Here’s Why You Really Need To Pay Attention To SEO

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What do we know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? The initial Google algorithm developed by Larry Page Sergey Brin in 1995 decided which websites should rank highest in Google.

It was the first search engine to take into account links pointing to a website as a ranking signal and was significantly less sophisticated than the one in operation today.  

Over the years new technologies have emerged, and Google has made changes to develop a smarter algorithm to rank websites and serve more relevant search results. As the search engine has become more popular, it has also implemented penalties for sites that attempt to unfairly trick or manipulate the algorithm to rank higher.

SEO has had to evolve to keep up with these ongoing changes. This evolution has seen SEO deviate from a stand alone skill to become more integrated with other marketing channels, such as:

Paid Search or AdWords

AdWords campaigns were launched in the year 2000 and are the sponsored ads that appear at the top of Google search results. Brands pay for each click that delivers a user to their website.

So how can brands use it to boost their online presence? Paid search campaigns provide the opportunity to test elements such as keywords and ad copy. The ability to collect data from paid search can help marketers to make better-informed decisions such as, which keywords deliver the best results, and which ad copy gets the best click through rate. These insights can be used to optimise SEO performance to increase the likelihood of results.  

Access to paid search data is particularly useful since Google started limiting the amount of SEO keyword data users could see in Google Analytics from 2011.

Online Marketing

Google became a popular search engine because it was able to use links pointing to a website from other websites as a ranking signal, which enabled it to deliver more relevant search results. The core part of Google’s search algorithm today still relies on the signals derived from backlinks. However, the type of links that Google uses as part of their signal has changed.

Previously all links were seemingly more-or-less equal in their ability to help a website rank, and the more links a website had, the more chance it had of ranking.

However, over time, Google has shifted from using the quantity of links as a core metric to the quality of links.  In 2012 Google rolled out an update referred to as “Google Penguin”, which aimed to decrease search engine rankings of sites with low-quality links.

Consequently, links from more trusted sites such as BBC, HuffingtonPost, Forbes, etc. became more desirable, and SEO became more integrated with online marketing. The more your brand is featured by trusted media, the better it is for its online visibility. Moreover, it will help you build that trust and connection with your key audience.

The Future

Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller has previously stated that Google does not use social signals (such as likes or shares on Twitter or Facebook) in its search ranking factors. This is most likely because social signals can easily be manipulated, however, that doesn’t mean that social signals won’t be used at some point in the future.

There’s no doubt that SEO will continue to change and integrate with different channels and platforms (voice search is a recent example) as new technologies become available that allow Google to deliver more relevant results to users. There are plenty opportunities for brands in this field, and the ones that will master SEO techniques and nuances faster will manage to stand out.