20 years of Google: SEO forever and ever?

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At the beginning of the 2000s, tens of billions of websites were already indexed by the Google search engine. What sounds good to curious users at first glance was like finding a needle in a haystack when looking for a particular site. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were therefore not the first search engine operators who came up with the idea that they’d have to »rate« websites according to their content. With innumerable evaluation factors – some secret, some public – Google managed to take on an undisputed pioneering role.

This article in the “20 Years of Google” series is therefore concerned with the way we find the right website today, the consequences of writing on websites, and the SEO optimisation of today will still exist in the future.

PageRank, Keywords, etc.

What is the best-written article if nobody reads it? Through Search Engine Optimisation, SEO for short, Google’s ideas not only laid the foundation for the online marketing industry but also made life easier for search engine users. Because who wants to click through several search results pages, until you have found the right website?

Google understood this issue and developed factors for rating websites, such as the PageRank algorithm, which rates each website based on their number of links to other websites. Backlinks were born. Of course, resourceful site operators took advantage of this and bought backlinks to go up in their Google ranking, which is not prohibited in principle but reduces the quality of Google search results.

So, over the years, there have been other Google ranking factors, such as keywords, mobile-first approach, load times, and the overall user experience – everything that makes visiting a website with a previous Google search as comfortable as possible. However, Google is always concealing certain things so that no one can say exactly which factors influence the ranking with which weighting.

Keyword greater quality?

Anyone who has ever made a website and optimised it for Google, how much effort goes into it. After all, you want your own content to be consumed. From my own experience it can end up you don’t just have to write texts after the quality text, but you have to pay attention to the right keywords and even density of text.

The result is often lyrical outpourings, which have little to offer content, but SEO optimisation still appears high in the search results. What is indispensable for product descriptions and the associated competitive situation, for example, can be a danger to free journalism. »Can«… because even journalists face a much bigger competition through the World Wide Web. Anyone can give an opinion on anything, so it is good that Google rates this content for the reader in advance and has sorted it… right?

Understand SEO as an opportunity

Please do not get this wrong: The billions of indexed pages have to be sorted somehow, so ranking is necessary. Through SEO, everyone has the same opportunities to catapult themselves forward on Google. The optimisation of a website is a methodology that goes along with the Internet and is comparable to the invention of printing: The printing of 100 books is a great time saver compared to handwritten writing. The same applies to the optimisation of a website. You can try by word of mouth, which takes just longer accordingly to reach a corresponding target group.

Google’s way of making the World Wide Web »discoverable« has been proven for 20 years now and is indispensable in today’s world. Whether it will survive in the future, is to be seen. Because in a world of increasingly intelligent systems, the question arises whether we still have to look for things at all, or if an AI does not recognise a need and presents solutions adapted to the individual – and if the search can be automated, then that too optimises web pages.

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