Posts Tagged ‘History of SEO’
History of SEO
History of SEO
Webmasters then began to optimize their sites in order to be ranked highly, leading to the emergence of white and black hate SEO. Well, what is SEO? Danny Sullivan, an industry analyst, believes that ‘search engine optimization’ first appeared in 1997. The first clear example of term’s use can was by Jon Audette and Multimedia Marketing Group. This can be seen on a webpage from February 1997. (A great SEO company is one that can actually prove their success, not just talk about them!)
Search algorithms, the formula that rank websites, originally did their work on the information provided by site owners, such as keyword meta tags. These tags show what the page is supposed to be about. The only problem with this method, however, was that site owners could put information in the tags that misrepresented what the site was actually about. Thus, pages would rank for random search terms, making search engines return inconsistent results. In addition, crafty webmasters also modified certain features in the HTML code of a website to help it rank better.
Since these engines depended on webmaster entered information, like keyword density, rampant abuse occurred. Thus, engines had to change their methods in order to return truly useful pages, not just pages stuffed with keywords. If a search engine provided bad results, users wouldn’t return, and it would lose market share. Thus, search engines began to create new, more complex algorithms that would rely on other factors that couldn’t easily be affected by webmasters.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford, created a search engine called “backrub.” This engine used math to rank pages based on the number of links, or backlinks, pointed to the website, coming up with a number called “PageRank.” PageRank, theoretically, describes the chances that a user will reach a particular webpage through random wanderings around the internet. This means that certain links, those associated with high PageRank, are better than others.
In 1998, these two graduate students then created the company Google. Many users then flocked to Google, at first admiring its simplicity. The algorithm was balanced between the usual on-page indicators, like keywords, meta tags, site structure, etc.) and off-page indicators like inbound links and PageRank. This prevented webmasters from easily manipulating the rankings. However, this didn’t stop some webmasters from gaming the system, as they began exchanging, trading, buying, and selling links as much as possible. Some people created link farms, which are simply sites with huge numbers of links that are created to pass artificial PageRank.
Eventually, by 2004, many search engines took this manipulation into account, adding more indicators to help rank webpages. Google, for example, claims they rank pages based on 200 factors. The most popular search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, don’t tell anyone what their algorithms are, lest unscrupulous webmasters learn how to game the system. Many different search engine optimization experts, like Rand Fishkin, Aaron Wall, and Barry Schwaryz have studied search engine optimization and published their thoughts online. Some SEO people, in an effort to figure out what is SEO, have consulted the patents of these search engines.
Google, in 2005, started to personalize search engine results for individual users. This personalization depended on the searches that users had previously made. This went so far that it led Bruce Clay to say, in 2008, that ‘ranking is dead.’ He said this because he believed that personalized rankings would make a universal “ranking” impossible.
In 2009, Google said that it would use the search history of Google users to help create and rank web pages in search results.
Later in 2009, instant or ‘real-time’ search was added to Google. This would allegedly make searches more relevant and timely. Social media sites make the internet change quickly; thus, search engines need to adapt. For a long time webmasters have carefully crafted and created their website over years to rank; now, fresh content ranks very quickly, and search algorithms have responded to this shift in web usage. Thus, fresh and unique content currently rules the landscape. Search Engine Optimization companies have grown over the years, but only the top 10% actually know how to influence the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages).