Many people cannot imagine using the internet without the help of search engines like Google. More than 93% of all internet sessions begin with a visit to Google or other search engines. That search engine owns somewhere between 70 and 80% of the market share for search engines. Search engine optimization strategy has become an important part of all marketing campaigns. It can be helpful to know how we got to this point where companies design their websites and develop their content so that their sites can be found and listed on search engine search results.
How did the search engine optimization strategy become so important? To really look at this, it is a good idea to loot at how the internet was created.
The internet we have today started in the 1950s. Then computer science laboratories shared information with each other with their computers over telephone lines. The United States Department of Defense got involved with the development of ARPANET, which became DARPANET. This process was being worked on and improved during the 1960s and 1970s. Internet service providers came into existence in the 1980s and the first search engine was created in the 1990s. Gopher was invented in 1991. This is the year that the World Wide We was introduced to the public. It was not a part of people’s daily lives for a while though.
In the early 1990s, the web was still a text based platform. That may be one of the reasons that it was not as popular. As it began to move to more graphics based system with the creation of Mosaic, an early web browser. Wandex was developed to “crawl” through the internet and index websites. By the mid 1990s the search engines most of us rely on today were being developed. This is when the idea of a search engine optimization strategy began to be a thing.
Google got its start in 1996 as a research project at Stanford University. Two doctoral students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They were looking at the web from a mathematical perspective. They created the algorithm known as PageRank. They officially created the company, Google, Inc. in 1998. PageRank represented the best way to index websites.
Page and Brin probably had no idea that they were going to revolutionize the way the public and companies view the internet. They really launched new industries.
In the year 2000, Google officially launched AdWords and the PageRank toolbar so that companies could see where they ranked. Between the “cost per thousand” (CPM, M is the Roman symbol for thousand) and the new PageRank toolbar, businesses could now see how important it was to be included in search engine search results. The search engine optimization services industry would follow shortly. Before this, search engine optimization strategy did not really exist.
Since then, Google has released both Google AdSense and Google Analytics, these provide ways to monetize websites and measure website performance. “White hat” and “black hat” search engine optimization strategies began to be used by companies. A white hat search engine optimization strategy focuses on improving a website with techniques such as the proper use of keywords to improve how a website appears in a search engine search. A black hat strategy breaks the search engine rules to improve its rating on search results. At one point, the car company BMW was banned for engaging in black hat SEO.
Google changes up the algorithm all of the time. Their goal, according to them, is to help improve the web experience that most users have. They want their searches to find the best websites for the needs of the user, not to promote certain companies in the organic search results section. Businesses can buy the promoted spots that are at the top of all search engine search results but many people ignore them all together. Between 70 and 80% of all internet users say they pay no attention to the paid ads in search engine search results.
The idea of the search engine optimization strategy has changed a lot since Google was first created. It will continue to evolve in ways we can hardly even imagine.