In the early days of Internet marketing it was relatively easy to get a web page to rank in the popular search engines for the keywords that you wanted to target. Keyword targeting essentially started with these early search engines and keyword density along with meta tags was the dominant way to get a web page to rank.
But in 1998, a search engine company appeared on the scene and introduced new technology that would change the landscape of search forever. That company was Google.
What was so special about Google? The search technology that Google introduced was all about counting backlinks as a measure of value. If a web page had a lot of inbound links, so the thinking went, then that meant that a lot of other web publishers saw value in that web page and it should rank higher for the keywords it targeted.
This presented a few problems and once word got out that Google counted links then everyone started looking for ways to get more links. You could call it the Great Link Scramble and you’d be right on the money.
In the last ten years Google has made a lot of changes to its algorithm. The search engine has added some factors and taken some factors away in its search for the optimal mix of ranking factors. But the basic core philosophy of using backlinks as a measure of value is still there.
Some other changes that have taken place since Google’s entrance into the search engine wars include the addition of new technologies like pay per click advertising, video marketing, social bookmarking, and social networking. While article marketing was a popular way to seek links early on, social media sites seem to be a more popular way today. But article marketing still works.
As the Internet grows and more people use it for marketing, more technologies come into play for marketing through the medium. I can hardly wait to see how it will change in the next ten years.