How Has SEO Changed Over the Decade?

SEO is always in a constant state of flux. As Google gets more advanced, so must SEOs. As SEOs get better at what they do, so too does Google improve its ability to understand and index websites.

What was true in 2009 is not necessarily true in 2021 and may still not be relevant in 2029.



With that in mind, I will attempt to look back at a few key events and advances in search engine optimization technology over the past decade.

SEO is always in a constant state of flux. As Google gets more advanced, so must SEOs. As SEOs get better at what they do, so too does Google improve its ability to understand and index websites.

Keyword Stuffing No Longer Works

In the early days of SEO, keyword stuffing was a viable strategy. Google’s very first algorithm update in 2002 targeted sites that had little content and lots of keywords. By 2009, however, the main focus of SEOs was to create quality content rather than worry about what words people might use to find a website.

Social Media is Important

The importance of social media as part of an SEO strategy was a watershed moment in SEO history. Suddenly, sites with a decent number of links from major social media sites started scoring higher on Google’s SERPs.

SEO is No Longer Just an Afterthought

Over the past few years, SEO has become one of the most important revenue channels for e-commerce operations businesses. Consequently, companies have started to integrate SEO experts into their web development teams. For example, developers and designers work closely with the SEO team to ensure that pages load quickly and display properly.



Long-Tail Keywords Are More Important than Ever

While most search terms are still generic, a growing number of searches are for longer-tail keywords. In fact, as much as 70% of all organic clicks now originate from long-tail keywords.

It is no longer enough to only rank for the primary keyword; SEOs must target long-tail keywords to win organic rankings.

Google Authorship is Dead, Long Live Google+ Authorship

The death of Google Authorship was another seminal moment in the world of SEO. With the demise of authorship markup came the rise of Google+ Authorship.