Ever since search engines were introduced in the early 1990’s, users have always wanted the same thing… they want fast and accurate answers to their questions. However, websites have made this difficult in the past. Therefore, over the past 20 years, search engines have continually changed in order to provide the quality users desire.
One of the main goals of a website is to create viewers, and in order to do this people must look at your website. Now lets be honest, have you ever looked past the first or second page on Google…no, because we expect to receive our answer right away. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Websites use SEO to enhance the visibility of a website in order to drive more traffic.
In just a short amount of time, SEO has changed dramatically. Before, websites would use scams to optimize their website that resulted in poor quality search results. Therefore, search engine technology and algorithms have changed over the years along with the tactics of online marketers. Lets take a look at the history of SEO and the changes made to create the highest quality search results:
The Start of SEO
SEO began with the development of WebCrawlers. Web pages were ranked according to their content that search engines collected through the use of crawler bots. Therefore, to rank number one on the search list, you only had to repeat the same keywords over and over again. For example, a website could repeat the keyword SEO a thousand times on a webpage and they would be at the top of the search list. So do you see the problem with this? The quality of the webpage did not play a role in ranking, only the repetition of the right keywords. Search engines therefore began advancing the algorithms by analyzing header tags, word counts, and keyword densities. But everything changed when Google was introduced.
In 1997, Google made an appearance in the search engine world, and changed SEO. First, Google created an algorithm that used links as a ranking system. They treated inbound links as an editorial vote of confidence that led to higher quality search results. In other words, the more your link showed up on the Internet, the higher ranked your website was. This worked until people started to place links wherever they could. Webmaster, would receive the emails – “Link popularity is key to your search engine rankings, let’s swap links.” This tactic was being sold as SEO and it worked until Google started penalizing link schemes.
Google began cracking down on SEO schemes in 2010 and introduced the Panda and Penguin updates. The Panda and Penguin updates crush sites with weak or duplicated content and prevent spam. The goal of the updates is to bring the importance of unique and fresh websites to the forefront. If there is a link building tactic, Google will find out, and there would be a penalty to match.
According to Google: “The best way to get other sites to create high quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off.”
And this is why SEO now means affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural, organic search results. No longer can SEO use scams to quickly get a website ranked number one. Now, it takes time to create a long-term, professional, memorable, and trusted website.
So what can an SEO company do today? SEO companies can create visibility by developing relevant infographics, blog post, interactive pieces, social media and more. They continue to track results through analytics and create website traffic in natural search results. So long are the days that link scams could get you ranked number one. Today, the quality of content is what earns a website a higher ranking.