The Growth of SEO
Year after year, update after update the SEO industry has been continuously growing and hasn’t thought about stopping anytime soon.
Not only SEO survived on the internet but it has thrived. According to a recent study conducted by Forbes magazine which predicted that by year 2018 businesses in the United States would spend an estimated $72 billion in search engine optimization services alone and then increase up to $80 billion by 2020.
The Bronze Age (2003-05)
In the wake of immoral tactics of optimization and manipulation of search engines Google took the charge ahead on developing a plainer field of equal opportunities. During this time Google brought many updates to the user’s attention. Updates like panda, penguin, pigeon etc. improved the rankings of some websites but punished the ones with unethical linking practices and keyword stuffing to improve their indexing.
In a continuous effort to improve the life of SEO search engines gave out updates almost every month. Some SEO updates brought a massive change in the SEO industry while some were so minor that it’s debatable whether they were even updates or not.
On top of that companies started focusing on local SEO as much as they would in national SEO or international SEO. Now the introduction of local SEO really helped users with small businesses like internet cafes, coffee shops and general stores etc. It also provided a way of navigation by using maps and instantly getting the location of the local stores and shops. Also search engines started to optimize themselves for mobile phones since the mobile industry was quite booming.
So it’s safe to say that this period started building the foundation for more personalized and user friendly web.
The silver age (2006-10)
Different types of searches and user behaviour influenced a mere responsive search experience. Google regularly changed their algorithms and improve it which resulted in massive SERP (search engine result page) changes. Google started majorly recognising genuine, handcrafted websites with quality content and rewarded them for it took a great deal of time and patience for the users to make them.
Launched in 2005 Google analytics is an excellent analytic service which is offered by Google that tracks and reports back website behaviour. Google analytics was integrated with Google Ad words where users can review their own campaigns. This tool’s approach was to show highly sensitive data for a normal day-to-day user and then create an in-depth report for the user. Moreover Google analytics was also applied on mobile websites. The mobile package contained of codes to track the sites that use PHP, Java script or ASP.NET as its server side language.
The Golden Age (2011-18)
In February 2011 Google’s Panda update rolled out. These updates focused on lowering the rank of low-quality sites and increase the ranking of high-quality sites substantially. This update affected the ranking of as much as 12% of webs search results. After it was first introduced to the masses Google’s panda received several updates.
Google’s Knowledge Graph
In 2012 a major change had occurred in the SEO industry. New updates from Google drove in like a huge truck which enforced strict regulations on keywords, the quality of content you provide and optimization. This greatly affected how the indexing of results took place.
But along with new rules and regulations came new benefits that helped the user base. Google, during this time introduced its Knowledge graph. This tool’s purpose was to improve the search engine’s result with information taken from multiple sources. Knowledge graph infoboxes were added to the Google search engine in the same year and this tool was powered by Freebase.
Google’s pigeon is another name given to an algorithm change which was released on July 24, 2014 and with the help of this update Google focused on increasing the ranking of local listings while searching results. It will also make changes in the search results which are shown in Google maps. Local business ranking will also be affected with this update. As per the users, this update had location and distance as an important part of the search strategy.
Google’s hummingbird is just another name given to a change in algorithm. Its name was basically related to the hummingbird because of its speed and precision. It was launched on September 26, 2013 but it was already implemented a month ago. Hummingbird focuses on natural language questions considering of context and meaning over single keywords. It also looks at content on single pages from a website. Search engine optimization changed with the update by Google as web users were needed to use a more natural and human interactive language rather than using forced keywords. SEO users were advised to make better use of page linking, URL, HTML Tags as well as writing creative, original content.
On April 21, 2015 Google released their update which would help mobile friendly sites get better ranking on Google’s search results and it was called mobilegeddon. To test if your site is mobile-friendly or not Google also released a mobile-friendly testing tool. The mobile friendly algorithm is a yes or no algorithm which means that you’re either a mobile-friendly site or you’re not. If your website is optimized to be mobile friendly then you will have better ranking on Google search results.
Back in February 23, 2016 Google released another update with regards to advertisement. This update drastically changed the way that Google search ads appear on search result pages. With the use of an extra top ad organic results were pushed down the result pages although the update directly hasn’t affected the webpages but since the launch of the shakeup Google has said that they have expanded the pixel width of the search engine pages where they increased the meta-titles by 15 characters and meta-description by 20 characters per line.
Intrusive interstitial penalty
On January 10, 2017 Google started punishing aggressive pop-ups that had the possibility of hindering the user experience. This penalty only impacted those interstitials that happen directly a specific page on a mobile search results. If you have an intrusive interstitial which will pop-up later in the webpage of your website then it will not impact you but if you have one where it pops-up just after the click from Google search page then it will definitely impact and might punish you as well.
Google bracket update
Till now everyone must have realised that all the social media and SEO revolves around algorithm changes and improvements and with this update in March 8, 2018 Google focused on quality and content that the sites provided. If you provided genuine, good quality content then you will be eventually rewarded.