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In terms of updates and innovation, SEO is one of the leaders on the web. Through regular algorithm changes, Google makes SEO a much more rewarding experience for those who own blogs and websites, and makes it much easier to deal with others who practice Black Hat SEO techniques. What it all means is that the SEO world was a very different one just a few years ago.

Let us look at the different ways in which SEO has been transformed during the past few years.

Emphasis on content

It was not so long ago when spammy content and keyword stuffing dominated the SEO world. There wasn’t much Google could do about it initially but it all changed with the introduction of the Panda updates. They allowed the search engine to dissuade people from keyword stuffing and gave way to a more meaningful and quality content.

By imposing penalty on keyword stuffing, Panda made the Internet a better place for all. It put emphasis on content quality over content quantity which led to a better user experience and rewarded the webmasters who paid more attention on the quality of their content. SEO was transformed into a quality content game and those who could produce the best pieces of writing became those who reaped the most benefits.

Local searches redefined

When 5 years ago the Pigeon update was first introduced, it completely changed the way in which local searches were conducted. What the update basically did is transfer authority from bad to well-optimized sites for local searches.

No more link scheming

Google no longer tolerates the use of links for manipulating search results. The reason for this is that link building, which was so strong some years ago, is now viewed as yet another Black Hat SEO technique. What link building was basically reduced to was natural link attraction and guest posting, making the last two the most viable options to increase your site’s authority.

Mobile first approach

One of the key points in Google’s innovation was the mobile first approach. The search engine basically enforced the site optimization for mobile devices. It now rewards those who have mobile-friendly websites at the expense of the rest.

A never-ending torrent of updates

The recent years have seen Google releasing a “river” of Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird updates. All those attracted great attention from optimizers as they were worried about how and to what extend these updates will affect their sites. Even a small update could affect a website or even potentially break one. It led to a degree of paranoia among site optimizers, which is not necessary a bad thing. For one, everyone is not paying more attention on site optimization.

Google has grown so much during the last few years that it is nearly unrecognizable from what it once was. In my opinion all these changes were for the good. They weren’t perfect but nonetheless have created a solid base on which more improvements could be introduced.

We’ve all used Google to look for things. Maybe you were looking for the perfect recipe or maybe you needed to find a place to buy a pet toy, regardless of what you were looking for you probably got tons of results to your search. You may have wondered how to limit your results to sites that matched your needs even more. I’ve compiled a short list of ways to get better results from Google.

Basic Search

Example Search Gets Pages that containing…
dog park the words dog and park, not necessarily together
dog park or playground have dog parks or dog playgrounds
“One small step for a man” the exact phrase “One small step for a man”
tile -ceramic the word “tile” but does not have the word “ceramic”
web-site all forms of the term, with or without hyphen or spaces
define: dichotomy definitions of “dichotomy” from the web

 

Refining Search

Example Search Gets pages that…
tax site: whitehouse.gov contain the word tax from whitehouse.gov only
New Yorker Sushi  2000…2005 have articles from the New Yorker talking about sushi between the years 2000-2005
budget plan filetype:pdf have a budget plan in pdf format
link: www.whitehouse.gov contain a link to www.whitehouse.gov
weather Cedar City UT shows the weather at the specified location (zip code can be used instead of city, state)

 

Restricting by keyword location in result

Example Search Results
allinanchor: Dog Training finds pages where an outgoing link reads “Dog Training”
shopping inanchor: covered-parking finds pages where an outgoing link says something about shopping and covered-shopping
allintext: recipe beef garlic finds pages that contain all the words recipe, beef and garlic
intitle: easy recipe finds pages with a title that contains the words easy and recipe