No one can deny the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s a critical piece of any successful online marketing strategy. But how did SEO evolve into the powerhouse it is today? And where is it headed in the future?
Let’s take a look at the interesting history of SEO and explore some of the exciting changes on the horizon. We’ll also highlight some companies doing an excellent job with SEO and learn from those successes, like the Allstate Mayhem Commercials.
SEO has come a long way since the early days of the internet. Let’s take a look at some of the key milestones in its evolution.
The Late 1990s: SEO Is Born
The late 1990s was a pivotal time for the internet. It was the birth of SEO, or search engine optimization. Webmasters created “crawlers” that would index published pages all across the internet and present links to them on a single page for the user to navigate, and this software became known as a search engine.
This new field was created out of the need to improve website visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). It wasn’t necessarily called SEO at the time, but its early-stage tactics were alive and well.
At the time, SEO tactics focused on optimizing website content for specific keywords. Over time, however, SEO evolved and to become more complex, harder to “game,” and more focused on user experience.
Some examples of early SERP tricks and tips include:
- Building link farms to generate inbound links.
- Creating doorway pages loaded with keywords to boost rankings.
- Using keyword stuffing to cram as many keywords into website content and HTML code as possible.
Nowadays, SEO focuses on a variety of factors, including site structure, user experience, and link building. However, the goal remains the same: to improve visibility and organic traffic from search engines.
The Evolution of Early SEO and Google’s Takeover
In the early 2000s, Google emerged as the dominant search engine and changed the landscape of SEO forever.
Google’s algorithm updates (like Panda and Penguin) began to reward quality content and punish sites using black hat SEO tactics, like keyword stuffing and doorway pages.
Another important evolution in SEO Google is responsible for is the focus on user intent. In other words, Google’s latest algorithm updates (like BERT) focus on identifying the intent behind the search query rather than simply analyzing its keywords literally.
This places an even greater emphasis on the quality of the content you create: It must illustrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Google’s Mission Statement and Algorithm Updates
Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” In order for Google to achieve its mission, it needs to provide users with the best possible search results.
This means giving users what they want: quality content relevant to their query.
To do this, Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving. As a result, SEO changes frequently as well. What worked yesterday may not work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow.
Modern Day SEO: Mobile Optimization and More
In recent years, mobile optimization has become increasingly important as more and more people use their smartphones to access the internet. It’s a strategy that can best help a famous brand reach consumers.
In response, businesses have focused on creating mobile-friendly websites that are easy to navigate and provide a great user experience.
The Importance of a Mobile Optimized Experience
Mobile devices are now the most common way people access the internet. In fact, nearly 60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
This surge in mobile usage has led to a change in consumer behavior. People now use their smartphones to search for information on-the-go, which means they have different needs and expectations than desktop users.
To meet the needs of mobile users, businesses must focus on creating a mobile-friendly experience. This means optimizing website design, content, and functionality for small screens. While Allstate gets high marks for its SEO strategy, it’s the Geico mobile app setting the standard against how other apps are graded.
SEO Is More Than Meets the Eye
However, the future of SEO is about more than just making sure your website looks good on a small screen. It’s also about creating quality content that appeals to both users and search engines.
That means understanding what users are searching for and creating content that meets their needs. It also means staying up-to-date with the latest Google algorithm updates and SEO best practices.
Allstate’s Successful SEO Mayhem
Allstate is one company that has excelled at SEO in recent years. Their “Mayhem” commercials are a prime example of how to create quality content that resonates with users.
Allstate’s ad spending and customer retention rates are among the best in the business, thanks in part to their successful SEO strategy.
So what can we learn from Allstate’s success? Here are a few key takeaways:
- Create quality content relevant to your target audience.
- Focus on creating a great user experience.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Keep an eye on the Allstate Mayhem commercials for inspiration and you’ll be well on your way to improving your website’s visibility in no time.
Taking on Your Website’s SEO
Now that you understand the basics of SEO, it’s time to put knowledge into action. Utilizing SEO is free and can help you avoid spending more than what is in your bank account.
The first step is to take stock of your current website and see where it needs improvement. Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, you can start making changes to your website and monitoring your progress. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix. By regularly monitoring your website and making changes as needed, you can ensure your site continues to rank highly in search engine results.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. His passions include insurance and helping others understand the intricacies and history of SEO.