SEO is the marketing approach that focuses on increasing the visibility of a website through its organic traffic. The ranking follows some rules set by the different search engines.
From time to time, the search engines update their algorithms, and marketers need to be aware of all the changes to maintain their good positioning in the SERP. Google uses its Webmaster Central blog to store and inform about all the most recent updates. If you want to keep yourself updated with algorithm changes from other search engines, you can have a look at the Moz website. That is why having knowledge of SEO in depth is essential in digital marketing.
SEO: The history behind this marketing approach
Let’s start before with a little bit of history. SEO is the acronym of Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of improving the quality and quantity of organic traffic to a website or web page from search engines. After all, there is no exact date of creation for SEO. However, it is believed that SEO was born in 1991. In that same year, the first web page went live. Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist, created this page to inform about the revolutionary World Wide Web project. After that, many other web pages or websites were made, and there was a vast need for structure and accessibility.
But the actual use of SEO is dated back to 1997. Let’s go one year back to 1996 when 2 students from Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed Backrub, a search engine to create a universal digital library. They called it like this because the program analyzed the web’s “backlinks” to understand how important a website was and what other sites were linked.
One year later, the creation of Backrub, Page, and Brin wanted to give a more appealing name to the search engine. The new name was Google.
Before Google, the search engines were full of Black hat practices
Until this point, search engines mainly ranked sites based on the domain names and basic site structure. An overwhelming number of websites started to use keyword stuffing, repeating keywords repeatedly in the text to improve rankings (for which there were no criteria), drive traffic to their pages, and produce attractive numbers for potential advertisers.
There were already black hat SEO practices taking place, like the excessive use of spammy backlinks. Google saw an opportunity to do something that other search engines didn’t think about at all.
PageRank: How Google algorithm Set The Rules For White Hat SEO
This mathematical ranking system is a way of measuring the importance and quality of websites. Currently, PageRank is not the only algorithm used by Google to order search results, but it is the first algorithm that was used by the company, and it is the best known. This is how Google explains how algorithms work:
“These algorithms analyze hundreds of different factors to try to surface the best information the web can offer, from the freshness of the content to the number of times your search terms appear and whether the page has a good user experience. To assess trustworthiness and authority on its subject matter, we look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries. If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that’s a good sign that the information is of high quality”.
Google provides some general guidelines to help your business have a good ranking position in the search engine. You can also find some crucial advice on how to optimize your content marketing strategies.
White, Grey and Black Hat SEO
The White hat SEO refers to
- any practice we use which follows the rules set by the search engines
- the focus is on providing relevant results to the visitor and improving the experience on the website
- it requires time to see the good results, but it has a much more lasting impact
Some examples of White Hat practices include using keywords, back-linking, link building, and writing content that focuses on relevancy, organic ranking, and audience engagement.
Do you want to know more about White Hat SEO practices? Have a look at some important tips provided by the Wordstream website: https://bit.ly/3b9v2ju
On the other hand, the Black Hat SEO practises:
- violate search engine guidelines
- manipulate the algorithms to increase page rankings
- the main focus is to get good results in short period
Some Black Hat techniques are keyword stuffing, using unrelated keywords in page content, page swapping, redirects and content automation, article spinning, spam site, and cloaking. Discover more Black Hat SEO tactics here: https://bit.ly/3rTLYRM
It is important to remark that the Black Hat practices are effective but are risky and can cause your site to be reported. Google indeed penalizes the website which uses these practices.
The Grey Hat SEO is the term to describe the practices between White Hat and Black Hat SEO. For example, clickbait. Clickbait refers to a practice where someone posts something like an eye-catching link or piece of content that encourages a reader to click and read more. Search engines are not the only ones who can penalize websites that use these bad practices. Google, for example, gives the possibility to everyone to report when a website is using black hat tactics.
Google or other search engines can penalize your website’s ranking when they notice you are using black hat SEO tactics. It is important to remember that all search engines regularly update their algorithm to improve their results. One of the most remarkable updates to the algorithm was the 2012 “Penguin,” designed to target sites buying links or using spammy link practices. Thousands of websites lost their rankings. We highly recommend everyone to use the strategy of White hat SEO as it is the only one that gives good results.
For more Blogs: https://blog.thedigitalmarketinginstitute.org/
International Institute of Digital Marketing ™ is a certifying body founded in the USA by several long-standing marketers. We have years of experience in business, marketing, and more, and have put forth our combined experience to develop DMI. Digital Marketing is something that’s all around us, yet there has been no solid foundation for marketing in many, many years. In the news, there are blunders again and again by companies, failing some of the core aspects of modern marketing. Because of this, the need for a solid, stable foundation for marketing in the modern world is needed– a foundation with the ability to be built upon and developed with time.
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Written by Zahra Ben Khallouq
Content Marketing Analyst at INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIGITAL MARKETING™ and Alumni for the master Digital Marketing and E-commerce at EAE Business School