Last year SEO (or, search engine optimisation to you and I) appeared ready to take on the world. Everyone was banging on about this wonderful thing called SEO and literally everyone wanted a piece of the action.

Take for example the freelance websites on which individuals and small companies look for cheap talent. Reading the entries gives you an idea of the sort of digital jobs that are trending from month to month.

And the first part of this year SEO was the dominant listing. “I need an SEO consultancy” would scream the title and the description would then outline that the budget is £10 and the person needs to be on Page One of Google rankings. The naivety of the person posting such ads is at first touchingly innocent, then amazingly frustrating. What’s worse, they are a large number of pitches from freelances saying that they can deliver the goods. A case of the blind leading the blind, or the blind being robbed. You can make your own mind up.

But, the point is, that SEO was the word that everyone seemed to be using, as though it was a magic potion that would render every website a superb success. You can only guess how many people didn’t really understand what it actually meant, or the costs involved. But nevermind, it was the snake oil we were all searching for.

That’s no longer the case. Check out the freelance websites now and you see that SEO is still very much there, but now many people have learnt (or been bitten), but the SEO silver bullet which often misses the spot.

Now people are becoming more adept at refining just exactly what they want and SEO is being broken up into its constituent parts.

Attribute to: Neil Martin, Cayenne Red.

Neil Martin is a UK SEO Consultant at PPC Agency Cayenne Red and is a regular contributor to the media on how companies market themselves in the digital age.