History of SEO (From 1945…)
History of SEO from 1945 onwards.
So, where and when did the history of SEO start?
The history of search engine optimization is difficult to dissect as it does not really have a particular emergence as its birth is very vague. But, there is a consensus that search engine optimization started in the early to mid-90s. As the Internet evolved, developers inspired greater insight into the need to organize and find data and create ways to search for information. Over the years, search engine optimization has evolved to create valuable and relevant relationships through engaging content.
The History of SEO dates back to 1945
The original idea for all of the world’s data to be put into a common archive was created in 1945. In July of that year, Dr. Vannevar Bush, who was at the time the director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, had published a proposal for “the collection of data and observations, the extraction of material… and the final insertion of new material into a common area.” This excerpt being almost relative to what Google’s mission is.
In early 1997 SEO was a new concept. But around 1998, most companies started to use this concept of search engine optimization. In fact, behind almost every online destination, whether it is a website, blog, social network, or app, there is a search engine. Search engines have become the means of connecting readers to the “appropriate” information. As a local Seattle SEO company, we have had our share of adapting and changing our practices based on historical search engine updates. Following is a timeline of what we recall:
Yahoo is launched by Stanford University students Jerry Wang and David Filo. However, Yahoo was originally an Internet bookmark list and directory of interesting sites. Webmasters had to manually submit their page to the Yahoo directory for indexing to be there for Yahoo to find, especially when someone performed a search. At about the same time, others such as AltaVista, Excite, and Lycos also launched.
Another two Stanford University students built and tested Backrub, a new search engine that ranked sites based on inbound link relevancy and popularity. Backrub would ultimately become Google. At this time, HotBot, powered by Inktomi, also launched.
Webmasters Guide to Search Engines
Danny Sullivan launched a Webmasters Guide to Search Engines. In fact, it was a website dedicated to providing news about the search industry, tips on searching the web, and information about how to rank websites better. Ten years later, Sullivan founded another popular search publication, Search Engine Land. Ask Jeeves also debuted, and Google.com was registered.
Yahoo’s BIG Mistake
The new millennium had come and as a web design and SEO company, we were learning a lot! Yahoo pulled off the worst strategic move in the history of search and partnered with Google and let Google power their organic results instead of Inktomi. Before that Google was a little known search engine. But thereafter, every Yahoo search result said, “Powered by Google” and they ended up introducing their largest competitor to the world and Google became a household name. Of course, later in 2009 Yahoo went ahead and partnered with Bing.
Google Marches Forward
Google acquired Blogger.com and launched AdSense, which serves contextually targeted Google AdWords ads on publisher sites. The mix of AdSense and Blogger.com lead to a surge in and the blogging revolution was born. While Google probably didn’t realize it at the time, they were creating problems they would have to fix down the road. For example, AdSense gave rise to spammy tactics with thin/poor/stolen content that existed solely to rank well, get clicks, and make money.
Google and other top search engines started improving results for queries that had a geographic intent. The history of SEO changed big time for local businesses. For example, local searches based on services like a restaurant or plumbers. Also, Google rolled out a Maps Plus Box, a powerful and flexible tool for managing and editing all of our data.
YouTube is now part of Google.
Google acquired a video-sharing network YouTube for $1.65 billion, which ultimately became the second most used search property globally. Today, YouTube has more than a billion users. Due to its highest popularity, video SEO has become crucial. In fact, as a Seattle SEO company, we know that YouTube is the perfect solution for gaining more traffic and video announcements.
Live Search rebrands as Bing.
Microsoft Live Search became Bing. Then, in an attempt to challenge Google’s nearly 70 percent grip of the U.S. search market, Yahoo and Microsoft joined forces to partner on a 10-year search deal though it ended up being reworked five years later. While it made Bing the clear Number 2 search engine, either have ultimately failed to break Google’s massive grip on search in the U.S. and globally.
Another phenomenon was emerging, which was social media. Google made its big bet on YouTube (although it would try again with Google+). But other networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all emerged as major players. Also, with many more to come and go in the following years, like Instagram, Telegram, etc.
Along with the rise of social media came speculation that social signals could impact search rankings. And no doubt, social media can help SEO, but indirectly just as other forms of marketing, it can help drive more traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
Google found its search results facing severe scrutiny because so-called “content farms” (websites that produced high volumes of low-quality content) dominated the search results. Google SERPs were also cluttered with websites featuring unoriginal and auto-generated content, and even, in some instances, scraper sites were outranking content originators. As a result, these sites were making tons of advertising revenue.
