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Search engine optimization (SEO) has morphed into varying forms over the years. One thing is still certain, though: the importance of SEO in any website cannot be denied.

The wide range of SEO strategies may have started out by stuffing websites with so many keywords and some other techniques that are now considered to be black hat.

As online marketers and website owners try to evolve into the right kind of marketing plan, SEO standards have also dramatically changed over the years. The methods, techniques or strategies that you have known in the past may have already become obsolete, faster than you think.

Changes in SEO Standards

Here are some of the biggest changes in SEO standards over the past five years:

1. Enriching website content

The time when SEO experts would merely focus on keywords that they think would bring in more traffic to websites is already long gone. These days, a website that is excessively stuffed with keywords is considered “spammy”.

With the focus on user experience in search engines, online users are now using long-tail keywords to type in precisely what they are looking for. If you want your website to rank high, you should be able to provide quality content that will answer some of the most common questions that your target users may have. In doing so, casual visitor may eventually become loyal customers.

2. The downfall of backlinks

Establishing a backlink structure has been one of the most popular SEO techniques that marketers and site owners follow. Unfortunately, some black-hat SEO “experts” have exploited this technique by literally asking for a favor from someone to “falsely patronize” your product and service just to show online visitors that you have exactly what they are looking for.

Google has come up with several ways to combat black hat SEO techniques like this, to the point that the search giant is now penalizing offenders. The latest Google Penguin update made sure of this, so that websites with good quality content are rightfully ranked at the top of search results.

shutterstock_2734202543. SERP makeover

You may have noticed how search engine results pages (SERP) have evolved. Keen-eyed search users observed that Google increased the length limit for the title tag, which is now around 70 characters. The featured snippets have also become longer.

To maximize the SEO potential of your site, you need to create good titles and snippets for your content. This way, you can increase the chances of your pages to be included in the first SERP of Google.

4. Knowledge Graph Introduced

Knowledge Graph was first launched by Google in 2012. This system analyzes facts about people, places and things and how all these three are connected. It was developed to help Google improve its search relevance as well as present Knowledge Graph boxes that provide direct answers.

SEO techniques to capitalize on this update include using highly specific keywords and following Schema.org formatting.

5. Consistent Google Updates

Google updates are less noticeable these days. In fact, online users and SEO professionals are no longer advised about these in order to prevent panic and drastic changes in site structures.

As a response, website owners will have to rely on tried-and-tested SEO strategies rather than waiting for the next Google algorithm update to make that necessary changes.


These are just five of the most noticeable changes in SEO over the past few years. Don’t be surprised if these strategies become obsolete or get changed in the next couple of years, because that’s how dynamic the world of SEO is!

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Pablo Villalpando

Pablo holds a BA in Sociology and is a Bilingual SEO Strategist for Victorious. He was recently featured in "Real Research: Research Methods Sociology Students Can Use" by CSU, Chico Professor Liahna Gordon. He is fortunate to enjoy a career path through analytics, digital marketing, and social psychology. His passions include Mexican food, his 4-year-old lab Chia, and astronomy.

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