The growth of the Internet is an interesting study. It is hard to believe that something so important to the entire world economy barely even existed twenty years ago.

Yes children, believe it or not, there are a lot of people who can actually remember going to the Internet before there were things like Facebook or Twitter. Or even eBay and Amazon. There was even a time when there wasn’t even Google to make sense of the web for us.

There Was No SEO Before There Were Search Engines

Can you imagine trying to get anything done on the Internet before there was Google? The Google Algorithm, the formula or set of instructions that tells the Google Search Engine how to find what we are looking for, is one of the wonders of the modern age. What is truly wonderful about Google and the other search engines is that they will do there job with very little thought or effort on our part; just think of a question or term to search, type it in and hit the Search Button. Suddenly, thousands of answers arrive on the screen before we even have time to look away.

Search may be an almost mindless activity for most ‘net users, but you can bet there are people out there who do put a lot of thought into your searches. Those people are marketers working in what is called Search Engine Optimization.

SEO Is Simply Marketing

Now, all by itself marketing is not a bad thing. It was the profitability of marketing that drove the Television Era and the Age of Radio before that. One of the great things about the Internet is that marketing is able to be much more focused. If you are interested in model trains, the Internet will figure that out about you, and within a few clicks you will begin to see ads for toy trains.

For years Internet marketers have had two basic ways to influence the sort of results your search will have. The world of SEO has traditionally divided itself into two camps, White Hat and Black Hat. The White Hat guys would like to believe that their methods are filled with integrity, only honest and ethical means of increasing page ranking. Black Hat guys, well, first of all they would never admit to the color of their Hats, but the White Hats would have us believe that they are the cyber version of cattle rustlers.

The Other Color Hat

By definition, the Black Hat SEO‘s raise their page rating by cheating. How big of a cheat their methods are probably depends on your perspective. Search user’s can tell that the Black Hat Efforts are a waste of time when they open a search result and find nothing of use. Google has been “on to” the Black Hats for a long time, the search giant has just been stymied to come up with a way to keep the Black Hats from succeeding without punishing any hardworking White Hat types who put their effort into create high quality websites.

New Rules For SEO In Seattle

Recently, Google rolled out the latest version of their algorithm, Panda. One of the big goals of Panda was to make the methods used by Black Hats obsolete. For the most part it has. Who does Panda reward? Panda likes sites that use keywords, but not sites that overuse them. Panda likes sites that get linked from others, but punishes unnatural over linking. Most of all, Panda seems to have a large preference for sites with high quality content over sites filled with badly written, unnaturally key-worded fluff.

What it boils down to is that if you put together a site that puts too much effort into getting high ratings, it won’t. If you build a site that is informative and that users have a reason to visit, and stay, Panda will like it.

Panda has pretty much made everyone’s hat in the Seattle SEO world the same color.

To learn more about how SEO and Web design can help your profitability, schedule a Free Half Hour Consultation with Chad today.