Firstly, we need to know what SEO stands for, or what is it an abbreviation of, to give a good a thorough explanation for anyone to understand.
SEO = Search Engine Optimisation
Other terms may include:
‘Search Engine Marketing’, ‘search optimisation’, ‘search engine ranking’ and ‘search engine advertising’. But ultimately they all mean the same thing, achieving high rankings in the search engines to gain traffic to a website.
But what are search engines you ask, well I am hoping that you found me via a search engine and that you used something such a Google, Yahoo or Bing to type in your request and the search engines returned that result and you clicked on here? These three search engines are the main ones used in the English-speaking world of the internet, but there are several others that are used.
Evolution is Part of SEO
Now SEO has changed several ways throughout the life of the internet, in fact, they only really started to become effective from about 2004 when Google arrived and became a dominant search engine that more and more people started to use.
As more and more people started to use the internet and therefore search engines, it became more and more apparent that achieving solid page 1 rankings, or even better #1 rankings for specific keywords would mean more and more people would be visiting your website. Which in turn means more money will be earned by those dominating the top rankings. As with all software that is developed on the internet, it eventually evolves and becomes more sophisticated removing the rubbish and returning the crème.
So What SEO Methods Used To Work?
From the mid-1990’s to about 2004 SEO was a simple process, webmasters could target specific keywords simply by doing keyword stuffing and using meta tag data to their advantage. In case you do not know what meta tags are, they are snippets of information that can be coded into the page of a website that provides the ‘Title’, ‘Description’ and ‘Keywords’.
So for instance, if you wanted to have a website ranked highly for the term ‘cosmetic dentistry Southend’ you would simply make sure that that term is found in those there field and you would also put that term in the H1 tag, along with using that term several times in the content of the page. I have read a number of pages that really have been stuffed with a keyword phrase that makes the content unreadable. BUT this is now obsolete and the methods have changed.
Between 2003-2005, the importance of keywords for rankings diminished and what became more important was the links going to your website, not the quality of links but the quantity that mattered. Whoever had the most links simply won when it came to achieving high rankings. It was at this point that a number of cheap SEO companies based in developing countries started to appear, stating that they were able to get page 1 rankings for a very low cost.
They worked at this point, simply because of the fact that the number of links won the race. Then in 2008-2010 the density of KWs used on the website and the ratio of KW density used in the backlinks started to become important. In short, they were reduced by all major search engines in their algorithms to far lower percentages and even more so today.
Along Came a Panda, Then a Penguin...
In 2011 massive changes occurred with the Google ‘Panda’ updates that really started to look at the quality of content for people's websites, low-quality content, insufficient social signals pointing to the website.
What SEO Techniques Work Now?
There are several SEO agencies that claim to know what works now to get page 1 rankings for a number of terms. In short, these techniques might involve practices that only work in the short term, but eventually they will be changed by the Google machine and end up dropping any ranking report. I will endeavour to use the most ethical and modern techniques that should continue to work for a long time and allow you to maintain solid rankings that consistently provide you with customers throughout the year.
For more information on the techniques that I currently use to help gain rankings continue reading on the SEO Technique page.
The picture of ranking a website, really, is a combination of the ‘on-site’ set-up and content and the backlinks to the website from various sources. To help you understand the benefits of using a good SEO consultant, take a read of my page showing the financial correlation of a company’s financial position before the introduction of SEO and then once SEO has really kicked in and given the company a major financial boost (Financial Benefits of SEO). It should light up your eyes to what is possible using this marketing technique.
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