Search engines first launched in the 1990s . Since then businesses around the world have tried to outrank each other in the top spots of the first page on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
Google’s algorithms  have changed many times over the years. No one knows exactly how a search engine decides  who ranks number one at any given point in time, but there are principles that can be followed to increase your chances. Learning these principles and optimizing your website to align with them is part of the SEO process.
What is SEO?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization .
Every unique keyword search now seems to have its own unique ranking algorithm that considers the search intent of the searcher.
That means if you’re in a competitive industry, you can’t just follow the basic principles of SEO any more. You either have to hire an SEO expert (like me and my team) to outrank the competition, or spend a years learning through trial and error yourself.
Is there a simpler way? An SEO sliver bullet?
The closest thing to an SEO shortcut is Content. Yes, content is still king. But the Queen is links. If you focus on building great content and earning links consistently, you’ll probably pull ahead of your competitors eventually.
If you want to move faster or if you’re in a highly competitive industry like law, insurance, trucking, nursing, or e-commerce; you’ll have to go much bigger into the realm of content, links, and advanced SEO tactics.
Still don’t want to hire an SEO agency?
Then here’s what you’ll have to do to improve rankings with out a pro on your team. It is a simple, but expensive six step process that most small businesses can use to improve their search rankings without hiring an SEO guru. This process takes both a lot of time and money if you’re doing it yourself in-house.
SEO without hiring an SEO Pro:
- Invest millions of dollars into massive amounts of written content, quality graphic design, and video production on topics related to your customer’s problems, your industry, and the services you offer.
- Aim for creating 1 new page of content to your website every day (365 new pages in a year).
- Post that content on your website, and repurpose it for social accounts, and video platforms over a 12 month period.
- Build a good internal linking structure between the pages of your website.
- This will help search engines understand what your business is about, and customers will view you as an expert authority in your niche.
- The high quality content you created will inspire people to mention you on social media and link to your website.
So content and links are the secret to modern day SEO, kinda like the old days.
Of course there are many more tactics that can be leveraged, but content and links do most of the work for most websites. If your site is slow and looks terrible, that will hurt you. So make the design user-friendly and make your site fast.
Basically if there is anything about your site that you don’t like because its hard to use, it’s probably causing problems for your customers too. Fix those issues, get customer feedback, and keep improving to win in the long run.
My experience in SEO
After several experiments in the early days of the web and taking a few terrible web related classes in college in the early 2000s, I launched my first website in 2006, my senior year. ParisVega.com was live! At first I used it to display my art school projects and to promote my first business: freelance graphic design services
After looking at my website’s traffic stats, I realized people around the world could view my website.
It was exciting!
I experimented with optimizing specific pages for specific keywords and got to the #1 spot for a few long-tail search phrases.
I was hooked.
Even though I wasn’t getting a lot of traffic, I got a new kind of rush from winning the top spot.
SEO felt like a video game. There were basically 10 winners in a race between billions of pages on the internet, with 1st place getting the biggest reward of the most attention, traffic, and money-earning potential.
Since then I’ve worked with agencies and companies around the world to help them improve their websites, get more leads, and increase sales through search engine optimization.
- SEO Starter Guide by Google
- Search Engine History on Wikipedia
- Google Algorithm Update History
- How Google ranks websites