The History Of SEO

The History Of SEO

The History Of SEO

A Look Back Over the 25+ Years Of Search
More than 25 years have passed since the first public website went live. This monumental moment not only changed the way we connect with others, it changed the way we search for information.

  • 1991
    On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website, which is still live today.
  • 1994
    Eric Ward aka ‘Link Moses” created one of the first mainstream link building services. While links had nothing to do with search rankings, they were a powerful way to market your sit, even in 1994

While search as we know it today didn’t exist in 94, Eric Ward’s approach still does. Look for people you want to link based on relevancy and connection. These are the kinds of links Google likes to see and awards.

  • 1998
    The future king of Search was born. Google launched on September 1998 and changed the way search engines deliver relevant results.
  • 2003
    As online marketers learned how to manipulate the rankings by simply stuffing keywords, Google decided to fight back. Nicknamed “FLORIDA”, this first major algorithm updates crushed sites using 90s spam tactics
  • 2005
    It was in this year that we saw the emergence of rel= “nofollow.” The goal was to clean up spammy blog links and comments that were placed solely for ranking purposes
  • Late 2005
    “Jagger” and “Big Daddy” algorithm updates were released. These updates targeted link farms and other suspicious tactics.
  • 2008
    Google released the suggestion box. This tool gave SEOs more insight into how people were searching the web, helping to shift the focus back to the user.

The “suggestion” box gave SEOs a peak at how Google was trying to help the end user. This helped shift the mindset from broad keywords to more specific user focused long-tailed keywords.

  • 2011
    Panda 1.0 was released impacting over 12% of the search results. Google began to place more focus on a site’s content. were impacted greatly.
  • 2012
    Penguin 1.0 was released targeting sites that violated “Google Webmaster Guidelines.” Black Hat SEO was on it’s way out!
  • 2013
    Inbound Marketing becomes “mainstream” and the focus becomes more on content and promotion, rather than traditional SEO best practices

The phase “Content is King” is in full swing and many turn from traditional best practices. While some site owners saw success, many were frustrated by the lack of results from their content marketing strategy

  •  2015
    Google introduces machine leaning algorithm called “RankBrain” with the goal of delivering “smarter” results.
  • 2016
    Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s Head of Search, confirms Google top 3 ranking factors: Links, Contents and RankBrain.

Panda and Penguin sent a shock through the SEO community. Sites that used Black Hat tactics were hit hard, but the ones who stayed true to best practices made it out alive. Google’s focus on content and healthy sites helped turned search back to the users and away from spammy marketers.

While there is much to be learned about RankBrain, one thing we can be sure of, if you follow the rules you will be ok. The goal of any major update is to weed out those who are trying the gain the system. Focusing on the end users should always be an SEO’s goal.

What Does The Future Hold?
Focusing on what may or may not happen won’t do you any good right now. While search is always changing, there are few things that have stayed the same. The internet is and has always been about one thing; making connections.

4 Pillars of SEO

  1. Links
    Links have and will always play a big role in SEO. The key is to find and build relevant links that are mutually beneficial.
  2. Content
    Content is the reason people visit and stay on your site. Without good content, you can’t expect to rank.
  3. Mobile
    With more searches on mobile it essential to not only have a mobile site, but a mobile search strategy.
  4. Local
    Local SEO is key any business looking to draw foot traffic into their stores. It’s more than just maps, apps, social and more!


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