The SEO Iceberg

The SEO iceberg analogy isn’t a new concept, and many of you may have seen previous infographics attempting to represent this idea, but I haven’t yet seen one that brings this analogy into the modern 2014 search engine optimization environment.

If you aren’t familiar with the iceberg analogy it positions Google as the sun, sending out rays of search marketing updates that act to heat up the iceberg. The iceberg is surrounded by water that ships - representing businesses and brands - are attempting to navigate.

Although the ship can see the surface of the iceberg jutting out of the waves, the larger expanse of ice that resides below the surface is still unknown and this makes it very difficult to navigate the iceberg safely. The areas of SEO in this surface section of the iceberg can usually be handled fairly easily by businesses, but the more intricate aspects that lie underneath the water can often be increasingly complex and time-consuming.


As the rays from Google’s sun intensify with more complex algorithms, updates and SEO changes, the areas that make up the iceberg begin to crack and break away. This constant radiation from the sun leaves the iceberg in a perpetual state of flux and subject to frequent change as more algorithms and crawler updates are released.

We have already seen this change affect the sections of the iceberg that represent guest-blogging, keyword led optimisation and quantity of links, all of which are no longer a part of the SEO framework, and more and more cracks will occur as the changes from Google continue to be released.

What do you think will be the next part of the iceberg to break off? Let us know on Twitter!

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