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1995 vs. 2020: Website Design, SEO & Beyond

Even disregarding the current pandemic, 1995, the year our company was founded, seems a world away.

Bill Clinton was in his first term as president … the Dow Jones, which first surpassed 30,000 last month, ended 1995 at 5,117 … the U.S. population was at 267 million (compared to 331 million today) … and only 12% of those people owned mobile phones in 1995. Cell phone ownership today is estimated at 96% of the population.

Remember AltaVista?

The Internet was a completely new concept to everyday people. Google didn’t exist – AltaVista and Yahoo were the search engines du jour. Searches generated dozens or hundreds of results, compared to millions – and billions – of results today. To access those results, most people used a dial-up connection, which was not only slow but noisy too.

Only 14% of U.S. adults had an Internet connection back then, a fact attested to by our own experience. When we first started building websites, we sometimes had to fax a copy of the web design to the client, because the company didn’t have Internet access to view it online.

Now, Internet access is not only ubiquitous, it’s also so fast that most people won’t wait longer than a couple seconds for a website to download. If a site doesn’t pop up immediately, the visitor just moves on to the next search result.

Broadened Search Results

Gone are the days of 10 blue text links on a search results page. Now, an answer is often displayed at the top of the search results, negating the need to click on a link for information.

The search results have changed in other ways, as well. Now, there are ads, images, videos, product carousels, Google My Business panels and much more.

And search engine optimization has changed along the way. Twenty-five years ago, you just had to slap a few keywords in the right place in the coding to get your website ranked on Page 1 of the search results. Some SEOs got fancy and added keywords to a web page in the same color as the page background for additional traction.

When Google realized some sites were gaming the system with keyword stuffing, it expanded its search algorithm to downplay keywords and place more emphasis on backlinks and other factors. Today, there are hundreds of characteristics that Google weighs in deciding which web pages should rank on Page 1 of the search results.

User experience is playing a larger role in how Google ranks websites, with concepts like page speed and secure connections now factoring into the equation.

Growing Complexity

Websites themselves have grown to be more complex, as well. A cutting-edge website in 1995 basically replicated the company’s brochure online. Today, even a garden-variety website includes videos, blogs, how-to information and interactive features like request for quotes and ecommerce. Instead of simply explaining what a company offers, websites in 2020 function as a vital component of the sales funnel, turning site visitors into customers.

The More Things Change …

So, yes, the world is a drastically different place than it was in 1995. But some things haven’t changed. Topmost among those is the care and expertise we bring to every website and SEO project we take on.

We keep up with the latest Google changes as well as the most current SEO and web design practices. We understand the importance and interplay between keyword research, SEO copywriting and social media promotion.

We also listen to clients and develop an understanding of their business that lays the foundation for the work we perform. We then build on that foundation to deliver websites and SEO content that help them win new customers and achieve their Internet marketing goals.

Contact us today by filling out this simple contact form or by calling 877-799-9994, ext. 2102.


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