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When you think about SEO what comes to mind, keywords? Rankings? Link building?
SEO is changed a lot in recent years so to understand how; we need to step back in time to when the Internet was still new.

In the beginning search engines could only use the text on a website to figure out who should rank where, all it took to rank number one was repeating the same keywords over and over and over.
Search engines slowly began improving their algorithms by analysing header tags, word counts, keyword densities but with a little reverse engineering clever SEO companies began mastering internal optimisation efforts. In the mid 90’s it was not uncommon to track your ranking within 15 to 20 different search engines, then in 1997 Google showed up and changed everything as the first search engine to use links as ranking signal.

Google treated inbound links says editorial vote of confidence, this lead to higher quality search results and in a few short years Google became the most popular search engine on the web. With Google’s growing dominance link building became more lucrative than ever, people bought and sold text link ads, syndicated poorly written articles, submitted to thousands of directories and blasted out spammy blog comments. Overtime tactics got sneakier and people were placing links anywhere and everywhere they could. All of this was being sold business as SEO and for a long time that actually worked but from the very start Google warned against link schemes and emphasise the creating better content would actually get far better result in the long run, unfortunately few listen.

As early as 2003 Google began penalising websites they were participating in spammy link building schemes, if there was a link-building tactic that could be gained. Google eventually had an update or a penalty to match.

Starting in 2005 Google began cracking down on companies who are buying inbound links then in 2011 Google rolled out the panda update crushing sites with weak or duplicate content bringing the importance of unique, fresh and quality content to forefront.

In 2012 Google unleash the most powerful anti-spam weapon, the penguin update, since the panda and penguin updates Google has continued to take action against anyone who they believe is trying to improve their rankings through manipulated link building, the message is clear: link building schemes are not just against the rules, their ticking time bombs for your business. Sadly, there are still tons of SEO companies today claiming to offer link-building services. What they will not tell you is that when your website gets slammed with a penalty you will be on your own, you can try to fool Google but in time you will always lose.

Gone are the days when you can expect an SEO company to quickly jump your website to the top of the ranking without any kind of repercussions, today the road to long-term success includes a holistic and comprehensive approach it means having a professional looking website it was professionally optimised internally, it means a website that offer a memorable online experience for your customers, it means becoming a trusted authority by continually producing the kind of content that your customers and prospects will actually want to read, content that is engaging interesting and helpful, it means continuing promoting this fresh content through social media amplification, display ad campaigns, opt-in email, press releases and influencer outreach, it means continually tracking and improving your results through analytics and conversion rate optimisation efforts.

The companies that are succeeding today and tomorrow are not building links, they earning them. SEO has changed and that’s a good thing, the question is are you changing with it?

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Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Visibility, SEO, Web Presence