What Is (SEO) | Why Has It Progressed Over Time?
Many company owners may hear the term “search engine optimization” (or SEO) from colleagues in the industry or even rivals and may think of it as a way to boost sales, but what exactly is SEO? Alternatively, a company owner may have attempted ‘SEO services in the past and discovered that they either didn’t perform as well as planned or were no longer useful. Currently, here we discusses what SEO is but also how the “new” SEO is so much highly effective than previous versions. Before it was even termed SEO, I worked in the search engine optimization and many hosted website ranking sector. Here are the developments in SEO since the turn of the century and what you should look for in SEO services provided by your SEO agency. We look back at SEO over the years and explain what it is now and how to use it effectively for our website.
In the year 2000, search engine optimization (SEO) Lycos and Excite were the ‘major’ search engines that most people used around the turn of the millennium. Of fact, only a tiny fraction of the UK population had internet access at the time, and those who did had a sluggish ‘dial-up’ connection. To enable them to load fast, websites were limited to one or two pages with minimal information (within 20 seconds). Back then, SEO’s best practices were to ‘hide’ as many keywords as possible on a page so that the website might be discovered for such searches without seeming spammy to users. In 2002, Google debuted something called ‘AdWords,’ now rebranded to Google Ads, which was hailed as the death of SEO since it allowed users to pay for visibility on what is now the most popular website for doing internet searches.
Inktomi, AltaVista, and FAST were bought by Yahoo in 2003, thereby putting an end to all of the smaller search engines. Google started to penalise spammy domains and activity. At the same time, Google realized that ‘AdWords’ now rebranded to Google Ads from 2018, would not destroy SEO and that the ‘natural listings’ would entice users to return to their search engine platform. Google began to recognize ‘professional SEO’ professionals and support excellent SEO instead of SEO spamming.
In 2004, Google took action against websites spamming them, and the first website was ‘banned’ from the Internet. They also filed a lawsuit against the “SEO Company” responsible.
In 2006, all you needed to rank a website was links back to it, therefore, purchasing links/link exchange was all the rage, and most websites included a page where they listed firms and connections to their website (I am still amazed how many websites continue this practice).
During 2004 through 2008, Google’s latest algorithm clamped down on poor indexing practises and corporations, and also spamming and link buying, as the sole legitimate “player” inside the search engine industry.
S.E.O had become more crucial than any other since 2010. Search engine algorithms started to take notice to more ‘Social Media websites’ during 2010 through 2015, as well as the rankings became rapidly overwhelmed by Twitter ‘tweets.’ (I found one by searching on Google. of my clients’ firms, I could still see his face, and the whole first page of the search results was made up of tweets from a Twitter chat that two of my employees were having about how bad the company was!)
The Google ‘Caffeine’ upgrade also included videos and photos in the search results.
Google developed “personal search results,” which are web pages that appear in search results based on prior queries and websites you’ve visited. Users report that their site reached “top of Google” for every industry-related search merely as people were viewed them numerous times previously. For any and all related queries, Google, of obviously, returned the site. This caused a “bit of a stir” in the SEO world, as customers claimed their websites were “top of Google” for any search they did relate to their industry. This may be a problem unless you explain how to use the new ‘Google Incognito search.’
The goal of website ranking was to be discovered for BIG keywords. That was the objective since a ‘Plumber’ in Bristol would want to rank for that term.
With massive penalties for websites that have unrelated links going towards them, Google’s ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ upgrades essentially ended ‘link exchanges.’ Google created “no follow links” at the same time to enable websites to give useful connections to other websites and content without penalizing either party. This was the first time the term “safe connecting” has been used. Quality and content that is relevant became now the essential to ranking mostly in search engines.
According to a 2014 study by the ‘Office For National Statistics,’
- 38 million people (76 percent) in the United Kingdom used the Internet every day, up 21 million from 2006, when directly comparable data started.
- Between 2010 and 2014, the percentage of people who use their phones to access the Internet more than quadrupled, from 24% to 58%.
- In 2008, 74% of all individuals purchased products or services online, up from 53% in 2008.
- In 2014, the much more successful web transaction was apparel (49%). Although 67 percent of all persons in the United Kingdom know Internet storage space providers, just 35 percent use these services to save data.
