How SEO has Evolved the Years
Search Engine Optimization has evolved greatly in the recent past that most people who still held on the ‘ancient’ SEO practices believed that SEO died. Well, it is good to note that nothing has replaced SEO, it the same SEO that was but has just evolved.
Earlier SEO techniques
In the past, the most common SEO practices were keyword stuffing and link farming which to many people seemed unethical and were termed as spamming. However, it’s good to note that during this time, these were the most effective SEO practices, although today more effective SEO practices have emerged, we ought to know that these earlier practices laid the foundation upon which search algorithms have been improved.
Today, we can take pride in the effectiveness of social media and email marketing but it all began with these practices that we now term extinct. In 2010 for example, content spinning and link building were the main SEO practice that brought results even though they were still considered unethical.
These practices were later termed redundant right after Google updated its search algorithms. To those who didn’t embrace the new, SEO became dead but those who evolved with it saw great results.
Google releases that Changed SEO completely
During the years 2011 and 2012 google released google panda, penguin and hummingbird. These releases brought some of the prior SEO techniques to their death bed. For example, in 2011 after google panda was released, manipulative SEO practices like keyword stuffing become irrelevant. Businesses that relied heavily on keyword stuffing fell belly fast and had to fight to adjust to Google SEO standards.
While Panda dealt with keyword stuffing, several institutions still thrived on unnatural link building. SEOs would farm links for their sites as many as they could to get the much needed traffic. However, Google’s hammer fell across their faces with the release of Penguin, an update that dealt with these unnaturally inflated links. This seemed like the death of SEO. Again, those who adapted lived as the rest wept.
When Google released hummingbird, the surfing experience became better for those who were seeking information online. The update worked like magic in sieving light content from quality content. Those who never invested in producing rich website content again lost big as thin pages went dead over the dominance of rich content.
The update incorporated synonyms and word contexts in their algorithms enriching search results for surfers. This was when the idea of ‘Content is King’ first surfaced. The SEO industry now had to change their marketing techniques and prioritize on creating rich content.
Google Updates didn’t Kill SEO
While some people have opined that these three google releases killed SEO, the assumptions are false since only redundant SEO practices that bore no results got overridden. Besides, other traditional SEO practices like natural link building and use of descriptive header tags still moved with the evolution.
On the contrary, these releases have brought with them more SEO techniques that give more refined results. Social media marketing, content marketing, and blog marketing have become more successful because of integration of the old techniques with the new. SEO didn’t die, it merely evolved.
I'm a US Navy Veteran, current full-time college student and consultant in Digital Marketing and Social Selling for small businesses nationally. Founder/SEO specialist of Sayles Industries, a Tristate-based Digital Marketing Agency that helps businesses grow.