SEO has become a marketing practice about building a brand. When it comes to top activities for business SEO, keyword search is not the top priority any longer. Other factors like analytics, content creation and social media marketing have become more and more crucial for SEO. Let’s take a look back at the SEO landscape from back in around 2004 to see how far the SEO industry has come in less than a decade.
In older times, SEO focused on singular keywords and how pages ranked based on these keywords. However, now we focus on keyword intent and user needs, meaning long tail searches are more important. Did you know that up to 70% of search traffic actually comes from long tail keywords? Today we are focusing conversion rate and performance metrics much more than only keywords ranking.
Back in the day, content was solely created for search engine and ranking purposes. Content quality and relevance was not of importance. Today it is extremely important to create content that provides real value to your audience, tailored for the audience you are trying to attract. As a matter of fact, content marketing is the core of most SEO strategies today.
SEO used to be all about link building and not so much on creating content. The key back then was to build lots of links regardless of whether they were spammy or not. SEO professionals used to implement black hat tactics because they didn’t know better. Google hadn’t yet found a way to penalize anyone. People were actually hired for full time link exchanging jobs. However, it is not the case anymore. Now if you buy 3,000 comment back links to target a specific keyword, your site will not only not rank, your entire site might get penalized by Google!Today only quality back links will help boost the authority of your business website and help get it ranked.
And It Wasn’t All About Google
In 2004, Google was a big player in the search game, but it wasn’t the King that it is today. People were still frequenting Yahoo!, Ask, and AOL to find information.
There Were Very Few Google SEO Tools
Tools that we take for granted nowadays, such as the Google Keyword Research Tool and Google Analytics didn’t exist back in the early days of SEO. Previously, you had to spend a bunch of money for analytics information or simply rely on hit counters that were on the bottom of a website to see how many people had visited! Imagine that! When it came to keyword research we were just left to guess and assume what keywords and phrases would be used most often. In a nut shell, there was a lot less free data and information to work with.
There Was No Social Media
Well, there was social media. MySpace was growing in popularity around then and Mark Zuckerberg had just launched Facebook. However, it wasn’t yet being taken over by marketers and was mostly a place for college students to socialize. If you wanted to share data, you copied and pasted a link into an email. Essentially, social media and SEO didn’t really mesh the way that they do today.
Ranking Factors Were Different
Search engine rankings didn’t jump up and down much and stayed pretty stable back in the day. They weren’t personalized as they are now and there was much less concentration on local search.
As is evident,SEO has become much more advanced in the last several years. The focus has shifted and is now focused on creating content to build a brand. Quality is way more important than quantity. Now that we’ve looked back, let’s try and look ahead. What do you think SEO will look like in five years?
Do you have an SEO strategy for your business website? Does it involve content marketing, social media, user experience and relationship building?