It’s a lot like trying to trace the history and origins of SEO. We all know it exists, and it is an integral part of our business. We don’t think about its origins of it much. Instead, we focus on how we use it every day.
SEO, unlike the handshake, is relatively young and constantly changes. It appears to be a millennial. Its birth is expected to take place around 1991.
It’s been able to mature and evolve quickly in its short lifespan. Just look at the many changes that Google’s algorithm has seen.
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SEO: How did it get so important? We invite you to join us as we take a step back in history and attempt to unravel this mystery. It turns out that it is quite a fascinating story.
Let’s take a look back at search engines first.
1945 saw the birth of the first attempt to create a global archive that would contain all data. In 1945, Dr. Vannevar Bush, then the director of the now-defunct Office of Scientific Research and Development, published a piece in Atlantic that proposed a “collection of observations, the extraction of parallel materials from the existing record and the final insertion of any new material into the general record.” This is what we call today’s Google.
In 1990, a McGill University student named Alan Emtage created Archie. Some claim that Archie was the first search engine. However, according to research by Bill Slawski (president and founder of SEO by the Sea), this is still up for debate. Archie was, however, what Slawski called “the best way to find information on other servers around the web at the time” and is still (very primitive ).
The next ten years saw many pivotal developments. These were beginning to take shape with the commercial versions of search engines that we may recognize.
- February 1993:Six Stanford University students create Architext. This would become the search engine Excite. Some, such as Search Engine Land(SEL), claim that Excite “revolutionized the way information was cataloged.” This made it easier to find information by sorting results based upon keywords within content and backend optimizing.
- June 1993:Matthew Gray launches World Wide Web Wanderer. This later became known under the name Windex.
- October 1993:Martijn Kester introduces ALIWEB. This allows site owners to submit pages ( unbeknownst to many owners ).
- December 1993. At least three ” Bot-fed search engines” exist JumpStation and RBSE Spider. This suggests that they were powered and able to crawl site content and produce results by web robots.
- 1994: Alta Vista and Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo search engines all are realized.
- 1996: Google’s co-founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin started building a search engine they first called BackRub.
- April 1997: AskJeeves was introduced. Later, Ask.com was created.
- September 1997: Google.com was registered as a domain.
It is worth noting that Microsoft released Bing in June 2009. This happened almost twelve years after its predecessors were Live Search (Windows Live Search), MSN Search and MSN Search.
SEO is the key to success. Site owners began to realize the importance of SEO as search engines became more popular and widespread. According to the SEO community, it was found that search engine results can be altered and money made via the Internet by following a few simple steps.
These results weren’t necessarily high quality. This, dear readers, is where the SEO story starts.
Search & SEO: A Short History
Search engines have become household names, and more people are connected to the Internet. This made it easier for them to find information. As we have already mentioned, the problem was the quality of the information.
Although search engine results could match user queries, they were often limited to that. An overwhelming number of site owners resort to keyword stuffing, which repeats keywords in the text to increase rankings (for which there are no criteria), drive traffic and generate attractive numbers for potential advertisers.
There was also some collusion. According to SEL, there was also some collusion. There were no ranking criteria, and search engines had already fixed the algorithms to reflect this. However, the fixes did not address new black-hat SEO practices that were being used.