Itâ€™s no secret that search engine optimization has become more complicated over the yearsâ€”at least in some ways. Google Googleâ€™s algorithms have become radically more advanced, using semantic search to understand user queries rather than dissecting them into discernible words and phrases and incorporating countless offsite factors like online reviews and social signals. But while the code that backs Googleâ€™s search algorithm has become much more difficult to analyze, the actual process for optimizing a website has become simpler.
Agencies and in-house SEO professionals used to be essential for webmasters and entrepreneurs looking to climb the rankings. Only a few years ago, SEO was a very mathematical, precise process, and few had the technical expertise to make the adjustments necessary to gain visibility in search engines. Today, SEO is more about producing a high-quality user experience, which doesnâ€™t require nearly as much technical expertise. Additionally, keyword research and competition analysis werenâ€™t always made easy with the range of free online tools available today.
But while there are more opportunities for individuals to optimize their websites on their own, agencies are still useful. Specialized agencies can complement your SEO capacity, aiding you in particular areas where you might not have expertise or human bandwidth. In some ways, agencies are still necessary for many businesses, but individuals have more power than they ever have before to influence their own rankings.
Why the Shift?
The original processes of SEO were focused on building logical structures based around keywords within content. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of spam and low-quality content on the Web. As a result, Google evolved to favor sites with more high-quality content and fewer instances of perceived spam. Gradually, sites with the greatest user experience started winning out over sites that spent the most time engaging in manipulative, spammy tactics, and today, SEO is no longer a numbers game. While the backend processes for calculating authority and rankings have exceeded themselves many times over, the path to high web rankings has become more direct.
The Steps that Anyone Can Take
Itâ€™s easier than ever to build a foundation for an SEO campaign, and there are many steps and tasks that almost anyone can initiate. None of these explicitly require the use of an agency, though individuals new to the world of SEO might struggle to produce the same quality work.