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The Evolution of SEO

SEO Evolution

In today’s world, getting a website on the first page of Google’s search results can be the difference between success and failure. With that in mind, search engine optimization (SEO), or the process website owners and San Diego SEO companies use to improve a site’s ranking for targeted keywords, has become absolutely vital.

However, as Google and other search engines have grown more sophisticated, so too has the practice of SEO. When the first search engines were just getting off the ground, SEO involved little more than filling out a form and providing a brief description of the site. Since then, there have been three major stages in the development of search engines and SEO.

1) Keywords and internal links

The SEO tactics that many people are familiar with today—like cramming keywords into headlines and content—became popular after search engines started software that crawled through the web and archived sites automatically. To rank well, site owners needed to design their pages with that software in mind, ensuring that their content was keyword rich and their internal links made the entire site easy to archive. Web crawlers allowed search engines to discover websites more efficiently but sites could easily improve their ranking simply by using their keywords as often as possible, which led to a lot of bad content at the top of the search results.

2) Link building

Google ultimately found a way to fix that problem. Google realized that when someone links to a piece of content, that link is like an endorsement, so more links indicated better content. Links from quality sources, like major newspapers, were even better. Once Google factored that discovery into their algorithm, content creators had to shift their focus away from simply using a lot of keywords and start thinking about how to get people to link to their sites.

3) Creating buzz

Link building was only the start though, as Google has continually strived to improve its ranking algorithm by taking new factors into account. In addition to looking at the links a site receives, Google now considers a site’s entire web presence, from its advertising to its mentions on blogs and social media. To get a boost in Google’s rankings today, website owners need to get people talking about their content, and they can also be punished for trying to rig the rankings by publishing spammy, unnaturally keyword-heavy content.

Google has shifted the SEO paradigm in recent years. Although SEO is more complicated than ever, the guiding principle behind any SEO strategy should be creating content with people in mind, rather than Google.

Interested in learning more about online marketing or search engine optimization? Reach out to Saba, Inc. and speak with one of our friendly San Diego internet marketing experts. We offer complimentary consultation, free website analysis, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at (858) 277-1717. We look forward to hearing from you!