Okay let’s start from the very beginning. For those who are not familiar with the term, SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is a strategy that was developed in the 1990’s by the search engines at that time like Alta Vista, Lycos, AskJeeves and others. When SEO was first starting out, keyword stuffing and use of Meta tags were the norm. Later, backlinks were introduced. A website filled with key phrases and with numerous backlinks would rank higher in the search engine. This was, basically, SEO in a nutshell at that time. It was all about getting your site to show up in search results and at this point in time, there weren’t a whole lot of rules.

Google and SEO

When Google was launched in 1998, the search engine optimization rules changed drastically. Google introduced a new search engine algorithm called Google Bot. Google’s PageRank is not concerned about the number of keywords used or the backlinks. Instead, it focused more on quality over quantity. This means websites with quality backlinks would get higher ranking in the search engine listing than those with random backlinks and overstuffed keywords.

 Google’s ability to crawl and index websites based on quality content and backlinks exposed a number of website issues such as duplicate content, redirects and canonicalization. Consequently, websites that are truly popular and are not relying on tactics such as black on black cloaking, irrelevant meta tags and keyword stuffing emerged at the top of the search engine list.

The Need for Quality Links

The search engine marketing changed remarkably in the last few years. As the search engine methods mature, link building also grew in levels of sophistication. Getting quality links from relevant sites become an important consideration. The need to get more links has spurred the popularity of search engine optimization. SEO is no longer limited to technical and internal discipline. It became a strategy of marketing.

Social Media Sites and SEO

With the introduction of social media such as Digg, Facebook, Twitter and even Youtube has further revolutionized the methods of SEO. Building a following through these sites became an important strategy. Twitter and Facebook spurred the idea of generating more followers.

 Videos also become viral with Youtube. Suddenly, millions of websites join in the bandwagon and posted their videos too. Links are added to the videos to drive more traffic to the site. This helps boost the site’s ranking in Google search results. 

The SEO approach now requires incorporating videos, images, news and links to social media sites in the website aside from text-only content. SEO grows as new search engine strategies are developed and introduced. The introduction of mobile searches and new analytics methods, for instance, would most likely impact search engine optimization in the years to come.

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