4 Ways SEO Has Evolved Over the Years

With the evolution of SEO over the years, it has become a crucial component of digital marketing, regardless what industry your business is in (yes, even for asphalt businesses like yours!). In the past, SEO was about stuffing content with keywords and building profiles through mostly unethical means. As a result of frequent Google Algorithm updates and rampant changes in trends, SEO is now majorly focused on providing positive user experiences to the right audiences and ensuring that they can find quality content seamlessly. 


Let’s take a look at the most significant changes that we at Go Online Asphalt believe have helped shape the evolution of Search Engine Optimization over the years. 



1. Keyword Stuffing


Early on in the evolution of SEO, webmasters would stuff their website pages with keywords in an attempt to rank better. They used black-hat keyword stuffing techniques like hiding the keywords within invisible text or inside the website’s code. Google eventually caught on to this and adjusted their algorithm accordingly. 


Due to the changes in Google’s algorithm, websites that used black hat SEO tactics suffered drops in ranking, visibility and traffic. Now, Google prioritizes and rewards sites that use natural and proper keyword placement in their content, and continues to penalize those who use any black hat SEO tactics. 



2. Emphasis on Content Quality Over Quantity 


The mid-2000s saw the practice of spammy content and content with excessive keyword stuffing, and in turn, quality was overshadowed by quantity. Specifically, it was common for pages to be poorly written, overloaded with keywords, and to feature duplicate content. For a while, websites that did this were able to easily rank for various keywords, despite having low-quality content for their users. However, it was in Google’s best interest to ensure it was directing users to quality content on reputable sites. Along with the change in how SEOs utilized keywords, the way content was written started to change as well.


With the release of the Google Panda update in 2011 designed to punish poor content, meaningful and high-quality content saw a successful spike over keyword stuffing. Since this update rolled out, websites with patterns of keyword stuffing started getting penalized, which was a welcome development for ethical SEO practitioners. Now, Google prioritizes content that is well-written and informative. For SEOs to rank in Google for a keyword, they must now write high-quality content that naturally incorporates keywords and informs readers. 


In summary, as SEO has evolved over the years, website owners have become more aware of the importance of high-quality content and how they can utilize content marketing strategies to attract their target audience.



3. Mobile SEO Prioritization 


In 2015, mobile queries officially outnumbered desktop searches. Because of the growing shift from desktop to mobile, Mobile SEO became a priority.


It was also in 2015 that Google released a much-anticipated mobile-friendly algorithm update designed to provide the most relevant and timely results to users, regardless of whether that information was presented on mobile-friendly web pages or in a mobile app.


With mobile-friendly updates, Google came up with the idea of delivering optimal user experiences to its mobile users through perfectly optimized websites. As more people browse on their mobile devices than ever before, Google now rewards mobile-friendly sites. 


4. Local SEO


In recent years, local searches have become both more common and more specific, which has impacted SEO significantly. Because of this, Google and other search engines began using more end-user data, such as search histories and interests, to better personalize search results. This meant that the results you saw could differ from the results of a person sitting next to you who searched for the same query. 


In adopting the new focus on local search, local businesses have additional opportunities to reach their target audiences. With Google My Business, local businesses can create a profile to rank higher in local searches. Additionally, you can now optimize content to rank for location-specific keywords that help easily reach your target market.





SEO has evolved in more ways than we could have ever imagined since the 1990s, but one thing we know for sure is that it is not going to stop evolving any time soon, because it has become an adaptive mechanism that fuels the internet and the websites on it. 


While we’ve only touched on a few significant ways SEO has evolved over the years, your main takeaway from all this should be this: as long as there are search engines, SEO will continue to evolve and remain vital in the digital world. With so much in store for us in this evolution, the Go Online Marketing team is always on the lookout for trend changes in existing SEO practices.


Are you ready to embark on the SEO journey to start seeing better results for your asphalt business? If you’re interested in getting started with SEO, contact Go Online Asphalt today! 




JAN. 23 – JAN. 25, 2024
MAR. 25 – MAR. 27, 2024
Location: ATLANTA, GA


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