Are current SEO methods for everyone, or just the realm of SEO consultants?

SEO used to be different, getting to the top of Google was easier, and much less time consuming or expensive, but things have changed. If you built a decent website as the internet boomed a decade ago, threw in a few chosen keywords, basic content and basic meta information you were probably well away, SEO consultants had a much easier job.

SEO – What has changed?

For a full run down on the internet, the development of search engines and the beginnings of SEO we love this slideshare from Hubspot which gives a thorough timeline view of the key events:

Code to Embed:

<iframe src=”″ width=”427″ height=”356″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”” title=”The History of SEO” target=”_blank”>The History of SEO</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”” target=”_blank”>HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software</a></strong> </div>

In 1998 Google launched with PageRank (to become known as Link Juice) ranking websites based in incoming links. In 1999 Meta Tags are most important and in 2000 a PageRank Toolbar tells SEO consultants where to find valuable links, by 2003 sites are being penalised for keyword stuffing and the “nofollow” tag is launched in 2005. This was then used by SEO experts to channel “link juice” but Google soon stopped this tactic. In 2006 “cloaking” or invisible text is banned and BMW’s website is blocked for this, XML sitemaps are born. Real time search improvements in 2009 mean that fresh social media content can be indexed rapidly and reaches the top of the search engines and in 2010 it’s confirmed that Twitter and Facebook influence SEO. Black Hat linking strategies are penalised by the Google Panda update in 2011 and the focus on quality begins in earnest. In 2012 the Penguin update penalised low quality link practices and article spinning, blog networks and directories are all frowned upon by all powerful Google.

Today if you post too many link heavy articles, posts or press releases you run the risk of lowering your search engine ranking or being removed all together.

How should my website be optimised for 2013 and who should do it?

Although Google is keeping SEO consultants and website owners on their toes the focus for SEO should be on:

  • Good domain authority
  • Quality Meta Data
  • Accurate and natural use of keywords
  • Naturally written, well structured, quality content
  • Relevant linking from reputable websites
  • Social media
  • Including rich content in websites, blogs and social media for credible shareability

SEO is still very much the realm of SEO consultants and experts, who have a wealth of experience and are ready to respond to Google’s every whim, but every webmaster and contributor to a website should have SEO in mind with their every action, tweak or addition, paying particular attention to natural keyword use.

Google (and your customer) wants to see original, real content created by real people, content that is rich, well written and actually enjoyable.

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