The process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing one.
SEO is one of the most influential marketing channels in the world in terms of progress. The reason being is that SEO is one of most progressive fields in terms of innovation and updates. Google regularly makes changes to their algorithm to make SEO more rewarding for website owners or to weed out the black hat SEO practitioners. The fact of the matter is that 10 years ago, SEO was a very different game but the players are still the same as confirmed by a Michigan Seo Company.
The process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing one. It began back in the mid-2000s and has been evolving ever since. In the very beginning, SEO was as simple as placing keywords wherever you could, spamming links and tweaking back-end code. Google has put a stop to those practices, however, and updated their algorithm tremendously.
Here are the changes:
The definition of ‘good content’ has changed over the past several years. One of the most notorious periods in SEO was around the mid-2000s when keyword stuffing and spammy content dominated the world of SEO. Technically this was not a bad thing because there was not anything Google could really use to dissuade people from keyword stuffing.
It was not until the Panda update of 2011 when Google finally said no to keyword stuffing giving rise to meaningful quality content. Content Marketing is now a popular SEO strategy, where people focus on providing the best and most quality content possible.
Panda made the internet a better place by penalizing keyword stuffing. Speaking, before the Panda update the internet was all about quantity over quality, which gave birth to a number of low-quality content. Panda instead rewarded those who spent time polishing their craft in terms of writing quality content. Search Engine Optimization became a game of content and people who can dish out the best content are the real winners of the game – and this is still significant today.
Getting rid of link schemes
Link schemes are anything that people do with links in order to deliberately influence ranking. Google began putting link schemes to death in the late 2000s, saying it was time for black hat SEO to be gone finally. That in combination with the Penguin release laid a foundation for link building and all it has become today.
Link scheme is a broad term but Google sees any attempt to manipulate your ranking or influence-using links is a no. Link building was quite tumultuous because many of the things we see today as Black Hat SEO techniques were more or less tolerated back then. Speaking, link building is now restricted to natural link attraction as well as legitimate guest posts and only by doing this can you increase your authority.
Redefining local searches
Back in 2014, the Pigeon update came about and it revolutionized how local searches were done forever. The Pigeon update rewarded well-optimized websites and gave them an advantage when it comes to local searches. Another good thing that came about because of this update was Google integrating traditional web ranking signals with its internal algorithm and it worked well with local searches.
Redefining local searches also gave rise to location-specific searching with the help of the prevalence of mobile browsing.
Changing up SERP
SERP is one of the chameleons in SEO in that it has changed so many times that many people have already lost count. Many of these changes are small but the biggest changes are definitely noticeable.
Looking at the screenshot from Google’s SERP from 2006, it is definitely strange to look at today because Google’s SERP has changed so much – and for the better. Google is now faster, more optimized and it prioritizes quality content and websites that have a positive reputation.
Google’s Knowledge Graph
Google’s Knowledge Graph is great but it did not even exist back then. The knowledge graph tries to give searchers a clear answer to their search terms. This is definitely aimed towards the user base because it takes priority over organic search results.
Optimizers had to adjust to these changes by compensating with more concise content that is not generally answerable keywords. The opinion of Michigan SEO company on this is that this is good because it is believed that it allows optimizers to hone their craft by creating content that directly answers their users’ needs.
Mobile Devices have been the next big thing for the longest time that it is great that Google finally made the change to mobile first. Google has always pushed for innovation in mobile search to the point that Google is enforcing optimization for mobile devices. Optimizers that have yet to make their websites mobile-friendly should do so as soon as possible because Google actually rewards mobile-friendly websites.
Since the introduction of iPhones in 2007, mobile search has absolutely exploded. Brands understand the necessity of being relevant to mobile searches and having their websites as optimized as possible for this process of searching. In 2015, mobile searches officially passed desktop searches in Google search.
Killing keywords, again
Panda and Penguin are two of the most recurring updates and for good reason and these updates effectively killed keyword stuffing back then. Hummingbird, on the other hand, is a more recent update that introduced users and optimizers to semantic search, which essentially allows Google’s algorithm to interpret user-intent instead of relying on keywords. What this means is that Hummingbird allowed Google to understand what people want instead of relying on words that can still be potentially exploited.
On the other hand, keywords are still important but do note that SEO is no longer focused on keywords and so, keyword-centric optimization is no longer the same game. Keywords are significant in enabling websites to map out their strategic focal point as well as giving you opportunities to rank.
Updates, Updates, and more Updates
During the past couple of years, Google has released updates such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. These changes kept optimizers on their toes and for a time, people were significantly worried about upcoming changes and how these can affect their websites. Back then, any single update could recalibrate how rankings are calculated and these “small updates” can potentially make or break a website.
These constant updates, in my opinion, forged SEO practitioners into the powerhouses that they are today by keeping them on their toes. In short, these changes made optimizers a little bit paranoid which forced them to optimize their websites frequently – and I think that is a good thing.
Google has definitely grown and it is nigh unrecognizable from what it was ten years ago. These changes made SEO better until it reached its current form. While SEO now has a strong foundation, it can still be improved.
Most SEO expert says that it is important to recognize where SEO came from, the updates that have been made since, and where it is headed will help you be the best possible online marketer. Make sure your strategy is up to date, and all black hat techniques are eliminated.