Disparities Between SEO in 2009 and 2019

SEO 2009 VS SEO 2019 in San Diego, CA

Search engine optimization (SEO) has morphed dramatically over the past decade. Google has changed its algorithms several times. Even now, adorably named updates such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird may still give some content creators nightmares. Through all the changes, Google has transformed from a search site into a well-organized knowledge base. What’s the difference between 2009 and 2019 SEO? Here are some of the ways SEO has changed in the last decade, brought to you by the experts at Saba SEO, a premier San Diego SEO agency.

Mobile Rules

A decade ago, smartphones weren’t a priority. Looking up a website meant using a desktop computer or a laptop. Mobile searches now make up more than half of all local searches, which means websites need to upgrade to responsive design. Businesses also have to make sure their sites load quickly. Those seconds of latency can mean lost sales.


Back in 2009, quantity was more important that content quality. That changed about eight years ago with Panda. Google now rewards sites that demonstrate their expertise and publish high-quality content. Longer content of at least 1,000 words has also become the goal.


Along with being the age of unrelated content, 2009 was the era of keyword stuffing. Keywords are now more varied. Instead of repeating the same keyword, now it’s standard best practice to use related keywords and branded keywords. There are also local keywords that help customers find you in your geographic area. 


Backlinks are nothing like they were in 2009. A decade ago, backlinks could come from any sort of site. Some of those websites just functioned as questionable backlink sources. Things have changed dramatically since then. High-quality backlinks are essential for SEO, which means any backlink going to your site has to be from an expert. Any site that has sketchy backlinks loses its Google ranking.

Update Awareness

Back in 2009, content creators and businesses kept pushing poor-quality, keyword-stuffed content to their heart’s content. A decade later, after Panda and the other major updates, those same creators are following SEO best practices, which means websites now only need tweaking instead of major overhauls when Google makes an update. The sites with the most expertise and high-quality content are now rewarded, which has led to a better SEO user experience and a high-quality knowledge base.

If you need help keeping up with SEO best practices or optimizing your business’s SEO strategy, reach out to the experienced professionals at Saba SEO, the leading experts on SEO in San Diego. We can help you with search engine optimization, online marketing, social media management, web design, and much more. Give us a call today at 858-277-1717 to learn more about our high-quality service.