In the early days, Google’s search engine wasn’t nearly as powerful or accurate as it is today. I’m talking back in the late 90s and early 00s, when search engines were little more than keyword-matching and link-counting machines. Ranking highly in search results could be accomplished by essentially using a simple, two-step procedure:
- Step 1: Stuff your keyword phrase into your website as many times as possible.
- Step 2: Get as many gosh-darn inbound links as you possibly could.
For those early “SEO gurus” who gamed the system — achieving high rankings while adding little value for actual searchers — the fun wouldn’t last. Every time Google found a weakness in its ability to deliver relevant, high-quality search results, they made fixes to address it…