A Short History of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The history of SEO can be traced back to the 1990’s  when search engines were not as popular as they are today. With the onset of search engines like Google and Yahoo, SEO gained more popularity and Internet businesses became a multi-million pound industry. SEO has come so far since its early days and the rules of the SEO game changed over the last few years with various updates such as Panda and Penguin. Staying abreast with the latest trends and strategies is important in order to dominate the search engines. Following the rules will help you reap the benefits by means of research and strategy.

The first results page or SERPS is the first page that a potential customer arrives to after doing a search engine optimization on a particular topic. This means that a business that has just been established will not have any ranking until it has been ranked highly by an experienced SEO consultant.

The history of SEO can also be traced back to the beginning of the Internet era. In the early days, SEO was based on keyword density, meta tags, and keyword positioning. While these are still used today to a certain extent, the major changes to the algorithm used by search engines have occurred over the years. These changes have made SEO more complex and demanding, which results in websites being ranked differently on various search engines.

The first algorithm change that occurred was in May 1996 when Google introduced Panda. Google eliminated the two-word tag in favor of a singular description tag. This change was designed to remove websites with “duplicate content” which was often a problem with websites containing only one page of content on each domain. As a result, all websites were affected with this update. The purpose of this algorithm change was to implement updates to the core algorithm used by search results in order to improve the level of accuracy and diversity.

SEO’s growth over the past twenty years has led to the formation of several organizations that specialize in search marketing. These companies were initially formed as part of an attempt to standardize advertising practices in order to promote a higher return on investment. At some point, they began developing their own proprietary methods in order to improve upon the core SEO algorithms. Although they started off using the same methods, over time the differences between these methods began to vary greatly. The result is that most companies have been left with no choice but to adapt their SEO techniques according to the changing market trends.

Another important event that played a crucial role in the development of SEO was the rise of XML sitemaps in the early nineties. XML sitemaps were introduced in order to help search engines properly discern between websites that contained high quality links and those that were not. Prior to this addition, search engines had no means of determining the quality of links found on a website. The introduction of XML sitemaps enabled search engines to quickly determine the value of links found on a website, leading to improvements in the ranking algorithms.

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