My first experience with search engine optimisation was in 1997 when our team developed an IT recruitment portal and one of the challenges was to drive clients and job-seekers to it. At that time, there was no Google. Yahoo was the dominant search engine with Altavista close behind. Internet was not as crowded as it is today and fine-tuning the meta-tags was sufficient to improve rankings.
As Internet became more competitive, many websites discovered that they could manipulate the metatags to get high search engine rankings. That was the time when the search engines (primarily to improve user experience) decided to increase the factors that determine the ranking of a website on the Internet. Companies and their webdesigners kept trying to catch-up with the search engines criterion.
This was the time for the birth of the search engine optimisation specialists. The breed of people who are looked at with both awe and contempt. Some people believe that all they do is devise some clever tricks to get websites rank high on search engines. Others believe that they use scientific methods to improve the user experience and technological compatibility of a website. Which view point is correct?
The answer according to us lies in the approach being used by the search engine optimisation company/specialist. If the approach is well defined and based on research, it is usually has much better results.
In our experience, we have multiplied the revenue of several companies from modest figures to multi-million dollars in a span of six months. These companies do regard us with awe.
Many people ask me what the future of search marketing is going to be. It is a difficult question to answer but some trends and developments are fairly evident :
- Growth of search marketing as a percentage of the marketing mix
- Vertical or Industry Based Search will become more pronounced
- Use of web 2.0 and interactive technologies
- User generated forums will change the way people do business
- Social Bookmarking
- Integration of Online and Offline methods of marketing
I will elaborate more on each of these points in my future articles.
About the Author : Anup Batra lives in Melbourne, Australia and has a strong track record in internet strategy, and search engine optimisation
He is contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org