No one can deny that Search Engine Optimization, a.k.a. SEO, is the most influential marketing strategy in the world. This also goes to say that SEO is the most progressive in the field because it is constantly being updated and enhanced to ensure that “user experience” remains at the top of its priority. This is what makes Google highly competitive—it’s a search engine that doesn’t pander to businesses but focuses on people.
In the early 2000s and maybe even before that, Google has managed to solidify itself as the authority in search engine optimization. Every update and overhaul from Google leaves digital marketers clamoring to understand the new algorithms and how it will affect their website. Let’s take a brief journey through time and see how the SEO landscape looked before…
Keywords and Content
Do you remember those days when SEO was all about cramming in as much keywords into a single article? Back in the middle of 2000s, keyword stuffing was not yet considered bad, at least technically. It was all everybody was doing because Google could not yet do anything to flag website marketers from putting in many keywords in their blogs.
Until the great Panda update of 2011 when Google essentially said “no more keyword stuffing”, this event ultimately led to better more meaningful content on the Internet. Google Panda rewarded websites with a higher ranking in search engine results if they took the time crafting useful and informative content that doesn’t use redundant or repetitive keywords. Ten years later and this update is still highly significant today. We’re no longer badgered by articles crammed with niche keywords here and there. As digital marketers, we have the privilege and the duty of publishing content that our target audience will enjoy and appreciate.
Links and schemes
In the same way that keyword stuffing was a thing, link building strategies were also abundant back in the day but with no control or discipline. What does this mean? In the early 2000s, link building is what we now see as black hat SEO techniques or techniques that will definitely get flagged by search engines as a No-no. Link building, back in the days, meant stuffing many hyperlinks in articles and webpages too in the hopes that search engine crawlers will think a website is “rich” with links.
That kind of practice hindered a natural link building growth and it dishonors a website in the eyes of its target audience. Can you imagine going to a webpage only to find endless hyperlinks in that page without order, logic, or even relevance to what you’re searching for? There’s a reason this kind of practice is looked down on today. Online marketers such as yourself should stay away from this and focus on link building with websites that are relevant to your target audience or websites that will help your business grow in your mutual industry.
Users and experience
“How was your experience?” is an objective question that’s difficult to ask your website visitors, but this ultimately what you want to know. Did they enjoy browsing through your webpages? Was it easy to navigate? Were the articles informative? Did it fit what they were searching for? Was their online purchase easy to manage? All of these questions and more lead to overall user experience and this is now what Google takes into account when ranking your website.
Released in early 2020, the Page User Experience update considers metrics and other technical factors to rank a website and how it delivered a holistic Internet experience for its target users. So much has yet to be understood from this update but so much has also changed because of this. For example, loading speed of webpages is now looked into and even the graphics and ads for users is now part of the overall experience.
Knowledge and graphs
Do you remember those days in the early 2011 and 2012 when you search for a specific keyword and all you’ll get are search results? Google’s Knowledge Graph did not exist then but frankly we can’t imagine a world where this update doesn’t exist. Again, Google doesn’t pander to businesses but the Knowledge Graph highlights just how useful and relevant Google is.
The Knowledge Graph emphasizes on a level that’s appropriate for the user base and it adjusts based on search terms. As website marketers have also had to compensate for this update by targeting keywords and ensuring that creative content doesn’t just focus on one subject but can cater to several topics or niches.
Mobile and webpages
In the age of smartphones, websites have also had to adjust to smaller screens. Therefore mobile-friendly webpages have risen to the top of search rankings. If a website automatically evolves to smaller screens like in smartphones and tablets, users will certainly appreciate this and so will search engine crawlers.
Google rewards user-friendly websites because, again, it has to do with the overall user experience. Now that we’ve learned these major updates over the past few years, let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below. Let us handle the constant changes needed to make your content SEO friendly, contact us at 800-589-7346 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.