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How to Explain Seo to Your Grandmother (and Make Her Understand for Sure!)? 

On either side of a faded white Formica table, you face your grandmother who is waiting for the whistle that will never come from her brand new Senseo coffee maker. The frangipane tart fresh out of the oven exhales its last vapors under the unbearable clicking of the old clock. As much by habit as by partial deafness, your grandmother no longer hears it. You do. A Chinese torture in good and due form. Despite this hostile environment, you feel inexplicably well. It smells of moldy wood and love.


Here you are tenderly exchanging banalities to overcome the chasm that separates your two worlds, dug by two generations straddling a society that had time to reinvent itself twelve times. His latest version does not interest him much more than the previous one, your grandmother, but you do. No, you are passionate about her  !  So, to better approach your mysterious universe, she tries a reckless jump into this patio-temporal portal whose destination she does not know. This will be the question she doesn’t remember asking. Already 10 times, for lack of having never received an understandable answer:  “ so can you explain your job to me a bit, my little one?  »

Bad luck, you’re working in SEO agency, and the next few minutes promise to be very high-level cerebral gymnastics. Unluckily, your brain doesn’t look like a stretchy 16-year – old Chinese girl in a sequined bodysuit. Because  we live in strange times where  transmission is also from descendant to grandfather,  Position gives you  a  solution  so that you no longer give up by decreeing  “to advertise on the Internet” or, for the most cowards  among you , “  to work in  data processing” .  You will make your grandmother understand what SEO is. Yes Yes.


“Okay, grandma, imagine a village  : it’s the Internet. In this village, there is a large market place in which the inhabitants go to get everything they need. That place is Google. The problem in this village is that there are a lot of traders, a lot of people who have things to sell, but the village square is limited in space, of course! Suddenly, the stands pile up on this place, everyone wants to be there!

– Ah well yes, it’s not easy then, that’s for sure!

– Everyone fights to set up their stand on the square, but not only, has everyone fought to have the best locations, those that are at the edge of the central aisle!  Because most people, well, they cross the square on this central aisle  ; few ventures into the narrow ramifications that sink into the recesses. This central aisle, you see, is the first page of Google, the one where people go when they need something on the Internet!

– Internet?

– Yes, the village my friend, the village!

– Oh yes  ! Then the villagers go to Google Square to buy trinkets, and the spaces between the stalls are very cramped. But who hold them, these stands?

– Merchants, all merchants who seek to sell their merchandise on the Internet.


– The problem, as I told you, grandma, is that everyone is fighting to set up their stand in the square and even more so on the central aisle. But a village where people are constantly fighting, that’s not possible  !  So, for that, there are people … the… the… the “Guardians of the square”, who review all the stalls of the traders very early in the morning and who decide who can set up their stall on the square and where.

– Anaiah, they have a lot of power then these buggers! They sort of decide how shops rank on the Internet, then?

– Yes, that’s it, exactly!

– Ah! And you, do you do that?

– No, I would like to … but it’s the employees of Google who do that, those who own the village square.

– But it does not belong to everyone?

– Oh no! In the Internet Village, the plazas belong to those who build them, and it was Google that built the most spacious and suitable for the merchants’ booths.

“And I bet that the innkeeper of Google takes advantage of this to get the good merchants who want to settle there to checkout?”

– Well not necessarily, granny, a nice stand can be enough to be granted a place of choice, without paying for its location.

– Ah well, he is well brought up then, this Monsieur Googol  !

Michel, proud to be on the 1st page thanks to his structured and optimized site


– Alright, alright. So, what are you doing in all of this?

– Well, Grandma, I observe the square carefully, in particular its “Guardians”  , the way they examine the stalls of the merchants before setting them up. And by dint of observation, tests and reflection, I manage to understand their selection criteria.

– Well, yes, what are their criteria?

– In part, it is a question of choosing the best designed stands, the most adapted to the needs of the villager’s  : the stand must already be easily accessible and identifiable, that the villager with a need in mind naturally goes towards it. Here. Then you need a display based on  a very stable structure ,  well-presented goods ,  small signs to name them , compartments in which it is  easy to  find  the products ,  but there are  also more absurd criteria,  such as less obvious logic at first glance .

– And you, what is the use of understanding how these people distribute the merchants on the square?

– It serves me to advise  these  merchants  precisely ,  so that they have the best  possible chance  of having their stand on the square, and if possible, near the central aisle … you know, the first page is displaying  on computers ,  which I was telling you about earlier. And the merchants pay me in exchange for that, because thanks to me, all the villagers can see their stall, and many stop there…

– So, if I had to sum it up ,  my dear  : you advise merchants on the Internet so that their  bric-a-brac  is best placed on the largest market place  for  computers,  Gou Logue  ?

– It’s not bad at all grandma! By the way, you know, this new machine that I gave you, you can’t wait for it to whistle, it won’t whistle.

– Ah good?

– Yes, just wait for the light to stop flashing and press the button.  Well, I’m going to make the coffees because after I have to spin.

– Incredible … You’ll have to come back and explain to me in detail how this damn machine works, please.  Say, before you fly away you little rascal, I have a question for you. Tell me frankly, aren’t you sometimes tempted to advise merchants to fake or hide nasty things in order to get past honest merchants?

– Surely not! I only do honest stand layout, grandma.

– Yes, but using txt robots is not black hat, but it’s a bit of camouflage, isn’t it ?

– What?!  ”.

Here it is. During a few comical exchanges, you have just made your grandmother understand the basics of your obscure profession, referencing. Better, the time to wait for the whistle of an electric coffee maker,  SEO for Personal Trainers seem like nothing introduced your grandma to the concepts of search engine, SERP, Google algorithms, monitoring, Test and Learn , site exploration, duality between SEO and SEA, meta title ,  meta description , optimized content, UX and even the opposition between White hat and Black hat !

Unless she has already understood everything and she asks you the question again for the double pleasure of keeping you with her a little longer… and seeing you struggle a little.

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