In recent years we have seen the rapid shift toward the digital era. Commerce and other transactions are now being conducted and completed online. This article will tell you What is SEO and How has it changed over the years that means – Evolution of SEO.
These days, you can easily browse the web for anything you need, learn a new skill, or buy products to solve your daily woes.
Moreover, the advent of smartphones has paved the way for faster dissemination and receipt of information. You can use search engines or check your social media news feeds anytime and anywhere.
With this phenomenon in mind, bloggers and site administrators must focus on boosting the online visibility of their websites to their target audience.
One of the best ways to do this is through SEO.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing the elements in your website to make sure that it shows up for relevant queries. Search engines like Google and Bing use keywords and links to determine the quality of a site and its content.
SEO entails incorporating relevant terms and phrases into your blog posts. Remember, web users utilize words to find pieces of information online. You increase the chances of having your domain displayed for your target keywords when you sprinkle them throughout your content.
Tools like SEMrush’s keyword checker can provide you with insightful keyword data. This way, you can find more SEO opportunities and even figure out how much competition you have for a particular set of keywords.
On the other hand, links are also integral to SEO because they’re used by search engine bots to crawl through millions of pages on the web. Plus, they are also ranking signals.
Backlinks, which are third-party links that direct people to your site, are considered as votes of confidence in your content. Google and Bing operate on the premise that you’re a credible source of information if people link to your content when making their own blog posts.
With this, a solid SEO campaign should include strategies that maximize the use of keywords and prioritize the acquisition of backlinks.
The Evolution of SEO
The search engine industry was established way before Google was conceived. There was AltaVista, Excite, and Lycos. Yahoo, which was initially a bookmark list and directory, was also a main player in the industry.
However, in 2000, Yahoo approached Google and asked them to power their organic search results. With this, every one of the former’s search results displayed ‘Powered by Google,’ which paved the way for the latter’s current domination of the niche.
Now, the company has become the leading search platform in the world. Google has catapulted itself to the top and isn’t going anywhere.
It’s very influential that entire communities of SEO specialists have been formed to gain a deeper understanding of its mysterious algorithm.
Here are the major highlights of the SEO evolution in detailed:
1. Emphasis on On-Page Optimization
The first few search engines, especially pre-Google ones, looked solely into the on-page content.
This primarily focused on the number of times that keywords appeared in the content and links, including domain name as well as URLs.
To be visible to their target audience, websites also had to be able to nab a listing on online directories, like Yahoo.
Basic site structure, such as breadcrumbs, also played a significant role in the searchability of your website.
2. Inclusion of Off-Page Factors
Google revolutionized the industry in that it also took into account off-page factors—particularly backlinks. This type of link comes from third-party websites that point people to your domain.
The platform continues to use links as a ranking signal today, operating under the premise that these hyperlinks are votes of confidence on the quality of a site’s content.
With this, the process of link building was developed.
It pertains to actions that are aimed at boosting the quantity and quality of backlinks or inbound links to a web page. It’s done to gain a favorable position on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
3. Shift Toward Personalization
More than just churning out content with the right balance of keywords and links, though, search engines also turned the spotlight on personalization.
Around 2004, these platforms maximized the end-user data that they collected to tailor-fit search results and ads according to an individual’s search history and interests.
This meant that the SERPs delivered to you might be different from the one that your friend sees for the same query.
About two years later, local SEO was developed. It led to further personalization in the results as people could view restaurants that were near their physical location.
The overarching goal of search engines is to deliver high-quality results to users. Google and Bing update their algorithms regularly to keep up with the demands of web visitors and offer the best experience every time.
4. Universal Search
Google dives further into its pursuit of the most personalized search experience by rolling out universal search.
The objective of this update is to provide comprehensive information right on the platform.
It features blended results that pull up links, images, news, and even academic resources on your query.
The Knowledge Panel was also introduced, which gave users crucial data on frequently searched people, places, objects, and events.
The advent of smartphones paved the way to a more mobile digital experience. Most users these days opt to browse the web or scroll through their social media news feeds on their mobile devices.
Google accommodated this demand by encouraging site administrators to make their websites mobile-friendly.
It means that the site has to look good regardless of the screen size, platform, and orientation that the user is viewing it from.
Recently, Google just implemented mobile-first indexing for its platform. With this, websites that made adjustments for this would be prioritized in the crawling and indexing process.
6. Machine Learning
Google has also been open about utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for their program.
The company primarily uses it for understanding user intent so that their algorithm can do more than match the keywords.
Instead, it considers a users’ search history and the string of words used in the current query.
Conclusion: Evolution of SEO
SEO remains a powerful tool for improving a website’s online visibility.
Although there have been several search engines before Google, the latter dominates the industry and has cemented its place as the leading platform today, and has consequently determined how SEO functions.
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