Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 6 years and 339 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
There is a misnomer in search marketing and SEO that things change all the time. I think I stopped consuming SEO blogs and news sites on a daily basis about 2 or 3 years ago when I decided enter full time consultancy with no one else’s safety net. There was no extra time for anything accept a low information consumption diet. I had to develop unflinching confidence in the work I was doing to execute on various strategies based on my understanding of how search engines have historically worked, and the assumption that they will continue to function in basically the same manner for some time to come.
This is from a conclusion that there have only been a handful of changes that affected how I conducted my business. I learned from both blackhats and search engineers both to come up with a strategy that fit my ethical code while indulging my competitive nature and hunger for success. I am convinced that the cat/mouse dynamic between blackhats and engineers has helped to form the current state of information retrieval based on strong needs to stay relevant in certain areas that were exploited solely for capitalistic monetary gain.
I’ve found some great posts and articles about search history and how search engines have evolved over time, but not many mentions of how search optimizers have changed their strategies over time. There are a few good resources listed below, but none quite summed up the changes that affected what I like to refer to as the “SEO mentality”. I’m hoping to create a fairly comprehensive document for Market Motive Internet Marketing Training (where I’ll be discussing this shortly with legendary SEO’s Greg Boser and Marshall Simmonds, to help add to the increasingly comprehensive body of SEO training we’ve developed over the past two years (Over 40 Videos now!).
I learned what SEO was in about 2002 – shortly after offpage factors started to strongly determine relevance. I spent several years and thousands of hours on forums reading, learning, an interacting and teaching to figure out how search engines worked. When I made the choice to work for myself at home after another great year of learning and consulting at We Build Pages (with Jim Boykin – one of the sharpest SEO’s I’ve ever known), I decided it was time to start doing. I built sites, and strategies for myself, using consulting money to fund development of website projects, and parlaying to thinks like being able to even afford the insane cost of living in the SF Bay area. It was based on the unwritten understanding of the changes that are mentioned below, and not listening to a lot of the SEO garbage that is spewed all over on the interwebs.
When I started doing – I realized that not much changes with SEO in terms of strategic execution. It is a pretty logical art and science of determining risk to reward ratios, and implementing strategies in a sequential fashion following certain established rules based on intended outcome. I’ve developed a playbook and these SEO rulesets by understanding the HISTORICAL GAMECHANGERS in SEO. Feel free to add some on twitter with #seogamechangers
I’ve been taking a mental inventory of these game changes for a few months, and here is what I have them broke down to:
- Onpage factors (1995 — 1999)
- Offpage factors (2000)
- Florida update (2003)
- Fresh Crawl/ Everflux (2004)
- Sandbox effect (2005)
- Duplicate content filtering (2006)
- Human editorial (2006)
- Onebox/ Universal Search (2007)
- Paid linking handling (2007)
- No follow (2008)
- User data validation and segmentation (2009)
- Brand Mentions (update Vince – 2009)
Some of my dates may be a bit off, but for the most part these are the major factors that affect my actionable SEO Strategies. These are the major changes that contribute to the hurdles, filters, and challenges of ranking a site on a search engine.
I’d love to hear from other folks on the things that you think should be included in the list. There are MANY minor things that full under these categories, but after revisiting most and asking twitter, I think this is pretty comprehensive, as things like local search 10 pack, personalization, geotargetting all fall under one of these other areas (even if the dates aren’t exact). Please let me know if you can think of anything I missed. I’ll try to watch the comments on the post closely for once:) Please post any great resources, or suggestions for adding/updating to the list.