It’s just as important to us, as the SEO agency, that our clients share the same values. 

We hope you learned something new. If you’re at all as fascinated by keyword data as we are, follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter. We’re constantly sharing interesting facts and the latest industry trends. And if you’re looking for an SEO agency that aligns with your core values and has a proven track record of success, let’s talk. Our team would love to craft an SEO strategy that helps accomplish your business goals.

Obed Reyes




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