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The Evolution of SEO

Friday June 19, 2015

Search Engine Optimization has grown over the last decade into one of the most effective marketing strategies available. Despite its immense influence in the marketplace, SEO comes from humble beginnings.

The first WebCrawler was created in 1994. This system was able to copy webpages and extract keywords from then – which later would be indexed by search engines. Webmasters simply had to submit their URL to search engines in order to be indexed. WebCrawler became the primary means of determining how relevant a webpage was for a specific term.

In 1997, the phrase “search engine optimization” was coined as businesses realized the value in search engines. Webmasters began to find ways to manipulate the ranking system – and black hat SEO was born. Keyword stuffing became the main loophole to boost rankings. Webmasters manipulated WebCrawler at the expense of user experience.

The advent of Google in 1998 changed the face of SEO. It set up advanced algorithms that factored in onsite elements (like keywords, links, meta tags) as well as offsite elements (inbound links) to determine relevancy.

Google’s PageRank algorithm in 1998 shifted focus from onpage content to inbound link profiles. For the first time, the text on a webpage didn’t hold as much weight as the quality and quantity of outside links referred to a website.

The sophistication of Google’s algorithm gave rise to SEO firms. Businesses witnessed the lucrative potential of websites and began outsourcing their web presence to experts. As the industry grew, companies began employing white hat SEO strategies.

Complying to Google’s rules remains the only way to gain visibility long-term. Google consistently audits its algorithms to ensure legitimate websites are getting the traction they deserve. Today, black hat SEO websites suffer penalties for trying to manipulate the algorithm.

As for the future, SEO will continue to thrive. Google will always reward websites that have quality content, active social media accounts, and a user friendly experience.

Fortunately, Silicon Beach Digital has years of experience in this evolving industry. White hat SEO is the foundation of our company. Our attention to detail and thorough researching skills has helped thousands of business drive up their position in organic searches. But don’t take our word for it – try for yourself. Sign up for a free 14 day trial of our SEO service here.

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