The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed significantly since Google and its competitors first emerged in the 1990s. Marketing strategies have to continuously adapt to the ever-changing trends, Google algorithm updates, and of course, technological innovations. As trends come and go, companies need to be flexible enough to adapt to these inevitable changes. Many search strategies and tactics that once yielded great search results are now weak and no longer effective. Here are some examples.
In the early days of search, websites that had loads of pages and content was a hugely popular and powerful online trend in SEO. This was seen as a great way to attract more traffic, with the strategy being to create a lot of content just to increase the number of pages. Of course, this was back in the days when developers didn’t realise that this actually made their websites confusing and distracting.. Today, developers are more focused on user experience resulting in simple, easy to navigate yet creative websites, and content that’s all about quality than quantity.
We all know that Google loves backlinks, and so the trend of paying for those links became an online trend that was a common practice until Google decided to take action and released its Penguin algorithm update in 2012. This targeted unnatural links, and backlinking has since become far more sophisticated. Today, webmasters and marketers no longer buy links or get them from spammy website directories. Instead, they now pay close attention to the authority and quality of the site they are linking from. Doing so builds your site’s credibility, avoids being penalised by Google, and gains the trust of your users.
Back in the day, SEO specialists got pretty excited about keywords, and so the habit of keyword stuffing exploded into content, making it hard to read and understand. Keyword stuffing was the highly unpleasant act of stuffing as many keywords into the page as possible, with the objective being to increase the likelihood of ranking in search results. . This led to Google releasing new algorithm updates that targeted bad content. Keyword stuffing is now a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
When you click on a link you’re interested in, you expect to land on a page with some relevant content. But for a while there, web developers got a bit sneaky with this, enticing users to click with a bold heading and then shooting them off to a page that they hoped would be of interest but that wasn’t actually relevant to the search. Just like key word stuffing, this trick is now a thing of the past and it’s also a violation Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Focussing content on Google
For a while there, content creators were more focussed on developing content that they thought would be attractive to Google’s crawlers, rather than to their users. And while it’s true that Google’s automated algorithms assess the relevance of a website’s content, Google also takes human behaviour into account. Think of it this way – if Google notices that users are hitting your site and then leaving it quickly because it’s not relevant to them, your bounce rate will increase. That’s something that Google is likely to notice and take a closer look at, then re-evaluate your rankings.
Links, content, and codes
Not so long ago, SEO was all about links, content, and codes. The sites with great quality content, lots of links, and good on-page optimisation were the ones that ranked really well. And while this is still true today, if you want your site to keep on doing great in the rankings, you also need to have a good number of followers on social media. The stronger your social media presence is, the more eyeballs you will attract. The more people who see it, the more backlinks you will get. So, to get better rankings these days, don’t just focus on links, content, and codes. Build your social media authority too.
We all know that videos and images attract more searches. But in the early days of search, images that appeared in searches could be anything, even if they weren’t directly related to the content. This was an online trend that worked way back when, but not anymore. Now, it’s important that your images appear with the right search terms, and that they are appealing and a direct visual representation of what the content is all about. This is how you will attract more backlinks the natural way.
Don’t live in the past!
If you’re living in the SEO dark ages, it’s time to ditch these old online trends now and optimise your SEO strategy so it’s relevant to today’s world. It takes a lot of work to keep up with the ever-changing world of search, but our team of experts are here to help. Check out some of our works here or contact us for a chat about how we can ensure that your site is always up to date with the latest online trends.