Matt Cutts used the new Google survey tool to ask whether people had heard of search engines optimization, and reported that 1 in 5 Americans is aware of SEO.
This isn’t scientific research, of course, but rather an experiment with a new online tool.
Still, it was encouraging. Somewhere around a quarter of U.S. businesses are said to have a search engine optimization plan in place, and 35% of businesses in a recent survey said SEO was the single marketing channel they’d choose if they had to pick only one, so it seems that business owners have an even higher level of familiarity with SEO than the average.
Clearly, people are becoming more aware of the importance of search engine optimization.
Nonetheless, just to keep it in perspective, I feel that I must list a few other things that are true of 20% of Americans, according to surveys:
- 20% of Americans suffer from mental illness.
- 20% believe they will become millionaires.
- 20% of us work while on vacation.
- 20% are chronic procrastinators.
- 20% believe that the sun orbits the earth (I want to see the raw data on this one — I don’t believe it).
- 20% have never heard of Occupy Wall Street.
- 20% have ended a romantic relationship because of a pet.
I think we can conclude that people who understand the value of SEO are special people. If you’ve heard of SEO, you’re ahead of 80% of people in the U.S. If you know that SEO is important for your business, you’re ahead of some 65-75% of business owners. If you actually know what search engine optimization means and how it benefits your company, you’re downright amazing.
Now let’s get serious. If you are a business owner who knows the value of SEO, you have an enormous advantage over the majority of business owners. In fact, the U.S. census tells us that fewer than half of businesses with revenues of $1,000,000 or less even have a website. Even if we assume that businesses with websites are more likely to be owned by people familiar with SEO, that still gives you some nice odds. Get your business online with a well optimized website, and you will probably be way ahead of your competitors.