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Quick update?
...that'll teach me to take an extended leave of absence!
John_Caius




msg:3157252
 2:21 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I used to be a regular contributor to WebmasterWorld about three to five years ago. I suspect that a lot of the core SEO knowledge is as valid today as it was back then. I wonder whether there have been any particularly ground-shaking changes to the way one does SEO over that time? In those days, meta keywords were ignored, PageRank didn't count for much and Google couldn't follow javascript links. Robots.txt was adhered to by most official bots and people mainly focused on optimising for Google. Flash was a bad thing because Google couldn't read it, people were just in the early days of optimising other filetypes like pdfs and anchor text was king. SEO was still considered a black art and not many people outside the niche community even knew what it meant. Splash entry pages were common and hidden text and other unscrupulous tactics could get you banned from Google. Am I still in the right ballpark or have I got to start from the beginning again?

PS hello to all the old stagers - hope you're continuing to derive success from the black arts!

 

MThiessen




msg:3157723
 8:22 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

"I suspect that a lot of the core SEO knowledge is as valid today as it was back then."

Mostly yes, title tag, header tags and overall content are the main focus.

" I wonder whether there have been any particularly ground-shaking changes to the way one does SEO over that time? In those days, meta keywords were ignored,"

Meta description and keywords are regaining importance. Google uses the meta descrition to describe your site, no tag? It takes the first snippet it "thinks" is content.

The most "ground shaking" thing lately is the avoidance of the duplicate content filter. Not so much a penalty, but as a filter you can be filtered out, not just with doorway pages, but with dynamic page problems (like with phpbb, that's one tough nut to crack to avoid page dups)

"PageRank didn't count for much"

Still true, but we all like to see the green anyway, quite proud of one of my PR7 sites. Though I have some PR4 and 5s that beat it to smitherines in the serps go figga...

"and Google couldn't follow javascript links. Robots.txt was adhered to by most official bots and people mainly focused on optimising for Google. Flash was a bad thing because Google couldn't read it, people were just in the early days of optimising other filetypes like pdfs and anchor text was king. "

Don't know about java or flash, I don't use it, kinda old school page writer here. Been doing this since 1994 (most people didn't know what the word internet meant then). I don't believe anchor text is king anymore, content is, and there is a fine line between optimised and over-seo.

"SEO was still considered a black art and not many people outside the niche community even knew what it meant."

SEO is common as dirt and fast becoming a household word. And it is not considered a black art. Google even has tools to help you now.

"Splash entry pages were common and hidden text and other unscrupulous tactics could get you banned from Google."

Still true. Try it and your committing googlecide.

"Am I still in the right ballpark or have I got to start from the beginning again?"

No, your fine, just focus on content, avoid duplicate content, don't copy other folks, or even your own websites content and you will do well.

"PS hello to all the old stagers - hope you're continuing to derive success from the black arts! "

Well if you mean black hat seo when you say black arts I am far from wishing them success...

Good luck to you.

John_Caius




msg:3157796
 9:20 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Excellent - thanks! No, I wasn't referring to black hat - my latest SEO projects are in very uncompetitive areas so hopefully it will not strain the old SEO muscles too much to get the site up to the top of the rankings...

It's good to be back - I've missed this place. :D

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