How SEO has changed over time – My personal journey and the advice I would give to my younger self.
If you’ve ever wondered what SEO was like in the early days and what changes it has gone through to date, keep reading.
SEO to put it very simply is a bunch of techniques that are used to maximize the number of visitors to a website by making sure that the site shows up high on the list of results displayed by a search engine.
There are very few marketing channels today that have evolved as rapidly or as dramatically as search engine optimization (SEO).
In the beginning, SEO was mostly about stuffing keywords, tweaking back-end code and spamming links until you started to rank well for your target keywords. Google of course, put an end to those practices very quickly (as a matter of fact, keyword stuffing now actually hurts your SEO) and it has not stopped evolving its search algorithm since.
My experience with SEO started when I had over a hundred Google sniper sites. I built them using a strategy that I learnt from a course I bought on Click Bank. It was made by a guy called George Brown and I paid around $20 for it at the time.
With this strategy, I built a bunch of sniper sites (which are basically single-page websites) and used their EMD’s (exact matching domains) as their domain names. I wish back then there was a product like this one here for creating content, WHAT a timesaver!
The way an EMD works (or should I say worked) is that if you wanted to rank very quickly for “How to quit smoking fast” for instance, you would buy the domain “Howtoquitsmokingfast.com”. I use the past tense because google no longer allows people to do this.
These sites of which I had over a hundred, were my very first foray into the world of SEO. My sites were ranking in the top two to three google search results for their keywords and bringing in anything from $20,000 to $30,000 a month for me in affiliate commissions.
For me this was great, I was very comfortable and all set to retire. I thought to myself that all I had to do now was build a few more of these sites and then I would be alright for life.
And then the Penguin algorithm update happened.
Google changed their algorithm, every single one of my sites lost their rankings and my entire business came crashing down quite literally overnight.
Not one to be deterred though, my next move was to take the considerable SEO skills that I now had from running my sites and begin to offer them as a service to local businesses like mechanics, window fitters, plumbers, builders etc. I would contact them and they would pay me to help them optimise their websites for SEO.
After doing this for a few years however, it started to feel a little repetitive and quite honestly boring. It was during this time I decided to start The Wolf of Online Marketing.
Now I’ll have to admit that even I was initially surprised by just how easily and quickly I was able to rank for all of the products that were being launched on Munch Eye daily.
And so, I started to regularly write reviews for these products and built up The Wolf of Online Marketing in this way.
If I could go back in time and change one thing though it would be to put more helpful articles (such as this one) on my website. I would do more of that from the very beginning.
A reason for this is that unlike before, Google now gives very high priority to the quality of the content that you have on your website rather than to just how much content is on it. It means that if you have lots of content on your site but it is neither very relevant nor very useful to people who are searching the keywords that you are ranking for, it actually lowers your google ranking.
In the past, just the opposite was the case. SEO’s focus used to be more on the quantity of content than on quality because Google used to prioritise that. People would churn out massive numbers of poorly-written, non-essential pages and use a lot of keyword-stuffing tactics as well as duplicate content.
And for a while, they were able to easily rank for their keywords, in spite of giving their readers this low-quality content.
Since Google shifted its focus though, well-written and informative content has been given priority and in order to rank in Google for a keyword, articles must now be high-quality, informative and use keywords in a way that feels natural and not forced or overdone.
Another major change to SEO that has happened since I first got into this game 10 years ago is the Google Page Experience Update
This is one of the biggest announcements to come out of Google this year about changes to SEO.
With this update, things like how quickly your website pages load, how responsive they are and their level of interactivity will be taken into account in ranking your site.
This update shows that Google is emphasizing its intention to display only high-quality links in its search results. What this means is that the higher the user experience score of your web page, the better it is going to rank in Google.
Other things that have changed include the need for your website to be mobile friendly, have multiple pages and lots of high-quality posts. In addition, websites that are optimised for voice search and video are generally going to rank better in searches, the quality of backlinks to your site is being more heavily scrutinized and local businesses now have more opportunities to rank favourably against even big names like Amazon and eBay thanks to Google’s increased prioritisation of local SEO.
Another very important way that SEO has evolved over time is with posts on the popular social media platforms also ranking in google searches for keywords, this social media platform is now actually a search engine as well…Crazy right?
So many other changes and updates have taken place since my first experience with sniper sites that now feels like a lifetime ago, and putting them all in here would make this article too long.
I will therefore be continuing this topic in another article that I will post next week and so keep an eye out for it.
To make sure you don’t miss it, follow my blog to get notifications whenever I post a new article (usually once a week).
To summarise, I will leave you with this piece of advice. If you are starting out in online marketing, I would start with a website. This serves as a foundation from which everything else can grow – your YouTube channel, your email list, your social media accounts and anything else. It will help your readers get to know you better and will build trust as well as familiarity.
If you really want to give your site an immediate boost of SEO juice that will never get you in trouble with Google then try using my system for social syndication, I call it the FPBN method (Free Private Blog Network 🙂 )
Well, that’s it from me for now. See you next week!
To your success.
Marc and Team.
PS. If you want to get my evergreen SEO course that is only available through me now but is still looked at the premuim low ticket SEO course then check this out –