Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, has evolved quickly and dramatically. In its early years, SEO involved shady methods, such as keyword stuffing, spamming links and making changes to back-end code. The good news is Google took action and stamped out those methods very quickly, and since then, Google’s search algorithm has continued to evolve.
Google’s algorithm has changed throughout the years, and this has led to changes in SEO. With that said, here’s how the search engine’s algorithm has changed in the last ten years.
Content marketing has gone on to become a huge part of any SEO strategy or internet marketing strategy. Google has
gradually refined what it considers good content. When Panda happened in 2011, spammy content and keyword stuffing received a fatal blow.
After the Panda update, it was difficult to get away with content-based tactics, such as forgoing quality and substance and focusing more on quality of content. The ones who won the most were those who focused on producing valuable content. The rise of content has proven once again that content always was and still is king.
2. Link Schemes
Google has explained what a link scheme is. However, not everyone is so sure what is classed as being one. The simple definition is an attempt to influence your ranking with links and doing it deliberately.
In the late 2000s, Google focused on stamping out spam-based link building practices, and they punished those participating in link wheels, paid links schemes and link exchanges. In 2012, Google unleashed the Penguin update, which is what shaped link building. Today, the only way to build links of high quality is via guest posts and natural link attraction.
3. Local SEO Was Reshaped
Local SEO has come a long way in the last ten years. Many changes have happened, both minor and major changes. However, the biggest change of all was probably in regards to ranking factor. This update was known as the Pigeon update.
With the Pigeon update, Google started to incorporate traditional web ranking signals. This means that websites that have been well-optimized gained an edge in the local search results. Also, high-authority directory websites received a boost.
Generally speaking, over the last few years local searches have become more widely used and more location-specific. Coronation Internet Marketing recommends that people starting off in SEO should probably focus on local SEO to start off. It is much simpler than doing a national campaign or targeting a larger keyword.
4. SERP Overhauls
The search engine results pages, or SERPs for short, has changed so many times. Some changes are small, so they weren’t noticeable, which means more changes have probably occurred than we know about. One thing is for sure, and that is you have to consider numerous things in regards to the SERPs.
5. Knowledge Graph
In 2012, Google unleashed its Knowledge Graph, which has now become a huge influencer in SEO. This attempts to give users answers to their search queries via a box of information. For example, when you type in a phrase in the search engine, you may be shown a box with content, which means you won’t have to click on a website to get to content. Unfortunately, it usually overtakes results in the organic search results.
There are ways optimizers can compensate for this. Using Schema.org is one of the ways they can compensate for it. This allows them to micro-format their site, which will make their content more deliverable.
6. Mobile Prioritization
Ever since the iPhone came to the market in 2007, the rise of mobile devices has exploded. Google has made it clear that optimizing sites for mobile users is important. In 2015, queries via mobile devices surpassed desktop queries. This was the first time this has ever happened.
It is common practice to optimize websites for mobile devices. The bottom line is you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, and this means it should read well on all mobile devices. Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that Google released a major mobile-friendly update, and this was when the new standard was set, and today mobile SEO is more important than ever before.
7. The Soft Death Of Keywords Optimization
Keyword stuffing received a death blow thanks to Penguin and Panda, but in 2013 another update affected keyword optimization. This update was known as Hummingbird, which was designed to decipher user intent instead of focusing on mapping out phrases and individual keywords.
Fast forward to today, Google tries to understand the meaning one’s search instead of matching keywords. However, keyword research is still important. This means you still should research keywords and use them in your content.
8. Update pacing and impact
For quite some time, Google was stressing out search optimizers by releasing random updates to its algorithm. However, Google eventually built a strong foundation, which has led to a decline in the significance and pacing of the updates. These days, you don’t notice these updates, which have become smaller. They also don’t have a significant impact on the industry.
It’s essential that we all have an understanding of where search engine optimization stands today and where it has come from. This can help you succeed in internet marketing. Hopefully, you are no longer using black-hat techniques, if you were using them in the first place.
Google is the top search engine around, and more and more people use it. This is why you need to focus on SEO, and you’ll want to continue to stay updated on changes that occur throughout the next ten years.