GSC, 5 fundamental functions for boosting your website. Are you planning a SEO campaign aimed…
History, which were the beginnings of SEO optimization. Nowadays, SEO is a well-known and essential online marketing tool. Have you ever wondered what’s the history of search engine optimization and how did it all begin?
The history of SEO goes back to the mid-1990s when Google wasn’t particularly popular. Also the Internet was rather inconsiderable.
History: let’s go back 20 years ago
More than 20 years ago, users would open one of the portals like Yahoo after connecting to the Internet. To meet the expectations of as many people as possible, they started developing to create new portals.
The portals also included website catalogs which contained links to various platforms divided in different categories. After a given page was added to the catalog, a person interested in a specific subject could easily access it.
However, it did it only partially as catalog search engines weren’t configured appropriately. Their main disadvantage was that websites were listed as a whole. Not as individual subpages!
That’s when we could observe the emergence of the need to develop an intelligent search engine. Internet turned out to be pretty unpredictable. No one expected that it would expand so rapidly in just a few years.
The first SEO steps in history
Most webmasters always wanted to be displayed on top positions in the search results. However, in the beginning, the principle of search engines’ operation was rather simple.
The results were based solely on the keywords included in website headers.
Soon, website owners took advantage of that imperfection. They started manipulating keywords by using popular phrases. They would even use offensive language which had nothing to do with the page content.
However, it was searched by Internet users. That’s when search engines started paying attention. Not only to the header but to everything published on the website. That’s when the SEO “revolution” began.
SEO was developing together with the search engines. The term search engine optimization was coined in ’97 at Stanford University (USA). Google was the first search engine to improve its searching capabilities.
For most people, it was infeasible to outdo its complex algorithms or manipulate the SERP. In that situation, all the attempts to do so were unsuccessful.
Google Bomb: how to outwit the search engine?
Shortly afterward, we could witness the emergence of Google Bomb. It turned out that outwitting the search engine was a piece of cake.
All you needed to do was to provide a website link with a selected anchor text. This way, index manipulation became simple again. Google would assign a page to a specific anchor and display it after typing it in the search bar.
In 2009 Google implemented a certain improvement: Real-Time Search. This means presenting the most up to date results from websites or a micro-blog.
The modern SEO: search engine optimization nowadays
Today, Google algorithms are extremely complex. The search results are based on several hundred factors that affect website positions in the SERPs.
We can observe the increasing importance of long-tail SEO. Compound phrases are significantly less competitive than one or two word key phrases.
In the past, SEO was about selecting a few phrases entered into TOP10 which wouldn’t necessarily convert. So why is long-tail SEO more effective?
Create more elaborate phrases. Potential customers visiting your page will find a product that corresponds to their Google queries the most.
In the past, Google would focus on the number of links.
The more linking pages, the better website visibility in the search results. However, quality is the key factor now. Your links should be unique. They should redirect users to quality content and valuable websites with domain authority.
Otherwise, Google algorithms may consider your links as spam and impose a filter. Let’s consider the development of the online world. And the fact that more and more users benefit from mobile devices to browse various websites.
In this case, mobile-friendliness is an increasingly important factor. Although it didn’t matter in the past, now it’s an absolute must-have. Google ranks websites with responsive designs and mobile versions much higher.
Good vs. bad SEO specialists in the history
SEO specialists can be divided into two groups. Those advocating white hat SEO and those who choose less noble black hat SEO practices. The term refers to western movies where antagonists would usually wear black hats.
So, what’s the difference? As the name suggests, white hat SEO is about proper website optimization. Or promotion conducted according to Google guidelines. It doesn’t use spam or other unethical solutions.
On the other hand, black hat SEO is about implementing solutions that aren’t in line with Google. Such activities help to quickly reach higher positions in the search results. On the other hand, they’re dangerous and unsafe.
Your website might be penalized by a filter. Typical activities applied by black hat SEO specialists include:
- buying links;
- cloaking (providing robots with content differing from the one presented to users);
- keyword stuffing;
- link exchange systems.
Search engine optimization as a parallel on and off-site process
On-site activities aim at making the website more understandable and transparent for Google robots. It means that the website structure, content and keywords need to be optimized in the finest way.
On the other hand, off-site activities are supposed to improve website visibility and keyword positions. For example, by performing actions outside of the page to obtain traffic from various sources:
- social media;
- bookmarking websites;
- website catalogs;
- guest posting.
Unfortunately, it’s possible to frequently encounter illegal black hat SEO solutions applied.
The development and history of SEO
The dynamic development of SEO has a strong impact on the expansion of online marketing. Thanks to it, we have SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertisements.
The equation SEM=SEO+PPC illustrates it best.
SEM includes all advertising activities (both free and paid). In this way, a given website can reach higher positions in the search results.
This includes sponsored link campaigns. SEM is a great form of promotion. It frequently requires sizable budgets. PPC is a great tool suitable for immediate promotional actions, thematic or occasional campaigns.
The advertiser doesn’t pay for the ad being displayed but for real clicks on the link. Those links redirect users to the selected page.
It’s a flexible marketing tool that allows convenient budget planning. The fee paid by the advertiser is passed on to the system’s owner as in the case of SEO and Google Ads.
Why should you know the history of SEO?
The history of SEO doesn’t go back to ancient times so do you actually need to know it? Yes! Being familiar with the history of search engine optimization can help you predict what will happen.
The dynamic development of the whole Internet and search engines triggered many other changes. For example, the growth of online marketing or e-commerce.
Online stores started cooperating with agencies to work on content marketing and company blog. Those help them to increase the visibility of specific products or services.
However, before doing local SEO for an online store, it’s worth learning some basic information. Nevertheless, the Internet remains one of the most effective ways of reaching new customers.
Are we able to predict what will happen in the future? How will the SEO develop? Is it possible to customize these intelligent solutions to individual Internet users?
When looking at one of the tools (Google Suggest) we can safely say that it’s a very likely scenario. However, won’t the continuous configuration and customization of search engines do more harm than good?