There’s no doubt about it: search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever. Businesses around the world rely on it to make money because it’s the only thing that makes their internet presence legitimate. Without it, they’re a guppy in a shark tank. With it, there are no limits. It’s that powerful.
For many, the question is – how did SEO get to this point? How did something that started only twenty-five years ago get to be such a major marketing player so quickly. The answer is because it’s dynamic and has evolved. But why?
In the beginning, there was God – sorry I meant the internet. When the world’s first website came out in 1991, everything was perfect. There was no spam, false advertisements, illegitimate online businesses, hackers, or even liars. There were sites and users.
Word got around quickly and more websites were developed. Eventually there were too many. Search engines needed to be created. Excite was the first. Yahoo the second. Google the third. They acted as a filter. A website’s worthiness was determined by the search engines. Sites were ranked accordingly. It worked well for a while, but eventually businesses caught on and started picking apart the search engines’ flaws. They tricked and manipulated the search engines in any way they could to get their site ranking up. And it worked. Keyword stuffing, excessive tagging, and backlinks lead to high rankings and increased sales. Until 2003, when Google became the king.
Google is the reason SEO has changed – and possibly even born. Google was the first major player to recognize unethical internet practices and put an end to them. They decided that they wanted to be the leader that connected internet users to valuable content. They created rules and regulations. Bad websites were punished, and good ones rewarded. Starting in 2003, they awarded ethical internet practice with high rankings. They even began to get more personalized. User history was used to personalize searches. They used things like maps, locations, and store hours to help users. This personalization would be the building block for the company’s future development and spark the evolution of SEO.
As Google became more personalized, so did SEO- it had to. The unethical practices mentioned above would not only no longer work, but would put SEO companies out of business- quick. New content was created and new ways to get that content to the user were found. A text only website became a thing of the past. Images and videos began to be incorporated into websites. User interaction and satisfaction increased as a result.
The dynamic relationship between Google and SEO is one that continued to grow. Eventually, Google made a strong push toward rewarding sites that produced the high quality content from which that users could benefit. They created stricter regulations for content and links. In the end, they forced the hand of SEO once again. SEO had to evolve, or it would be left in the dust.
Present day SEO now encompasses everything a company does online. Website content, links, marketing campaigns, and even social media activity are included. It would seem that SEO companies have a lot on their plate; however, adopting a few basic principles has proven that effective SEO really isn’t as complicated as it seems. Identifying the right keywords and incorporating them into easy-to-read text that answers the questions users want answered, writing friendly site code, and using ethical link practice will get sites ranked high every time.
The only thing we can do to predict the future of SEO is look at the direction Google is heading, which seems to be a much more holistic approach to rewarding sites. Google has and always will be in the business of helping its users. Everything it has done, currently does, and will do is centered around the online experiences on their users. Based on this, it’s predicted that SEO will also become increasingly holistic – creating sites that benefit users on any and all levels. How this will be done is unknown, but should be interesting to watch. The sky will be the limit.
SEO will always be a dynamic term that’s constantly evolving with Google. The best SEO companies know this. And, they know that the fundamentals will always remain the same. An honest, upfront approach that takes all parties involved into account will always be the backbone of a successful SEO company. It has to be – Google wouldn’t have it any other way.
Search Engine Optimization is a very effective process to make a website appear higher in search results. The process basically makes the website more readable for search engine crawlers and modifies the website in such a way that the search engines are able to identify the content of the website and hence place it appropriately in search results. Many firms provide SEO services globally.
SEO has evolved over the years, but even now there are some practices, which are carried on and should be stopped because they might not be effective anymore. Listed below are some of them:
Many SEO practices are designed around the Google architecture and other search engines are often ignored. This is not a good practice and should be avoided. Now, there are many search engines like Bing, which are quickly gaining significant market share. SEO services should keep these developments in mind and design their optimizations and modifications accordingly. Even if the time hasn’t come to move on from Google, SEO firms should realize the importance of traffic from Bing, and Yahoo!
Old habits die-hard. It is a general perception that SEO is the only thing required to get high rankings in search results. But that is not the case; content is the most important thing to have. Websites should have good content and then opt for optimization. One might want to outsource content writing for building better quality articles. The content should be structured well using simple and good English. It should be straightforward in simple words and comprehensible by everyone.
How Google feels about poor content via syndicated article directories.
Automated software and robots are not that reliable to run SEO campaigns anymore. Even now, people look for automated tools to boost up rankings. Using these shortcuts to promote one’s website is a fool’s game, which can eventually get your website banned over a period of 6-12 months.
This methodology is not as effective anymore. Earlier, people used to define a fixed percentage of links to be anchored using specific keywords. Now, this is not worthwhile in the Hummingbird era. Search engines prefer relevance rather than anchors based on keywords. Search engines will give more value to a website if it is valuable to the readers, and is loved by them (in terms of social outreach).
SEO is an evolving methodology and the same practices may not be effective all the time. As technology evolves, SEO methodologies also need to evolve. The ultimate aim is to make a website likable by any search engine and sustain it. As there are competitors everywhere and everyone does the same thing, one needs to deploy unique features. It should not be forgotten that good content is the heart of any website. Even if one is able to rank a website high using many techniques, it may not sustain if the website has bad, meaningless, and irrelevant content.
Evans Mark is an experienced digital marketer, who has been testing the latest SEO services ever since the Hummingbird algorithm was rolled out, and he has discovered that content marketing still works like a charm, while the automated tools are almost useless in post-Penguin era.