9 Years in Digital: How Far Have We Come?

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
4 minutes to read

It’s been nine years since we set up shop here at Enjoy Digital and a lot has changed in that time.

Flashback to 2008: The Dark Knight was in cinemas, Gordon Brown was Prime Minister and Basshunter and Soulja Boy were in the charts. But what about all things digital? What has changed in the last nine years?

A different way of designing

The creative side of digital has come on leaps and bounds in the last nine years.

Constantly improving technologies, such as HTML5 and CSS3, have made the web rich and interactive. Once-popular tools such as Flash and Fireworks have faded from view – and while industry stalwart Photoshop still remains, there is now a wide range of web-specific competitors, for example, Sketch.

Galvanizing a generation of developers

2008 saw the launch of Microsoft’s Visual Web Developer programmes. This encouraged ‘at-home’ developers to get involved and start creating their own sites. The software ultimately inspired a generation of developers to begin coding.

Agile methodologies were gaining popularity and made development a much more collaborative, reactionary process. Offline versions of popular software started to appear including a Kanban methodology which used physical cards. This helped us all stay organised but did mean our desks were covered in post-it notes!

Front-end developers spent 2008 celebrating as Microsoft dropped support for Internet Explorer 6 and stopped providing security updates. This meant that developers no longer had to consider the browser when coding and saved a lot of keyboards from being smashed.

Experimenting with new platforms

As platforms and technology have evolved over the last nine years, so have marketing strategies.

Back in 2008, mobile had yet to become a ‘thing’, so design, development and SEO focused heavily on websites for desktop.

Scarily, the majority of websites were built in Flash which had little regard for usability, security and search engine optimisation (SEO). It left websites vulnerable and users frustrated. Fortunately, those days are behind us and Flash will finally be phased out by 2020.

The rise of SEO

Search marketing has evolved greatly over the last nine years. However, the biggest change has been within SEO. This has largely been driven by Google and its algorithms which defines a brand’s ranking position and organic visibility.

Gone are the days of so-called ‘spammy’ link building practices that dominated the industry. The likes of link buying and blog commenting for links have now been replaced by a “white-hat” approach that puts the emphasis on creative, imaginative content and the PR ability to outreach it.

When it comes to links, the industry has cleaned up its act. The worlds of SEO and PR have increasingly converged and all eyes are on the signals that define Google’s future algorithms.

Getting social

Back in 2008, social media networks were still in their infancy. Brands were working out how the networks could best be used to engage with audiences but were unsure of their longevity. Facebook was emerging as a leading platform which allowed strong, organic content strategies to thrive. However, Twitter was a fledgling and Instagram hadn’t even been created yet.

Since then social media has dramatically changed the digital landscape. Brands now have numerous channels at their disposal on which to share content, promote their messages and have meaningful conversations.

Marketing is constantly evolving, but where do you think we’ll be in another nine years’ time? Let us know in the comments below.

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