Each year, people make frantic claims that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will become an obsolete practice by the start of the next year, and 2017 is no different. Critics of the practice insist that search engine changes, such as those to algorithms, are sure to render SEO techniques ineffective once and for all.
These unwarranted claims, in turn, send those using SEO tactics into a panic, concerned with how this will affect their websites, marketing efforts and standings on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The cynics, however, do not take into account that Search Engine Optimization is an evolving practice and able to easily adapt as it has done since its development.
The Development of SEO
In the 1990s, people began to recognize the importance of promoting and optimizing their websites in order to rank highly in the SERPs. This led to the creation of website optimization software, as well as the collaboration of its creators. These pioneers did not have the whole practice figured out back then, but they discovered certain methods, such as keyword stuffing, that they deemed to be successful.
Traditional SEO Practices
After the term “Search Engine Optimization” was coined by John Audette in 1997, the practice had a name, and more widely accepted practices were continually evolving. Most of these methods, however, aimed to outsmart the Search Engines or “crack” an unknown code. If modern Search Engine Optimization still operated in the same manner as traditional SEO in this aspect, the practice would have become obsolete when search engines became privy to it. But, modern day Search Engine Optimization focuses on working with search engines versus working against them.
A large part of ethical SEO practices involves understanding how search engines work and staying on top of changes that are made. Once these changes are understood, practices can be adjusted. For instance, consider the release of Google’s Panda update in 2011. This update focused on improving the quality of websites featured in top results. At this point, SEO experts realized that a change needed to be made and shifted Search Engine Optimization practices to limit the use of keywords and improve the quality of content. Similarly, Search Engine Optimization has recently adapted to include the use of local SEO practices.
As long as search engines remain, Search Engine Optimization will adapt to remain relevant. While it is difficult to predict the future of the Internet 10 years from now, it is safe to assume that SEO is here to stay for 2017 and many years to come.
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