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Is SEO a Science or an Art Form? An Opinion Piece.

SEO has become a buzzword of sorts in the small business community, with many business owners knowing the importance of it, but not understanding what it is or how it works.

First of all... what actually is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Simply put; it is the practise of implementing certain features so that your website ranks higher on search engines such as Google.

Search engines always want to give people the most relevant and best quality result for their search query. To achieve this, the search engine uses complex algorithms to constantly “crawl” the pages of internet and try to judge which websites are best for what queries. Therefore, to improve your chances of increased, organic website traffic, it’s important to apply certain search-engine-friendly optimisations to your website. Common SEO tactics include utilising keywords, building quality backlinks, optimising your website’s structure (headings, pages, etc.), making your site mobile friendly & accessible, and optimising your sites meta-data.

Google Maps search 'best Italian restaurant Melbourne'

Source: BSPOKE STUDIO via Google Search

The Concept of Science Versus Art...

“Both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us”, Dave Featherstone responded on a Quora thread, which later appeared in Forbes. Having studied both, I tend to agree. The key difference, as Karen Hardison argues, is that art is subjective, whereas science is objective.

Science and art overlap often, and SEO is not excepted from this. SEO is data-driven and achieved through objective analysis and methodical design. When your website is crawled, the AI does not *necessarily* care if you were trying to be ‘out of the box’ in your approach, or how aesthetically pleasing your site is to look at. It’s trying to check boxes. That is, definitive answers to a set of rules. Unlike the human eye, AI cannot look at your website and say how it makes them feel. It can however look at your website and make assumptions of its quality, navigability, and user-friendliness – i.e., make an educated guess on how a human might feel when interacting with your website.

In the case of SEO, due to the fact that artificial intelligence is crawling and ranking your website based on a set of pre-existing rules created by the search engines; SEO seems to fall into the category of science. Objective. However, for humans to be able to create websites that meet all of the SEO quality requirements, be aesthetically pleasing and make sense to both AI and human eyes, that, to me, is an art.

To learn more about SEO and how to implement this in your business, we recommend this guide by HubSpot.



Mar 28, 2023

I enjoyed how this piece was very will written with great images chosen to really make it clear to reader of what SEO may look like in everyday life as well as contesting the debate of art vs science really entices the reader. I thought the common SEO tactics could have been expanded on for the reader just to give a more solid grounding about what SEO involves.Overall I really enjoyed this piece and question of is SEO a science or art

Bianca Mammone
Bianca Mammone
Mar 28, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much for your feedback! :)

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