Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This cliche applies to search engine optimization for plumbers, as much as anything else. To understand how to properly execute SEO, you must understand its origin and its evolution.
You can break the history of SEO down into 2 primary periods
B.P. if you will, was a period prior to 2012 where SEO was the wild west in digital form. The best way to rank #1 during this period was to manipulate the search algorithm by sending as may inbound links as possible to your website. This could be anything from blog comments from offshore countries, to spun articles on irrelevant and spammy domains. The quality nor the relevance of the links mattered at all. The only things that mattered were as follows:
- Link Quantity: The number of inbound links pointing to your domain
- Anchor Text: The linked term or phrase on the external site
On April 24, 2012, everything in the SEO world changed. Google’s Penguin update dropped the hammer on spam links, and severely penalized websites that engaged in malicious link building. It was a big wake up call for SEO’s, who’d become conditioned to do what works. And what worked in the past, no longer did. In fact, it not only didn’t work, it hurt websites severely. SEO as we once knew it had become black-hat, and everyone would have to learn to adapt. Here’s what Penguin changed:
- Link Quality: Grade the quality of the inbound links rather than just quality
- Link Relevance: Decipher the relevance of links as they related to their destination domain