How SEO Has Changed Over the Past 10 Years

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The internet and everything about it has changed so drastically and quickly that you can hardly blink before something new appears online. It seems just the other day we were introduced to the wonders of social media when they told us about influencers and the impact of being known on the internet. It continues to change and bring with it new challenges, but one thing remains the same. Visibility always has and will always be the key to getting ahead on the internet. Google has also become a complete entity on its own, setting up new rules all the time and being selective of the kids they play with on the internet playground. With enough help from a trusted SEO service provider, you can make sure that your ranking remains at the top of the pile, but let’s take a quick look at how things have changed over the past ten years:

The Beginning of SEO 

It has been said that SEO began as early as 1991-1997 when the first website and coding hit the internet and made searching for things more accessible. Based on the results thereof, it created an interest, but it wasn’t until a decade ago that it became prevalent. With the birth of social networking in 2003, the idea of using the internet to find information has taken a completely different turn. We live in a time where information has never been more accessible and where you can get just about anything by using the right words, meta tags and backlinks to make sure that what you have to say is seen. 

Blackhat Keywords

Before users had to play by the Google rules to get their products seen, site owners had sneaky ways to use keywords that they would either sneak into the web coding or hide in invisible text. For example, the term “Blackhat” referred to the bad guys in old western movies, and on the internet, it referred to terms that would deliberately go against the service guidelines. In addition, it was unethical and often illegal, using spamdexing to manipulate the relevance of a webpage. An example is usually found in blog posts that have spam comments attached, leading to a different site that hasn’t used the terms and conditions of the service to promote their site. Another example is when you are searching for a website, and once you find what you are looking for, a bunch of spam pages follow that you need to close quickly before they open 100% and force you to shut down your web search to prevent them from obtaining your saved information. Finally, it was labelled as link scheming and can lead to your website being banned or shut down immediately. 

Local Searches 

Recently Local searches have become more popular. Websites have gravitated towards using their surrounding areas to attract viewers to their businesses and online platforms, making it easier for companies to gain followers and customers. Using words that are rank specific can narrow down the target market to the exact customer bases a site is trying to reach. Maps now allow the actual building. If a small business was trying to gain a following, information could be made relevant to all searches in a particular category. You will also be able to link your entire portfolio through just a few select keywords. In earlier years, you would not have had the same opportunity because of spam sites and a lack of filtration. 

Over the years, Google has become more aware and has made it difficult for anyone without the right tools to get ahead of those taking the time to invest in SEO services or products. In addition, they have changed their algorithms numerous times to improve the quality of the sites that pop up in searches. These changes ensure that no spam sites take precedence over quality sites, although it isn’t completely unavoidable. 

Free SEO 

Google has made it possible for little people to join the rankings by allowing free site links to be created for small businesses without a budget. You could almost say that Google is trying to make it easier for everyone to participate in the activities online. From free header and footer codes to search specific terms that give small businesses a chance to improve their ranks with a bit of hard work. It isn’t an easy task because it involves a lot of hunting on Google to try and make the site itself visible, but with enough dedication, it is possible to make a website rank in the upper region of a search. It has only been around for the past five years, and it has gained a lot of traction from individuals who cannot afford to hire an SEO specialist to improve their ratings. With the help of free Google ads, ratings for other websites and more detailed landing pages can obtain higher rankings for free. It’s a valuable tool if you have the time but don’t have the budget. 

The future of SEO

Despite all the loopholes, the need for SEO services will always be relevant. The future is becoming more and more technological, and it is leaving very little room for anyone who is still using the pen and paper method to get things done. Covid-19 has seen many magazine and newspaper companies shut their doors and head to the internet to try and make it easier for them to remain open at all. Every single one of those agencies has had to invest in SEO services from companies like Ignite SEO, to name but one example. Unfortunately, without the use of keywords, meta or beta tags, high crawlability ratings and backlinks or site-specific header and footer codes, these sites stand very little chance of getting the audience that they do have to remain in their favour. You will need to hire an additional staff member just to do all of the work as it takes hours of back and forth online, and in that time, you could have hired an agency for the same amount of money. If you are serious about where you want your business to go, consider investing in SEO services. It could be the single investment that makes sure that your site and business remains open. 

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Ricky is the founder of Markletic. He is an expert in Marketing Technology with over 10 years of experience in testing and reviewing MarTech. Ricky's passion is to help companies with fine-tuning their MarTech stack to optimally impact revenue growth.

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