Many people using the internet today don’t remember the early days, before Web 2.0, Facebook, blogging, or selfies. Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the web was a very different place, and things that we now see as commonplace, like having online friends or meeting a partner over the internet, were treated with suspicion. It was really the social media revolution, which coincided with the mobile revolution, which made the web what we know it as today – not just the place to go for information or to buy things, but something that is constantly with us, keeping us connected with our friends, our businesses, and our worlds. Here, Caseo will take a deeper look at the joining of SEO and social media.
The Social Media Age
Now is an age where anybody can have their own site, and almost everybody does. Businesses who aren’t on the web are exceptionally rare, and people who don’t have personal accounts on one or more social networks looked at curiously (how do they keep in touch?). The internet has grown enormously, and with more content by the second, Google and other search engines have had to keep up to ensure finding what you need becomes easier, rather than harder, as the volume of information exponentially expands.
You may then think that SEO is a relatively new science, created in response to the growing web and the evolution of search engines. But actually, it is almost as old as search engines themselves.
The Old School Ways
When the internet was a novelty, there were lots of search engines to choose from, and there wasn’t one that had a monopoly or was a byword for searching, like Google has enjoyed for a long time now. Yahoo, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and their peers were all different, and so if your search on one didn’t bring up something useful, you might try another. SEO at the time was still important – anybody with a website still wanted traffic, and there was less traffic to go round – but it was very different. For one thing, techniques now considered ‘black hat’ like keyword stuffing and putting irrelevant keywords in meta tags actually worked, which lead to terrible content often featuring high in search results. For another, those trying to perform SEO on their sites had far more search engines to understand.
Social Media and SEO
Google and its main rival Bing are vastly more sophisticated than earlier incarnations of search engines, and so the art of SEO has also become so. It has also, as you might expect, become very much intertwined with social media. In essence, SEO and social media are like eggs and flour – once separate things, still completely different, but when they have been made into the pancake that is the internet together, they can never be separated again!
The journey that the technologies and cultures around both SEO and social media are on is ongoing, but it is certain that their futures are intertwined.