The Fight Against Black Hat SEO: 3 Awesome Moments in History (Infographic)

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By Matt Cayless - SEO Director

Posted on December, 23, 2017

At Bubblegum Search, we’ve been in the digital marketing industry long enough to have seen the very worst in black hat SEO tactics. We’ve also seen Google evolve at an incredible rate when it comes to fighting back against them. In our interactive infographic, we outline the most crucial milestones of SEO history, and many of them have involved the black hat SEO battle. Here are 3 important moments in Google’s ongoing battle against spammy SEO practices.

The battle against black hat SEO began in 2003
The first major Google algorithm to fight black hat SEO strategies was FLORIDA, which was released in 2003. Google’s aim was to punish sites guilty of keyword stuffing, and this was a major step in improving our search engine user experience. Since then, Google has unleashed hundreds more algorithms – some big, some small – to punish black hat tactics and reward sites that work hard to provide a positive experience for web users.

“rel=nofollow” started cleaning up bad links in 2005
When “rel=nofollow” was launched in 2005, webmasters finally had a way to clean up poor quality backlinks which had, until then, been used to manipulate search results. Google really went to town when they later introduced two algorithms to tackle back link spam and other black hat tactics – Jagger and Big Daddy.

Penguin started fighting off unnatural links in 2012
Unfortunately, as Google’s algorithms become more complex, so did black hat tactics. By 2012, Google became so frustrated with websites buying links or using link networks that they released an algorithm update named ‘Penguin’ to tackle these issues. Paid links or those gained via a Private Blog Networks tend not be high quality or relevant, meaning that they skew the search results and lead to users having a bad experience. Since 2012, Penguin has been on a mission to obliterate them.

Be sure to check out the full infographic below for more insights into Google and SEO’s complex history.

The history of SEO

Matt Cayless is the Director of SEO at Bubblegum Search. He is an SEO expert having worked on campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands and has a passion for helping businesses grow online. When he’s not chasing the Google algorithm he can be found training for his next marathon. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn

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