Why SEO has always been AEO (which has always been marketing)

What is AEO?

Hang on a minute! I wasn't aware we needed a new abbreviation, what on earth is AEO?

AEO stands for Answer Engine Optimisation. It is a term used to describe a side of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) that focuses on optimising your content by providing answers to the questions people are asking.

Rather than referencing search engines in general, this new term encompasses the rise to ubiquity of mobile and the increasing adoption of voice search.

How does AEO change SEO?

In my opinion SEO has always been marketing. It is about understanding people's wants and needs. Search engines have provided this information as people articulated their desires over the last 20+ years in greater and greater detail via the queries they typed in the search box.

With the move from desktops to mobile, and now to voice, both the amount and the way people consume information has changed over this period. The increased adoption of voice search and the rising expectation of people to receive the right answer quicker and with less friction than before, has lead to the search engines working harder to identify and pull out more well defined and granular data.

This leads to increased importance on correctly categorising the data on your site (through schema) and enabling snippets to be picked up. The coining of the AEO term recognises this.

Finally, by applying this new label, it will hopefully keep the focus more on the customer and meeting people's needs, and less on trying to game the system.

It is always about the people and the problem you are helping them to solve.

AEO = SEO = Marketing = Problems solved for the audience you are targeting at the time they need you