Search Engine Optimizations has now become much more difficult that it used to be in the past. Gone are the days when Content was King! Also, post the Panda and Penguin updates from Google, simple search engine optimization techniques that could be repeated over and over again by webmasters to rapidly climb the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) with good success could now potentially harm your websites.
Let me take you through, very briefly, over the evolution of the modern Search Engine Optimization techniques to understand where we came from and where we stand today:
About 10 years ago, in the early 1990s, search engines would mainly use keywords to rank a page. Therefore, if someone is searching for “Dog Food”, the search engines would return the page that had dog food the most number of times. Since the algorithm was very simple, webmasters could quickly use that to their advantage. A new website owner, targeting the Dog Food customers, would repeat “Dog Food” as many number of times on their page as possible without adding any value to the website visitor (sometimes repeating the keyword many times in the same font colour as the site background so that its not legible to the visitors but could be read by search engines).
This lead to Search Engines using a different method for ranking websites. While keyword was still important, search engines started measuring the keyword relevance and its appropriate density. It also started analysing its presence in the meta tags.
Also, the likes of Google, Yahoo, etc, wanted to find out “How often are people talking about this page?” The best way to answer that was, how many websites across the internet are linking back to that site or web page and in what context or for what keywords are they linking back. Hence came two more concepts that became the bread and butter for article marketers – Back Links and “Anchor Text”. Using these, most search engines were able to determine the merit of a site or a web page.
This was again taken advantage of by webmasters. After analysing the SERP results, they came up with a sure formula to boost rankings. This comprised of:
On Page SEO
• Start Title with keyword
• Maintain a keyword density of 3 to 5% on the articles
• Write proper meta tags including the keyword
• Use the keyword in H1/H3 tags in the article, etc
Off Page SEO: This generating back links by using the keywords as anchor texts
• Add backlinks by using blog comments
• Post articles with backlinks on Web2 sites like Ezines, Hubpages, etc
• Creating a link wheel where each article has one link pointing to the web page and another one pointing to some other articles which again would have two links
• Using tools available in market for viral link building to hundreds and thousands of sites
However, after the two quick updates from Google i.e. Panda and Penguin, many of these link building techniques are no longer effective. In some cases they are counterproductive and Google is now able to detect such unnatural backlinks and penalize the websites. This is more of a reason why webmasters today should seek help from firms specializing in SEO even if it comes at a price.
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