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.