We’ve already looked at the early days of SEO – how it emerged from the primordial soup of the world wide web, and how it began to gain moment as a force in digital marketing. Now, in part two of our blog series looking back on the history and development of SEO, we look at how search engine optimization and search engine providers began to work in tandem to focus and target content, and how SEO changed the way we communicate.
By the turn of the 21st century, search engines had become increasingly commonplace. Even with the dot-com crash of 2000 and 2001, search engines endured. But, at the tail-end of the 90s and into the early 2000s, search engines weren’t what they are today. While they did still function based on keywords, the quality of the content wasn’t a factor. This meant that a lot of webmasters would do something called “keyword stuffing”.
“Keyword stuffing” involves filling content with keywords, sometimes to the point that it’s barely coherent, in order to beat out the competition in search rankings. Some sites would even use irrelevant popular keywords in order to cast a wider net to get more money from advertisers. Even today, some site owners lacking a real understanding of optimization will do this in an attempt to rise up the search ranks.
SEO in the 21st Century
As search engines gained popularity and their own momentum, the people behind them began to realize just how damaging some webmaster practices were. Search engine innovators like Google began to develop their own ways of crawling content, sorting and ranking results and determining what was useful for those using their service.
In the early-to-mid 2000s, we saw the first signs of tailored search results, and of content optimization from webmasters geared more towards real relevance.
Fragmentation, Personalization, and Optimization
As the reach of the web became broader in the first decade of the 21st century, user bases and audiences began to fragment, as the internet allowed more opportunities for those with specific interests, hobbies and needs to connect with each other. In turn, this lead to an even deeper personalization of user experience, and search engines continued to adapt and refine results.
As a result, the practice of SEO itself also became more detailed, more refined and – if used properly – far more effective.
SEO, Social Media, and Communication
Social media is one of the major cornerstones of the early 21st century, and as we near the end of the second decade, it’s integrated into almost everything we do. Savvy content creators haven’t fallen behind either, incorporating trends and new developments into audience-facing content.
Perhaps the greatest example of this, at least to date, is the humble hashtag. Optimization practices, the way search engines crawl and rank results, and what audiences find interesting or engaging are always moving forward.
Continuing Evolution of Optimization
Like any type of digital optimization, SEO changes as the web, its applications, the available platforms, and the way we think of it all change, too. Unless you have a keen interest in tech and are always keeping an ear to the ground for digital news, it can be easy to be swamped with new developments. Luckily, JumpSIX Marketing is here to give you hands-on help when it comes to your digital presence. If you’re looking for digital advertising, digital marketing, search engine optimization or web design services, content JumpSIX Marketing today.