How has SEO changed over the years?

Updated on: 20 September 2015

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of building websites that will rank top in search engine results. It is often accomplished by 2 main factors: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. Web masters need to follow Google’s guideline on both of these factors in order to achieve top ranking. However, there are a few changes in SEO through the years.

SEO in the past

In the past, implementing SEO mainly involved in ensuring the targeted keywords are included in your website as many times as possible. This was regarded as the most effective practice. Unfortunately, this affects the content quality of websites as most content were poorly written and unreadable due to the constant repeated of the targeted keywords.

Another method to rank well in Google is to submit your websites to article directories. This was the fast and easy way to drive a website up the search engine rankings. This technique was commonly known as link building. Unfortunately, this led to spam problem as many web masters spam each other websites to get links. Some web masters being to sell links on their website to make a profiit.

SEO between 2008 – 2014

Around 2008, Google started taking actions against unethical linking practices and started becoming hard on buying links and content that lacks quality. This is the time Google started ranking websites based on their quality, content and relevance.

In the recent years, Google became even more strict. Google launched 2 main search engine filters known as Google Panda and Google Penguin updates. Google Panda aim to penalise websites that are thin and does not have quality content in it. On the other hand, Google Penguin was designed to ban websites that have unnatural links.

SEO in 2015

In 2015, Google made another major change to their algorithm. This time, it aim to penalise websites that were not mobile-friendly. The world has gone mobile. People are gradually shifting from desktop computers to mobile smartphones and tablets (see statistic below). Thus, to ensure great user experience Google started ranking responsive or mobile-friendly websites higher in the search results.

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Another factor to take note is that web masters are advised to create content for their audience and not search engines. Write good content and key terms should naturally be included. The modern SEO seems to be focusing more on user experience.