Not many marketing channels have evolved as dramatically as SEO – Search Engine Optimization – in the last decade. When it was still in the early stages, SEO was just about stuffing keywords into posts, tweaking codes, and spamming links until you can spam no more. However, Google put an end to such practices, and ever since then, the search algorithm has not stopped changing. Here are more details on how SEO has dramatically evolved in the past decade:
The quality of content
SEO, as mentioned earlier, is not only about stuffing a blog post or article with keywords only. Over the years, content marketing has risen to become a vital part of a successful SEO strategy. Google keeps redefining what good content means, and websites have to keep readjusting their content creation. For instance, the Panda update in 2011 served a deathblow to keyword-stuffing content. Presently, it is impossible to get away with low-quality content, such as sacrificing quality for quantity. Those who win today on search engines are those who put out the most valuable content while adapting the content marketing strategies Google has laid down. So content is king today. You can read about writing companies on CollectedReviews to get the right writing company for your business.
The end of link schemes
Google has its definition of a link scheme and they even provide a few examples to back it up. Many websites find this guide somewhat ambiguous, but it simply means any attempt you make to influence your links’ ranking is a scheme. Over the last decade, Google diligently stamped out most spammy link building practices and penalized participants such as link wheels, paid linkers, etc. The Penguin update in 2012 defined what a link scheme was. As it stands now, you have to attract visitors through building links with guest posts so that you can earn the authority you need.
Prioritizing mobile devices
Ever since the iPhone came on board, mobile devices have increased. As such, Google has emphasized that website owners should optimize their websites for mobile users. More people visit websites on their phones than any other internet-enabled devices. There was a time mobile queries exceeded desktop queries in Google search. Presently, mobile optimization on Google search is not only common but very required. This is due to the escalating insistence of Google. Google was recently updated to be mobile-friendly and this change has been a major driver.
The death of keywords
There was a time keywords took all the hype when it comes to SEO strategy. The Panda and Penguin updates destabilized the keyword stuffing but another update, the Hummingbird, finally delivered the death blow to keywords in 2013. The update brought about semantic search rather than using individual phrases and keywords. Today, Google is mostly after meaning not matching keywords, so keyword optimization does not work the way it did a decade ago. However, using keywords is still as relevant as ever but you should consider ranking opportunities and Google guidelines in your SEO strategy as well.
The increasing use of knowledge graph
Another major way SEO strategy has changed is the rise in the use of knowledge graph. This tool attempts to give Google users direct and brief answers to their queries. It does this by giving them some information about a general subject or concise answers to straightforward questions. As such, if you own a website, you have to avoid general keyword targets or use Schema. The knowledge graph helps to make the user’s search easier but takes a lot of precedence over organic search. So, bloggers have more to do if they want their content to rank high.
The reshaping of local SEO
Today, local SEO is a different ballgame. From putting changes to the layout such as the carousel, the Pigeon update, etc., Google has heavily included traditional web ranking signals into its algorithm. This has given a lot of well-optimized websites an edge in local queries. Also, the visibility of high-authority directory websites was boosted. Thanks to mobile optimization, the more location-specific website have become more popular. Search Engine Results Pages have been updated as well. Most of these changes are minute, so it might be difficult to detect them. if you take a look at a SERP screenshot a decade back and compare it to the one taken today, you will find the differences.
Considering how great SEO has changed over the last decade, here are tips to help you improve your SEO strategy:
Create high-quality content
Content is king in today’s SEO strategy and you cannot overlook it. If you cannot use content to attract and retain your target audience, you have lost the SEO battle. Before you publish anything, ensure it provides solutions to the problems of your target audience. Avoid stuffing your articles with keywords and spammy links. You can be highly penalized by Google if you do this.
Optimize your website for mobile devices and check your page speed
As mentioned earlier, mobile queries are escalating by the day. If mobile users cannot access your website, you have lost access to a large part of your target audience. The chances may even be that the buying section of your target audience could mostly be mobile users. Additionally, you should check your page speed. Load all the pages you have on your website and see how quickly they are displayed. If the speed is slow, find out what the problem is and deal with it.
Engage with other websites and blogs
Naturally, if you want to receive something, you have to give it first. You can check Linking News reviews to see other people that have used their services and how it contributed to their SEO. You cannot get high engagement on your blog posts if you do not relate with others in the online media space. If you share your content on your social media profiles, engage with other people’s posts so that they can do the same for yours. Look out for bloggers whose websites you can guest blog on. Find ways to be in the circle of the top names in your niche, so that you can get useful tips on how to scale your website/blog.