- In 2014, 22 million homes (84 percent) in the United Kingdom had Internet connectivity, up from 57 percent in 2006.
- Broadband access that is fixed 91 percent of homes has access to the Internet.
As smartphones became wildly used for web surfing hitting an all level record, the U.K. has become (almost) Internet savvy.
SEO Since 2015
In 2015, the most significant change to search engines was the ‘penalization’ of websites that were not “mobile-friendly” — a mobile-friendly website includes different content for the smaller screen to simplify the user to read and comprehend. To provide the greatest experience for customers, Google began placing mobile-friendly or responsive websites higher in the rankings (websites automatically adjust their size and format to match the screen).
Local businesses may finally have the edge over giant corporates or ‘national’ organizations on the Internet since the UK populace was utilizing their mobile phones for local searches.
The advent of semantic search,’ in which Google returns websites in the results based on the content of a page rather than keywords, transformed the way SEO companies approached website work once again. As internet users become smarter with their searches, ranking for ‘Big’ keywords like ‘Plumber Bristol’ became less significant. In as many variations as possible, long-tail keywords began to increase website traffic and, more crucially, conversions.
What is the current state of SEO?
It’s safe to argue that the methods and techniques involved with search engine optimization have outgrown the name “SEO.”
Working on the content and structure of a website was enough in the past. There’s much more to do now to persuade customers to interact with a website, not just rank it in search engines. ‘Digital marketing would be a better description of the service.
Previously, old methods dictated that ‘large’ keywords were crucial to ranking. Focusing on a single keyword per page or even for a whole website would rank the company, and it was all about rankings back then.
SEO is the old fashioned approach
There are several aspects to consider in today’s world when it comes to SEO. The key motivator is semantic search,’ and the main aim is conversion, not rankings.
Semantic search is when Google delivers information from the page to the searcher rather than the website author’s description. Take, for example, the case of ‘Plumber Bristol.’ You could have focused on rating the company for “Plumber Bristol,” “Plumber in Bristol,” and even “Emergency Plumber Bristol” a few years ago – and this still holds for firms that provide a solution for “distress purchases” (where time and a solution outweigh the need for information and advice) Adding material that gives advice and information across a website, as well as ‘long tail keywords’ (3 or 4-word searches) such as “Emergency plumber with free callout in Bristol” or an preferable technique is to search for “Reviews for an Emergency Plumber near me.”
Google wants users to have the greatest possible experience and access relevant information as soon as possible, and semantic search helps them do just that. For a company owner, this is also prudent. Would you prefer a searcher searching for “Plumber Bristol” see your website, where they could be looking for information, a job, or a plumbing service that you don’t provide, or a more particular and focused search such as “best emergency Plumber near BS7?” Being discovered for “best emergency Plumber near BS7” will earn you a client, whereas “Plumber Bristol” will get you a website visitor.
This is the most significant shift Google has made in terms of keywords, and it is here to stay. It’s no longer about where you rank in search results; it’s about how many different search keywords you can be discovered for and how many of them convert into paying clients.
Content on the Website
Google indicated to professional SEO Agencies a few years ago (and just 2 or 3 years ago) that 300 words on a page were adequate content. They specified last year that the MINIMUM should be 500 words.
Every day, a prospective client asks me to assess a website, and the majority of them contain between 150 and 250 words on each page. This is standard procedure. There are two perspectives on this. Either Google’s expectations must alter since most websites fail to satisfy them, or this may be seen as a simple opportunity to get ahead of the competition by simply adding content to your page. Would you think Google’s requirements would be lowered, or how do you think websites would grow enough achieve them? Google published the mobile-friendly update, although it would need the updating of about 80% of websites – and they did it nonetheless since it benefited over 50% of their customers. 100% of their users are affected by high-quality material.
I advise our consumers to use roughly 800 words on each page. This is enough material to satisfy semantic search’ requirements, give relevant content, and avoid being too wordy.
It’s a good idea to have:
- Page Title – state the page’s purpose (use a ‘big’ keyword if necessary).
- a question in the headline
- The first paragraph briefly describes the substance/solution.
