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The Past, Present and Future of Search Engine Marketing

For as long as search engines have been a popular method of gathering information, it’s been important for website owners to optimise their content for search engines. This process is commonly known as SEO, which stands for search engine optimisation. SEO’s inception is largely linked to the birth of search engines, much like its future is.

With that in mind, this article will explore the history of SEO, where it’s at now and where it is heading in the future. It’s been a long winding road for SEO and it’s only set to become an even bumpier ride.


What IS SEO?

Before we take a look at the history of SEO, you might still be wondering what exactly it is. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is the process of making a website appear as high as possible on a search engine’s listings, like Google, Yahoo and Bing. This process is achieved through a series of tweaks to a webpage in order to make it friendlier for search engines. Search engines gain information about your website from its META tags, which are an important part of your webpage.

Simple search engine optimisation can be achieved by a few simple tweaks, but many website owners choose to hire the services of an SEO specialist. This person specialises in making your website attractive to search engines.In an age when search engines are the single most important types of website on the internet, there’s no denying how important search engine optimisation is.


The PAST

The idea of search engine optimisation first came about with the advent of the first mainstream search engine, Google. Search engines had been available before Google, but they were often clunky and difficult to use. Google streamlined the search engine idea and it quickly became necessary for website owners to consider search engine optimisation when designing their website.

Following Google’s launch, a number of similar services followed suit and the idea of using a search engine to access information was becoming increasingly more mainstream.

Google’s original system for searching webpages and gaining information about them was actually pretty clunky. Website owners would be able to submit their URL to Google’s crawlers that would calculate how the website should rank. This calculation was made from a simple combination of the website’s context, or how relevant it was to the user’s search query and authority, which is how respected it was as a source.

This formula was used by Google and other similar search engines for their first decade and as they rose to prominence as an important part of the internet. However, with an ever changing internet, Google were forced to continue adapting their algorithm to incorporate other aspects of a website and more fairly generate rank.

From 2010 onwards, Google’s crawling spiders started to pay attention to links in a website and any social media profiles linked to that website. With that in mind, SEO experts needed to start adapting their SEO techniques to include more high profile links and build the reputability of social media profiles linked to a website.

As search engines adapted and changed their techniques for crawling websites, search engine optimisation has become an increasingly more complex process.


The PRESENT

There’s no denying how important search engine optimisation has been in the past decade or so, but many now begin to question if SEO is beginning to die. The short answer is no, SEO is not dying, it’s just changing. As the internet and the digital world rapidly change, search engines are changing too, which means attitudes towards SEO need to as well.

One of the largest parts of a SEO specialist’s role in the past was to basically “trick” their way to the top of search listings. Because Google’s algorithms were pretty easy to crack, it was easy to include content in a website that would help the website climb its way up. This simple reason meant that many websites that didn’t deserve to be near the top of Google’s search listings were actually sitting their quite comfortably. Google saw that as a major problem and you can easily understand why.

Google and other search engines are now currently in the process of majorly adapting their search algorithm to only display results relevant to what a user is looking for. Because of this, if you want your website to now rank highly in Google’s search listings, it’ll actually need to have great content that is relevant to the user.

Google now care very little about website owners, because they don’t need to. Google’s sole focus is providing its users with only the best content. Because of this, it’s now the role of SEO specialists to bend over backwards to meet Google’s requirements.


The FUTURE

Many people question the importance of search engine optimisation in the future, but put it this way, for as long as search engines are big, SEO is relevant. Google shows no sign of slowing down at the moment, so SEO is sure to be important for the foreseeable future.

One of the major factors affecting SEO right now and into the future is social media. We all use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and family. Many websites and businesses also use these platforms to promote their brand through their own page. Google is now starting to pay more and more attention to the social media profiles linked to every website it crawls.

With that in mind, Google is now using information such as how many “Likes” a page has or how many “Followers” they have on Twitter to determine the authority of a website. SEO specialists now have to pay extra attention to these platforms when optimising a website for search engines.

According to one of the SEO Agency in Sydney “SEO certainly isn’t set to die any time soon, but it is changing “

In conclusion, the history of search engine optimisation is actually pretty clean cut, but its future isn’t as simple. We won’t truly know where the future is headed for search engine optimisation until it arrives, but it won’t be as clear as the past.