The history of SEO doesn’t begin with Google like most would assume. No, it goes way back to a man named Vannevar Bush. As head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development during WWII, he worked on a lot of important projects. He initiated the Manhattan project, and founded Raytheon.
His name is credited for several inventions, including “memex” in his paper entitled “As We May Think.” This concept would eventually evolve into what we know as search in today’s Internet world. The paper is also famous for predicting other things like personal computers, and the Internet.
After the Internet was invented, “bots” were used to crawl and store data on the Web. By accessing, categorizing, and organizing this data, search engines were born. In 1998, Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
At first, it was a bit of a mess, but it was by far the most powerful search engine on the Internet, and that gave it legs. SEO rose out of this as a means of manipulating the system since the algorithm was fairly easy to understand back then.
It soon became easy for anyone to rank by simply targeting a few different factors like links and keywords. In short, people would just repeat a keyword as many times as they could, and presto, they were number 1.
Starting in 2003, Google got wise to this and started pushing out updates to their primary algorithm. They added new factors and started punishing sites that were just out to make a quick buck by ranking high in the SERPs.
As the world of SEO became more complicated, so did the industry surrounding it. Today, there are countless SEO services and over 13 million posts with “SEO” in the title. Businesses are online now, and eCommerce is a multi-billion dollar industry. If you want to find out what it takes to start your website, you can get all the information you need at a moment’s notice. People are hungry for success in the online world, and knowing SEO is a major part of achieving it.
Let’s look at the major concepts in SEO, how they have changed over the years, what they are likely to look like in the near future, and most importantly, how SEOs can act on these evolving SEO factors.