SEO methods and insights are supporting approach and decision making beyond the website’s content. Uncover the wider use of SEO intelligence in evolution. In the practice of Search Engine Optimization, just like life, the only constant changes. Even the speed of change in SEO is changing.
It is accelerating as results grow ever richer and personalized, search engines more frequent and specialized, and searchers increasingly expect to be able to summon responses whenever, wherever, and however they prefer.
Though it may not always feel like it, none of this happened within a few days. If we look at some of the important milestones in the progression of search, w can get insight into how we reached where we are now. Let us skip ahead a bit and start with Google in the early 2000s.
The early phase of the 2000s- Google takes on Black Hat SEO methods by de-legitimizing and even punishing unethical methods like keyword stuffing and questionable link-building practices. At the same time, we see the starting of localized search results.
The mid to late 2000s- Google starts to refine the search experience with universal search, which includes results from different sources like social media, websites, video, images, and news in its SERPs. Then, Google Suggest was launched, which provides related search phrases in the search engine results. Microsoft launches Bing.
In the early 2010s- Google breaks SEO briefly with algorithm alterations that focus on user-focused and quality content. Any functionless gaming of the system is dead. Optimization is quite alive, but the gap restricts between content that Google’s SEO algorithm sees as the best quality and content that human beings see as the best quality. Localization receives a boost, and we start to see zero-click searches.
The mid-2000s till today- Search explodes. Google starts to demote content that is not mobile-friendly, then starts mobile-first indexing. YouTube becomes the second largest search engine after Google. Amazon is the first when it comes to product searches. We enter the world of voice search.
Today and beyond- SEO has evolved and has proven out as an important business performance driver. In the meantime, a search is ubiquitous, increasingly vertical, and topical too.
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SEO is very much about increasing the effectiveness of organic content to attract traffic as well as demand, but its role in the organization has grown and so has the workload too.
How is SEO used in the modern enterprise?
SEO insights and methods are supporting strategy and decision making away from website content. The wider use of SEO intelligence is a natural progression in the growth of search. After all, SEO research can reveal a lot of things about customer intent. For content, social media paid search, and email marketers, knowing what the audience is looking for makes it simpler to tailor the message, products, and services to them.
How is SEO executed in the modern enterprise?
For most search marketers, the regular work of SEO is an important undertaking. Adding to that the reality that nearly 75% of marketers are using at least four tools or data sources to implement their SEO strategy.
SEO in 2019 and Far off
To date, SEO has been a reactive function. In 2019, look for the search to become not just reactive but predictive. Two shifts will drive this:
- A move from point solutions to platform SEO
- The enablement of true and real-time SEO
The move from point solutions to platform SEO
The time-consuming nature of SEO execution for most search engine marketers is not surprising given the fast pace of change in the search. It is also not viable over the future. Search is going to evolve faster. Keeping up on all the alterations, mastering new and extra tools to handle SEO, and finding the time to include more and more diverse data sources into an overtaxed SEO practice is expensive.
A peek into the past and present
On-page optimization- While performing on-page optimization during the old days, SEO professionals would map two to five keywords per each URL and optimize the page elements ( Meta description, title, body content, heading, and so on) for these keywords.
But now things have changed. Now, with advancements in semantic search and machine learning, a page can rank for many related keywords, not only the keywords for which you optimize the page. This is an improved way of doing things, as having content that fulfills the requirements of users is a better experience.
Modern-day SEOs must have a solid understanding of not just how to create content, but also how to promote it. Whereas earlier it was all about optimizing current landing pages based on striking distance and search volume. Today, SEO is a combination of optimizing current content, optimizing as well as developing new content that meets users’ needs to enforce your brand and capture links and social signals to rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages.
Devices- Back in those days, it was about optimizing content for desktops as that was the main device used by people.
Nowadays, mobile devices have rapidly become an important way that people consume content. While the desktop is still now relevant, digital media consumption on mobile devices has skyrocketed in the past and will continue to expand. SEO professionals must focus on optimizing the mobile experience, mainly apps, and ensuring that mobile pages load within a few seconds.
Local- Google has altered its local search results so many times during the past- from 10 packs to 7 packs and now the 3 pack. During the old days of local SEO, it was quite easy to spam the listings by including keywords into the business name, attaining links from spammy directories, exaggerating the right location of the business, and so on.
Now, local search results are all about positive reviews and some of the more traditional ranking indications like page content and relevance.
Social- Before the days of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks, online social sharing mainly took place through instant messaging and email- places that fell outside the scope of SEO campaigns.
These days, social media is universal, and online marketers who avoid this medium do so at their risk. SEO and social media must work together to increase exposure, connect with the target audience, and drive customer engagement. The modern-day SEO must use social networks to promote content to drive more links and shares for maximum exposure.
Links- Links have always been an important factor in determining search engine rankings, but link building has changed dramatically over the past.
In the initial days of SEO, it was all about link quantity- the more links to your website, the better. Anchor text was also more heavily weighted, which means that links with keyword-rich anchor text could help a website rank better for those keywords. It was simple to get links from websites of questionable repute, and so many SEOs secured links with keyword-rich anchor text from websites with high PageRank through direct requests, buying links, and link exchanges.
In the current scenario, it is not about quantity, but about quality. Links from authoritative websites and sites relevant to your own are heavily weighted. Links from spammy sites are discounted or justifies for a ranking penalty. Moreover, search engines like to see a “natural” link profile with the right mix of link types: follow and no follow, branded anchor text, and keyword-rich anchor text.
Today’s SEO focuses on creating high-quality content and driving relevant links that are of great value to the audience. They must monitor their backlinks for any broken links and remove the low-quality links to maintain a healthy link collection.
Over the years, SEO has changed dramatically, and we must adapt according to it. An SEO expert’s role has shifted more traditional optimization to connecting the customer’s content with the end-user over various platforms and devices.