Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a relatively young strategy. Because it is so dynamic, we often forget about its origins. It is believed to have started around the early 1990s and it has become an integral component in a highly effective marketing mix since. After all, Google is constantly pumping out new algorithm updates that require immediate adjustments in an effective SEO strategy. Below, we will be going over the reasons SEO has evolved, where it stands today and how it will effect your grocery store.
Reasons SEO Has Evolved:
1. Personalized Search
This is easily one of the biggest advancements in search engine history which changed the way users used search engines. Google formed a partnership with MSN and Yahoo to decrease the total number of spam comments on websites and blogs.
Along with this, they introduced their own form of personalized search which tailored someone’s search history with the results they received to make their results much more personalized and relevant to the user.
2. Microsoft Marketing Bing
Believe it or not, but Microsoft played a critical role in determining how SEO would evolve. Because Microsoft entered the ring with it’s Bing search engine, it pushed Google to continue advancing its own search engine.
While Microsoft aggressively marketed Bing as offering superior results, it didn’t deliver. However, the same year that Microsoft began to aggressively market Bing, Google unveiled its first major algorithm change which was known as Caffeine. It was an algorithm update that was designed to boost rankings in real-time which allowed Google to provide nearly instant search engine results.
3. Growing Use Of Social Media
Another big thing that led to the changes in algorithms was the expanded usage of social media platforms. Google and other search engine providers noticed how much social media was being used and the growing importance it had on their own users. Because of this, they wanted to include social media in their ranking algorithm to ensure that they were ranking websites that people were invested in. This led to the inclusion of social signals in respective algorithm updates which increased the need for websites to develop their own social media presence.
4. The Era Of Penalizing Poor Quality Content
Another big shift in the SEO industry was when Google began to really crack down on websites that tried to ‘game’ the system. It was well known that Google was using a keyword-heavy approach to ranking websites. Because of this, a lot of websites would focus on keyword stuffing. Therefore, they would pump out new content with a heavy focus on the keywords they were aiming to rank for. As a result, the content they would get ranking would be spam and not necessarily for the human but rather for the search engine crawlers. This is known as the Penguin update and it led to a seismic shift in the way web marketers had to change their SEO strategies.
5. The Importance Of Local
Google noticed how much local usage was becoming a thing and they decided to place more of a focus on improving the local search experience because of it.
Google focused on adding an algorithm update that would offer much better local search results for those that wanted to be able to find businesses and grocery stores surrounding them. This would improve their Maps efforts and more.
6. The Rise Of Mobile
The rise in mobile device usage really changed the way the algorithm ranked websites. Google knew the usage of mobile devices was continuing to rise and it wasn’t slowing down. Therefore, they forced website owners to focus on providing the best possible browsing experience to this growing segment of users.
The rise of mobile-led Google to penalize any web owners that didn’t place an inherent focus on improving their mobile traffic’s experience. Therefore, it is more important than ever before to have a responsive website that can effectively scale to mobile devices.
Overall, you can tell search engine optimization has gone through its fair share of dynamic changes. Google and other search engine providers are constantly looking to improve the end-user experience. Also, having better results only improves the monetization efforts of their search engine. Therefore, you can expect the algorithm updates to continue helping their results become more localized and faster with new machine learning and artificial intelligence technology being integrated.