How has SEO changed over the years?
As the newest member of the Artemis team, I’ve been looking into the ways SEO has changed over time. SEO is obviously an incredibly fast-paced area, and if you’re not on the ball, you’ll miss out on all these changes and start to lag behind. Google doesn’t wait for anyone, so it’s interesting to see how it’s been outsmarting all of the previously failsafe techniques to secure great PageRank and why it’s so important that your SEO strategy is completely up to date and flexible.
The SEO of the past was all about keyword cramming. That is, find out what people are searching to find your site, or sites like it, and force them into every possible slot on your page. Title tags? Sure. Meta description? Why not. As many keywords as possible. They were hidden in text the same colour as the background, they were everywhere. Google latched onto this, and decided to penalise sites which were obviously overloading on keywords at the expense of the site’s readability and informativeness.
Another thing which has changed drastically is the attitude towards content. It’s no longer enough to outsource your content writing, pay very little for it and ply other sites with cheap, badly written content for backlinks. Bloggers these days are taking things seriously, and the best blogs make their name out of their entertaining, informative content. If you want the top blogs with the biggest PageRank to accept your articles, you’ll need to make sure that that content is something they would actually want on their blog.
These days, it’s all about building a brand. It used to be a great idea to have a keyword-laden domain name to attract Google and pull in the views, but clever old Google soon spotted this and penalised these sites. Now the focus is on branding and making a name for your company. That’s why a cake company with the domain name BirthdayCakesWeddingCakesBakery.com, which would have flourished when everyone was still finding their feet with SEO, would now fare better as SweetestThingCakes.com.
Of course, one of the biggest changes to online marketing is the mammoth rise of social media. It’s an important way to get people connecting with and talking about your brand, and it’s a great way to share site updates. It’s the easiest way to get your content to go viral, create conversation about your brand and make people aware of what you do. Social media won’t necessarily be the right way to go for every business, but internet marketing experts can help you devise a social networking strategy that will work for your business.
The thing to remember about the SEO of today is that it should all look natural. It’s not about bombarding your site visitors with keywords; it’s about adding links where they’re useful, using keywords where they make sense and all in all, making sure the user experience is pleasant and straightforward.