Looking back at SEO throughout the years we have seen many changes to Search Engine Optimisation as we know it including algorithms, company mergers, social media and more.
Search Engine Optimisation has been in practice for many years, as far back as the early 90’s believe it or not, although in 2013 the current market and SEO trends are very different from those practices of the early days.
Search Engines begun in the mid 90’s where they helped organise websites listed on the internet. As the internet was growing at a rapid rate users needed a way to sort through websites that were listed online – Yahoo gave birth to the early stages of SEO during this period. Webpages were sorted in an A-Z format (much like the good old phone book) this is where keyword density implementation started.
Yahoo was the submission site that you submitted your website to if you wanted to be found and recognised, from here Search Engine Optimisation exploded to the general public.
In the late 90’s submission spamming was quite popular and a great strategy to rank websites, however after the implementation of algorithms and search strategy SEO began to change. The late 90’s was also the birth of Google and the change to SEO as we would see if forever.
During this time many webmasters or developers created “hidden” pages on websites spammed with text that repeated a keyword thousands of times in order to gain immediate rankings. This didn’t sit well with Google and they counteracted this with what they implemented in the next few years.
In the early 00’s Google implemented the Google Page Rank system as well as ranking algorithms which ensured that most spamming techniques were cut out of the site submission SEO process.
From here Google’s programming staff created and implemented a new strategy that allowed Google bots to crawl through websites scanning them for keywords and backlinks.
Google loved sites with 100’s of backlinks and the more backlinks a site had the higher the site would rank. This wasn’t a failsafe move either as dodgy back linking or bad back linking strategies came into play with so called “SEO specialists”, however Google was again one step ahead and the web spam team implemented another algorithm to tackle this issue.
As social media came into play it allowed webmasters to reach a larger target market and again changed the way that SEO evolved, With social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest etc.
Google continues to create metrics and algorithms to change and revolutionise SEO on a daily basis and will assure that it will be an ever changing game that will live on forever.
SEO Timeline as we know it:
1995 – Yahoo Launches its Web Directory
1998 – Google Launches, DMOZ launches this same year
2000 – Yahoo Drops Altavista, Uses Google’s Algorithm
2001 – PageRank is showed to users through the toolbar
2005 – NoFollow Tag Introduced
2009 – Google Introduces Caffeine Algorithm, a major shift in SEO.
2009 – Bing and Yahoo Merge
2011 – Panda Algorithm Update. A major step in the history of SEO
2012 – Penguin Algorithm Update