Googles launched the next generation of search in the form of Hummingbird, a new algorithm designed to address natural language queries and conversational search better. With the rise of mobile and voice search, Google needed to completely rebuild how its algorithm worked to meet the needs of modern searchers. Hummingbird was considered to be the biggest change to Google’s core algorithm since 2001. Clearly, Google wanted to deliver faster and more relevant results, especially to mobile users.
2014 paved the path for the Panda release as well as HTTPS/SSL update. This would give a clear pathway and preference to secure websites. Also came Page Layout #3, which penalized websites with too many ads at the top of the pages. Over the years, as a Seattle SEO company service provider, we have converted many websites to HTTPS/SSL.
SEO history changed for the better during 2015. Rank Brain was introduced and was a significant shift for online marketers. Google’s way of making search engines more intelligent and utilization of AI and machine learning. Also, during this year, Mobilegeddon was introduced where mobile ranking would differ for mobile-friendly websites. The Quality Update algorithm was also released, and as the name suggests, the ranking was based on the quality of the content.
Google Penguin Release
Penguin was released by Google, which devalued bad links rather than having a website penalized. Basically, bad links would reduce the web page or website ranking rather than fully eliminating it from searches. We’ve no doubt had our share of work, and as a Seattle SEO service provider, we have cleaned up numerous websites that fell to this practice.
Faster is better
Mobile Speed Update made sure that pages loaded faster had a better website ranking factor on mobile searches. Also, SERPS showed more video carousels, hence why as Seattle SEO specialists, we encourage every business to have some form of a video channel. SEO history will no doubt change as quickly as searching will. For example, searches will only become more instantaneous, especially as technologies such as 5G are introduced.
A few words about SEO…
2019 may have had many website trends. In fact, googling “Google Algorithm Change History” would give you a more in-depth summary of search engine updates than previously. Without doubt search engines still had a fair bit to go and would be reflected through advanced algorithms and better technologies.
As a Seattle SEO company, we’ve seen SEO history show us that it has only become more natural for search engines to collect and index information. Besides keeping track of SEO history, and learning from it, our strategies and guidelines are always based on search engine providers. One reason why our SEO practices, technologies, continue to adapt. Thus ensuring that our customer’s online presence and websites stay ahead of their competition.
What to expect…
SEO history has shown many changes, and 2020 will be no different. Google will switch to mobile-first indexing. However, Google has had two separate results based on the device used. Desktop-first indexing strictly for searches on desktops and mobile-first indexing for smaller devices. The decision seems valid as the prominent usage of mobile devices has exceeded the old “clunky” desktops.
So what should be done as a business owner or online marketer? Gooogle’s latest guidance on mobile indexing, you’d probably not have to do much, especially if your website is responsive or otherwise identical in its desktop and mobile versions.
Fast Forward to VOICE or no “VOICE” >>>
The History of SEO has shown many changes. In fact, search engines and SEO professionals will continue to adapt and morph based on what searchers like and want. With that said, key areas to set yourself to be ahead of the competition will be to continue with great content, steer more towards responsive devices, and recognize that voice is here to stay. More importantly, SEO trends and web designing approaches will continue to change as long as search algorithms and website visitors expect them.
Finally, there may eventually be a day when no voice exists, and we think about what we want. In fact, MIT’s Media Lab has developed a technology that connects the human brain to the internet!
History of SEO Summary
Seattle SEO and other marketers alike have developed highly valued and shareable content which primarily focuses on readers, but what about audio? Especially with the likes of Alexa and similar services becoming the norm.
Search Engine Optimization in the Modern Day and Future
Our Seattle SEO services have determined that one-direction search engine optimization will improve search engines used on mobile devices. Mobile usage is at a percentage above 50% versus desktop computers. Another clear trend is that search engine optimization is evolving through voice searches. Currently, 20% of Google searches and 25% of Bing searches are done by voice. For example, companies like Amazon and Google have invested heavily in personal voice-activated assistants. Thus, resulting in more consumers utilizing such technologies in searching and finding online content.
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Web Design, Current Trends, and Online Marketing Blog Posts:
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We have summarized some areas small businesses should be aware of when having an effective online presence.
Digital Marketing Tips and Insights
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More Blog Posts on Web Design, Online Marketing, SEO, and related areas:
Google Panel | Google Adwords | Google Trends | Rich Snippets | | Internet Companies | HTTPS | | E-Commerce Website Developers | | 20 Years of Google | AI | Google Algorithms | Phishing & Compromising websites | Business Ranking in Seattle | Smart Homes | Web Design History | Micro-animations & Micro-interactions | Drop shipping | Check our multi-page generator that helps create multiple landing pages | Structured Query Language.
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