Search Engine Optimization - What, When, Where?
By Jenny White
Search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved over the past decade and a half to become one of the single most important factors for determining the success of any business, website, blog or other online platform or venture.
But it wasn't always that way, and SEO has come a very far way in a short period of time. Here's a bit about SEO and its history, and how it used to be:
- SEO started becoming used for the first time in the mid 1990's.
- The earliest steps were simply submitting a site to a search engine and using META tags.
- Manipulating META tags and keyword density led to sometimes poor results and led to innovation in the quality of the search engines.
- The algorithm that a search engine uses to rank its websites, and therefore what determines what is effective for optimization, makes SEO and the search engines themselves inextricably linked to one another.
Of course, today, SEO is far more complex and involved. Google's algorithm, for example, has hundreds of different factors going into what separates one website from another in the results that they display. Businesses and consumers alike also recognize the importance and value of SEO, making it an extremely competitive field, with a wide range of companies and individuals working to improve the SEO of other entities. Of course, along with this you'll find a lot of bogus "gurus", as well as sketchy "black hat" strategies which can end up penalizing you or getting you banned from the search engines.
The most effective way to increase SEO for a website incorporates numerous different factors, from keywords and other onsite techniques, to the strength and age of the domain itself, the quality and quantity of incoming links, and more. It's a long way from META tags and quick submissions, and it's a field that continues to grow as time goes on.