Natural Search Blog

Is SEO Awareness Dropping? Google Trends Shows it May Be

Using Google Trends, I was noticing how searches in Google for “Search Engine Optimization” seems to be dropping over the last two years:

Searches for Search Engine Optimization in Google Trends
(click to enlarge)

While searches for that long term are decreasing, searches for the acronym, “SEO“, would appear to be on an increasing trend:

Google Trends - SEO
(click to enlarge)

Yet, I suspect that if we were able to filter out searches for Jae Seo, baseball player for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, we’d likely see either a flat or decreasing trend-line. Considering the dropping trend for “Search Engine Optimization”, I think this is possibly a reasonable assumption. The trend-lines of the two could be expected to be similar.

Also interesting to mention that searches for “Search Marketing” appear to be holding steady:

Google Trends - Search Marketing
(click to enlarge)

I think that perhaps the Search Marketing industry perhaps still needs to do a better job in educating a wider community of marketers in the importance of Search Engine Optimization and Search Marketing.


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7 comments for Is SEO Awareness Dropping? Google Trends Shows it May Be »

  1. MyAvatars 0.2

    Maybe people who want to starting learning to SEO are getting to a higher level, so there’s less demand for basic technical info (hence “search engine optimization” becoming a less searched term); meanwhile, SEO as an acronym is being hurled around meetings more often, so non-technical people are becoming curious?

    Comment by SEO Ranter — 7/24/2007 @ 10:52 pm

  2. MyAvatars 0.2

    Good point – you could be right. “SEO” may be more commonly adopted now, so the longer term is searched less.

    But, some component of “SEO” searches are almost certainly intended for the baseball player, and I think that once those baseball player searches are subtracted out, technical “SEO” searches are still likely to be flat or falling.

    Comment by Chris — 7/25/2007 @ 9:32 am

  3. MyAvatars 0.2

    I tend to agree that decreasing searches for “SEO” may as easily indicate a growing awareness of SEO than a decreasing one. It would be interesting to compare these trends with those for phrases like “link building,” “viral marketing strategies,” “seo tips,” etc.

    Comment by Fred — 7/26/2007 @ 12:30 pm

  4. MyAvatars 0.2

    I took a similar look at the search trends for SEO in May (name links to article). I also noticed that SMO was picking up steam in terms of news references so perhaps people have shifted from “basic” SEO to more advanced techniques.

    It’d be nice if Google included a scale for the Y-axis though.

    Comment by Marios Alexandrou — 8/11/2007 @ 1:50 pm

  5. MyAvatars 0.2

    Search Engine Optimization may have become a bit of a trend word – as soon as people found it wasn’t as easy as it looked, they jumped for the next trend word (you know, don’t work and make lots of money while you sit at the beach…)

    Meanwhile, those people seriously into the scene would opt for SEO as it’s much faster to use (and spell) – and so would then be able to quickly glean really useful data.

    Comment by Robert Worstell — 2/22/2008 @ 12:34 pm

  6. MyAvatars 0.2

    What nobody here has pointed out is that Google Trends results show search volume AS A PERCENTAGE OF OVERALL SEARCHES. Therefore, the total number of searches for “search engine optimization” may have increased over the past few years, and yet decreased as a percentage of overall traffic because of the huge amount of growth in total searches on Google. For all we know, the number of searches for SEO related terms could have gone up 10 times, but Google Trends wouldn’t show that.

    Comment by Joshua Steimle — 4/11/2008 @ 10:40 am

  7. MyAvatars 0.2

    That’s a great observation, Joshua! So, it’s conceivable that actual number of searches may not have decreased, while the comparative overall popularity of the term could be decreasing.

    Comment by Chris Silver Smith — 4/11/2008 @ 12:37 pm

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