For most the history of SEO and search will not be something they would have considered thoroughly. Most of us just know it’s there, some of us know what it can do, and some of us also know how to use it. But what is the history of SEO and search? Knowing how it originated, its history and also who used it first could create a great talking point when presenting new marketing ideas to your bosses.
The search engine is something we use day and in and day out, but imagine life without it? The search engine has really revolutionised the way in which we look for things. Not to mention Google have made billions from us all. Would you believe that the idea to keep all data in one archive actually began in 1945? Well it did!
The idea took many forms from 1945, but in 1977 the Google.com domain was registered. From this point forward search was to be changed forever. SEO originated from this as people became wise to what a search engine could do. They took a normal set of actions, applied some logic and that is how SEO was born.
Search and SEO in the 90’s
Over 13 years since the registration of the Google domain, and search engines are doing well. The access to the internet has really boosted their popularity, however the issue remained over the quality of the information.
SEO in its simplest of forms had been introduced, however it was being used very different to how it is today. Many companies had realised how things had been working, and decided to start keyword ‘stuffing’. Adding as many keywords into their website and content, to move up the search engine rankings.
The search engines became wise to this keyword stuffing so began to change the algorithm to rid themselves of this way of working. As they were not as technologically advanced as they are today, this did work but only to a very small degree. Meaning the restraints they put in place did not always work.
Search and SEO in the 2000s
In the 2000’s Google really did begin their takeover of the search engine world, and really did kick on with how SEO was conducted. At this point SEO was not as popular in marketing, however at this stage they were laying the foundations. Their new set of guidelines were also designed and implemented to stop those people ‘stuffing’ keywords.
After laying these foundations in the early part of the 2000s, in 2003 Google launched their first major update to really help rid the people not using SEO properly. This was Google really emphasising that they had the user first in mind, and would do this by showing them quality and relevant content.
2005- The year SEO changed
Another landmark year for SEO, and Google were leading the way again. In June of 2005 Google debuted its new smart search platform. This platform would help the relevance of peoples searches by utilising their search and browser history. This is when keywords really kicked in for blogs, as now you could be more specific with the help of this platform.
Google analytics as we know it today, and also a NoFollow attribute also debuted that year. Both of which are very prevalent within the history of SEO and Search as they have shaped how people conduct their marketing today.
2009, more things change!
Until now Google had been the leader, yes it had some competitors but nothing that was challenging it seriously. Up stepped Microsoft with its Bing platform. Bing was built with the intention of being faster than Google, and also promising to deliver better and more accurate results for each user.
Bing had some success upon launching, but after further investigation people realised that the only difference it had to Google was it ranked keywords in URLs. That was not going to knock Google off its perch. In reaction, Google created an update for their algorithm.
At the end of 2009, Google launched its new algorithm which would include real life news updates, and also include Tweets. Tweets were included due to the boom in the platform’s popularity. The update helped Google attract a new type of audience in the form of journalists and copywriters.
Fast forward to today, and SEO has become one of the most popular marketing tools which is used. The power of search, and analysing people’s buying personas has really taken SEO to that next level to help push companies forward. Content is now the king, and takes a rightful place close to the top of marketing.
This has not come without challenges for search engines such as Google and Bing. With more workarounds, and people becoming more technically savvy, they have really had to adapt their algorithms. As well as changes to the algorithms, they have had to adapt to the way in which people digest and view content.
Within the last few years more and more people have begun to read content on mobile devices. Prior to 2015 content viewed on a mobile device did not affect the overall SEO ranking. This all changed in April 2015. When Google released their update, content on mobile devices would then also be ranked by how responsive the web page was. This gave developers, and marketers something else to consider outside of just keywords.
If you are using SEO in the present day, and need some help building your SEO plan then HubSpot have put together this article with some really good points. How to Create an SEO Strategy for 2020
The history of SEO and Search are both part of a revolutionised world which continues to evolve today. With the likes of Google and Bing really changing the ways people utilise search engines, companies have been able to capitalise. In recent years search and SEO have become increasingly more popular with more businesses now using it to form their marketing strategy.