Published on December 6th, 2016 | by Guest


The Evolution of SEO and Content Marketing in the Last 10 Years

A lot has changed in the last decade along with the New York City skyline. Possibly the second biggest change was in the field of search engine optimization, thanks to the new trends of Google updates. In the nascent years, there was no term such as “black hat SEO”. SEO was synonymous with stuffing keywords into bootlegged content and spammy links that lead nowhere.


By mid-2000 Google pretty much had this problem sorted, but this also called for a major overhaul in search engine optimization. So how exactly have the new Google algorithms affected the SEO industry in the past decade?

This does not have a one-word answer. For this, we will have to explore a little more than the basic principles of SEO and move past the pre-conceived notions of content marketing. Let us take a tour of the journey of SEO along with the evolution of Google algorithms.

  1. Long live content: After Google Panda update came into being in 2011, all websites containing low grade content with spammy links and stuffed keywords were blacklisted. Since 2011,Google has strived to give us “good quality” content with fresh substance and high quality. The Hummingbird update in 2013 brought a new era for content marketing and SEO. The Hummingbird recipe is complicated, unique and accurate. It ranks websites on the basis of keyword density, context and live links on the page.
  2. A makeover for SERPs: Even Sherlock couldn’t find and list all the Google SERP overhauls since 1998! But I can tell you that the changes were sometimes so small that they went unnoticed altogether.
  3. Rise of mobile optimization: In 2015,mobile internet users finally took over PC users, and this was foreseen by Apple back in 2007. The launch of iPhone mobile devices opened a virgin market for mobile internet users and Google caught up to this trend up by prioritizing mobile responsive websites. As a matter of fact, Google released mobile-friendly updates in two separate phases to enforce this practice.
  4. The rise of semantics: The Panda may have killed off keyword stuffing, but it was Hummingbird who brought to life “semantic” search. This was more like the soft death of keyword optimization as we knew it before 2013. Every digital SE optimization firm had to rethink their game plan since post its launch, Google is able to decipher the intent of every search, rather than showing SRLs on the basis of blind hits. Google has been gifted with the power to understand rather than map out individual phrases and keywords from website content.
  5. The steady evolution of Google: After Panda, Google didn’t sit still. The search engine giant had been releasing seemingly unpredictable updates that were constantly redefining how ranks were being calculated. These were major challenges to all existing search optimizers. Gradually, Google calmed down and so did the updates, they became smaller and less cumbersome for the SEO experts. Post Hummingbird, there has been no drastic update that has caused a dramatic impact on website traffic.

Google and marketers are evolving hand in hand. So, in order to thrive in this industry, you will have to keep in touch with the past, present and the future of SEO and content marketing.


Author bio:

Derek Iwasiuk runs Engage the Crowd, one of the top notch SEO agencies to make a dent on the impenetrable world of online marketing. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and even check out his videos on YouTube to learn how to make your own digital SE optimization firm stand out in the crowd.

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