- a photograph or video
- a more detailed discussion of the solution
- As an example, consider our Bristol Emergency Plumber:
- Emergency Plumber Bristol is the title of this page. Headline: Do you want to find the top emergency plumber in Bristol? The first paragraph reads: In Bristol, Smith Plumbing provides a 24-hour emergency plumbing service. We don’t charge a callout fee and maybe at your location in as little as 20 minutes. That is why we have the finest emergency plumbing service in your region, according to our client evaluations and comments. Now is the time to call. Image of a professional-looking van or Plumber Longer description: What they can repair, frequent issues they solve, client testimonials, and so on.
There are a lot of advantages to this.
Those looking for a plumber will first read the opening line, look at the picture of the van (which conveys authority and professionalism), then contact the Plumber. Others may need further information, which may be found lower down the page. Is this considered SEO cheating? Certainly not. You’re giving the user useful information, and Google will appreciate it. The “new” SEO is concerned with how the material is organized and written on a page.
This same 2nd advantage would be because your site would start to be discovered searching a mixture of phrases upon a certain page (semantic search) – in this case, visitors. with possible consumers searching for terms like “Smith Plumber,” “Urgent Plumbing around me,” “Immediate Plumber in London,” “Best24 hr water damage company in Cardiff,” “disaster locksmith Cardiff reviews,” and hundreds more search terms could find the Plumber. Would you rather be discovered for one huge keyword or several relevant customer converting keywords if you were a plumber? So did I, and so does Google.
Previously, website material was created to be found by search engines. You must now develop content to deliver value to your consumers. This is a simpler procedure than you would believe.
What were the five most recent consumer inquiries to your company? What exactly was the issue they were attempting to solve? Write about the issue and your proposed remedy.
Creating Connections The traditional ‘link building’ method was to get as many connections as possible from as many sources as feasible. We had a huge firm approach us about their SEO this year, and they were shocked when we told them they needed to delete their 1.4 MILLION links back to their website since they had spent a lot on the links over the years. Unimportant backlinks indicate to Google thinks the website becomes meaningless – irrespective on whether relevant it really is. Greater you acquire, the terrible it becomes.
Today, a few relevant connections are considered preferable to a million backlinks to your site. In today’s world, connections must be formed by active participation. If we return to our Plumber, a link from the ‘Gas Safe registration,’ a local plumbing centre or bathroom showroom, and a few local websites that like his information will suffice.
The Internet and Social Media Even while we still get some corporations like this today, when we advised businesses to join Facebook a few years ago, we were usually told, “Facebook is for teens, isn’t it?” That market isn’t ours.” If done correctly, Facebook may attract more traffic and pay consumers to your door than your website. The 25 to the 34-year-old age group in Facebook’s biggest user demographic, followed by the 35 to 44-year-old age group. Facebook is used by 45 to 54-year-olds more than teens and almost as much as 18 to 24-year-olds.
Facebook members inside the U.K., according to Statista.
A company may use Facebook to develop a brand, engage consumers, get user reviews, and receive immediate feedback. Unlike reviews on your website, which prospective customers may see if they visit your website, a Facebook review is instantly visible to all users’ friends. If their friend ‘likes’ the remark, it is visible to all their friends. Facebook is generating more and more leads for our clients. People ask their friends for company recommendations and receive hundreds of responses – if you’re on Facebook, you’re more likely to get a direct link to your contact information.
What does the future hold for Social Media? Streaming in real-time! Periscope, a firm that enables users to live broadcast video from their phone, has been bought by Twitter. “So what?” you could ask. “Do you need an emergency plumber?” I hear our “emergency plumber” inquire. If I were a plumber, I’d be life streaming my job as I solve an issue, broadcasting the footage to all of my followers and their friends — my free-to-air television station broadcasting across the globe. Your consumer will tell you what the answers are the next time your company organizes a “brainstorming session” – periscope it.
Video Promotion There are no ‘old’ SEO methods for video since it didn’t exist before, and YouTube’s original purpose was to broadcast hilarious videos of cats and the like.
That has all changed now. YouTube is owned by Google and is the world’s second-biggest search engine. YouTube has over 1 BILLION users globally, and 300 hours of videos are posted every minute. To view all of the videos posted in the next hour, would take you nearly two years. To view, all of the videos published today will take the rest of your life. According to Google’s data, by 2018, 73 percent of all searches will end in the user seeing a video. Consider this: if ten individuals search the Internet for your product or service in a few years, seven of them will view a video, and two will visit a website. As part of our ‘digital marketing service,’ I make films for our clients.
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