How has SEO changed in the past 10 years?

How has SEO changed in the past 10 years?

The impact of SEO has been ever-evolving, so the way we use it has changed too.

In the past ten years, the importance of SEO has gone up, and there is enormous competition in every industry. To be able to reach out to the audience, people try new ways to make their content compelling. Let us find out how SEO has evolved and how it is helping businesses today.

Most people, who started understanding search engine optimization ten years back, knew it more like stuffing keywords. Slowly, they started tweaking back-end codes, spamming links, and using other malpractices. These were shady methods that used to make websites rank. However, Google banned these methods and now charge penalties if people are caught taking up such practices. The plans to make your way up on Google is now a little more time consuming but fair. It takes time to draw in traffic, but once it kicks, you’re just going to be on the receiving end.

How SEO evolved over a decade

Below, we list you the points that’ll help you know how SEO developed. Check these out to ensure you have a good SEO game to work on:

The rise of good content

Content marketing is an essential part of SEO strategy. Google had redefined the consideration of ‘good’ material that includes quality writing, images, audiovisuals, and so on. It is above and beyond stuffing keywords or spammed posts.

In 2011, the Panda update was like a death blow to spammed and keyword-stuffed content. After this, it was impossible to get away with such gimmicky tactics. Presently, search engine winners are people who produce the best and the most valuable content by following proper content marketing strategies. Content is the key today, and SEO goes hand in hand.

Death of linking schemes

Google has offered its definition of the ‘link scheme’ and how it works. Many might find the guidelines ambiguous, but they are simple explanations. For example, any attempt to influence ranking with link qualifies within the scheme.

During the late 2000s, Google worked hard to stamp out black-hat links and spam-based link building methods. They started penalizing people using link wheels, exchanged, and pain liners. With the 2012 Penguin update, link building changed to how it currently is. Now, people can work on natural link attraction and build links with guest posts. These will earn you high authority and improve your rank.

Reshaping of local

Local SEO has completely changed from what it was at that time. There have been plenty of small iterations and changes to the layouts like the local carousel or 3-pack layout. However, the most significant breakthrough in ranking levels was the Pigeon update in 2014.

After this update, Google heavily incorporated the traditional web ranking signals onto the algorithm. It gave the well-optimized websites a considerable edge in the local searches. Google boosted the visibility of the high-authority directory websites in their search terms.

Local searches have now become more common, and it’s better to get your business. Mobile devices have also played a pivotal role to bring brands closer to their customers. You should turn to Yeah! Local to hire local SEO services and draw in traffic that quickly converts into customers.

SERP overhauls

Only expert SEO agencies can help you tell how many times the search engine results pages (SERPs) have changed over the years. Some of them are small enough not to count. However, if you look at a screenshot of SERP from 2006 and compare to how it is today, you will find several things to consider.

For all those you don’t know what it is, SERPs is a result page that shows us the returns in response to a particular or phrases. Expert SEO agencies use SERP to improve SEO for their clients.

Knowledge Graph

In today’s time, the knowledge graph is a huge influence. It had first emerged in 2012 and offered concise answers to questions added by users. These are usually presented in a box and have a short and crisp answer. The responses show up only when people search a straightforward query. This is a great help for users but sometimes takes precedence over organic results.

Many times, optimizers had to compensate either by avoiding the usage of answerable keywords or by choosing micro-formatting to make on-site content conveniently deliverable.


The importance of mobile phones exploded with the emergence of the iPhone in 2007. Google has always been on point to emphasize its importance and optimize websites for mobile users. In 2015, mobile phone queries surpassed desktop queries in Google. Since then, people have equally given apps importance as much as websites.

Death of keywords

Both Panda and Penguin killed the practice of stuffing keywords. However, there was an update in 2013 that spelled ‘soft’ demise for keyword optimization. The name was Hummingbird, and it introduced a semantic search. It was a new way that Google uses to decipher user intent rather than navigating keywords and phrases.

Today, Google understand meanings rather than matching keywords so just concentrating on keywords is not enough anymore. However, the practice is still relevant, and it can guide strategic focus and offer ranking opportunities.

Update pace and impact

You must know that few years after the Panda update, Google stressed out search optimizers by releasing random and significant upgrades to the algorithm. It changed how ranking is calculated. However, the search engine has now reached a strong foundation, so the significance of this has declined. Nowadays, updates are small, less noticeable, and take time to roll out. It gives a less dramatic impact on the industry and helps people work on SEO strategically.


It is essential for every online marketer to know how SEO was and is today. Google is always pushing the now-fundamental element in our lives. We need to stay focused on the upcoming years and see how SEO keeps evolving with time.

Posted by Ingenium Web

Ingenium Web

iNGENIUM Ltd. is an software development company from EU which delivers a full range of custom .NET, web and mobile solutions for different business to meet partner's demand.

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