searchSearch engine optimization (SEO) used to seem so simple. But was it really? Years ago, people used to reel off a list of SEO “tricks” and “tips” that seemed easy to implement, like a recipe. You added the ingredients, pushed “publish”, and the search engines came calling. Now all this has changed. It was never a great idea to try tricks and shortcuts, but not the popular search engines are actively penalizing them. Here’s a look back at search engine optimization then….and now.

Search Engine Optimization: Then

Many websites sprang up with quickly written text peppered with techniques seeking to attract search engine attention and littered with ads. These sites used the ‘more is better’ concept to continually attract search engines and visitors by filling their pages with text created around topics that appealed to the greatest number of users. Most of the content didn’t go into any great depth, but it did cover great breadth. The result, at least for a few years, was good site traffic and advertising revenue. Many businesses copied these techniques and included a few other tricks to entice more traffic to their sites.  Variations of the above were used for both lead generation and ecommerce websites.

The emphasis then was on tricks…linking tricks, programming tricks, word tricks, but a lot of tricks. Good digital marketing agencies and websites used ethical practices to encourage search engine traffic, but many players used shortcuts to get what they wanted: traffic, visits, and clicks.

But soon, the search engines grew wise to their tricks. They decide to play a trick of their own and make major changes to the secret sauce called the search engine algorithm that determines which sites get ranked high in the search engine results and which rank low.

Search Engine Optimization: Now

The popular search engines developed more sophisticated ways of analyzing web pages. Instead of falling for shortcuts, they began looking more closely at the content and context of the pages in the search engine results. Instead of counting the quantity of inbound links to a website, they began looking at the quality. The automated search engines “learned” how to spot tricks and drop such sites lower in the ranks. Quality content, authentic links and other methods of good SEO are now rewarded, whereas those older tricks are punished.

What We Recommend: SEO for the Future

SEO continually evolves and changes, but one thing is clear: when done correctly, good SEO can attract more visitors to your website. The key is to focus on an authentic way of presenting your website contents so that your site appeals to both people and search engines.

How this is accomplished includes myriad tasks ranging from planning the strategy of the website to developing robust, original content, developing relationships and links, social media signals and a lot more.

The shortcuts of yesteryear are gone. Instead, strategic insight and expert execution of marketing plans can help your website build traffic and rise to the top of the search engines, attracting more traffic and increasing sales and leads.

For a consultation on SEO best practices for your website, call Dashboard Internet Marketing. We offer comprehensive internet marketing strategic planning, website design and build, SEO and more. Call 800-807-1852 for a consultation.

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