Why Does Understanding Search Engines Help Business Success? Part One

iStock_000013013103LargeSearch engines have changed greatly in the past 10 years. The ways in which people use search engines to find information has altered over time in response to the evolution of search engines and information listing online. As a result, businesses that wish to thrive online need to know how these search engines function and how to make them work for their company’s own success.

Part 1 will discuss how search engines have changed in the past decade, focusing on the alterations to SEO tactics, the development of mobile search engine features and the rise of quality content.

The online landscape 10 years ago in 2004 was a very different place to the online sphere we use today. Mobile devices were less technical, and the clear divide between search engines that can be seen nowadays was less evident.

For example, Google was not the only search engine around; the verb “to Google” was yet to become common terminology. In 2004, Yahoo was the most widely used search engine, with AOL following in a close second place. Google over time has become more prominent, and is now considered the leading search engine. It is also the foremost authority on search engine optimisation and keyword ranking. Perhaps most importantly, it has the power to make or break a website, punishing those websites that use so-called black hat SEO practices such as spamming  and promoting those which use quality content and have legitimate backlinks.

The importance of social media has also risen in terms of search engine results. How a business website is seen on Google search results now greatly depends on a full and active social media profile. In 2004, the most popular social website was MySpace, and Facebook was yet to be fully launched. One of the most important social media tools now is Google+, which was not even a concept in 2004.

The way in which we access search engines has also evolved. Mobile devices rarely had web access in 2004, whereas now over 63% of adults who have mobile phones use them to access the Internet at some point during their day. Just over a third of mobile Internet users only use their smartphones to access the Internet and search engines. Becoming mobile friendly is incredibly important to stay relevant in your sector and to stay at the top of search engine results.

Please read part 2 to understand how the difference in how we use search engines now affects businesses and their success in the online sphere.