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What is SEO – the history and SEO concepts

what is seo Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.


What is SEO Search Engine Optimization Concept - Infographic
What is SEO Search Engine Optimization Concept – Infographic


What does SEO do?

To understand what is SEO, let’s interrupt that sentence and look at the components:


Quality of traffic. You can attract all visitors to the world, but if they come to your site because Google tells them that you are a source for Apple computers, while in reality you are a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people to click through from the results pages of search engines (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Advertisements are an important part of many SERPs. Organic traffic is traffic for which you do not have to pay.


The history of search engine optimization

  • A difficult problem with writing a history of  SEO the obscure etiology of its birth. By default, the term search engine optimization means a relevant story that should be considered after the development of search engines. An impressive aspect of this involvement is the fact that search engines and the Internet do not always have their modern form.

The internet dates for example from 1958, when AT&T introduced the first commercial modem, allowing remote computers to communicate over ordinary phone lines.

While the technical roots of the Internet were already in use, the term ”Internet” did not come into existence until December 1974, when the term was adopted. Â © in the 675 Call for Comments (RFC) published on the Internet Transmission Control Program. At about the same time, ”Internet” became more popular because ARPANET was linked to NSFNet to designate any network using TCP / IP.


As the Internet evolved, a better understanding of the need to organize and find distributed data encouraged developers to create ways to search for information. In 1990, the first identified search engine was created as a school project and it was a textual index of archived and shared FTP (FTP) files. – the name has became “archived” as the length of the parameter. This tool did not look like the modern form of a search engine with a graphical front-end user interface and complex back-end algorithms for finding, collecting, and organizing information. Like the Internet, search engines have evolved as technological advancements have been made and needs have emerged.


For example, in 1992, Gopher became the first search engine using a hypertext paradigm. A year later, the Mosaic Graphics web browser improved the interface primarily based on Gopher text. At the same time, Wandex became the first search engine to crawl web indexing and search for indexed pages on the web. In 1998, the major search engines found today were in development.

SEO has developed symptomatically from the development of search engines and the World Wide Web. Since natural language search capabilities have been developed in search engine tools, it has been found that the relevance of categorized results is important for the search engines. the traffic arriving at the search engines. Web pages. Rather than the Web as a collection of shared files, the World Wide Web has opened concepts of E-commerce and Internet Marketing. With new sales avenues to gain, companies have found value in creating and promoting their websites.


Former pioneers in the field of referral found the internet not only interesting, but also a viable money maker of the industry. For example, in 1994, Greg Boser discovered that he could use the internet to sell foam protection products to fight fires. He built a website and went looking for ways to lead prospective customers to his site for sale. Similarly, in 1996 Christine Churchill discovered the potential of internet marketing after building websites for her employer and noted that intensive maintenance was being carried out. Her husband and a friend have developed software tools to reduce the burden. Soon she created an online company that sells these software tools. These first stories are explored in the collection of interviews about the history of SEO.


Many of these pioneers met and learned from each other, in person or through subscriptions to newsletters. Marketing. For example, in 1995, John Audette founded the Multimedia Marketing Group (MMG) in Lake Oswego, Oregon, to sell 4,000 copies of his $ 30 online marketing book. He recruited many future pioneers of SEO, including Marshall Simmonds and Derrick Wheeler, who eventually moved with John to Bend, Oregon in 1997. John originally intended to help companies with multimedia projects. Dia, but with the increasing use of the web for online marketing, he has discovered great opportunities here. For example, MMG has created the famous Internet marketing newsletter I-Search, with between 15 and 20,000 subscribers.


John has also recruited the famous pioneer Danny Sullivan to teach his staff his knowledge of search engine tips. During this meeting, he invented the phrase “search engine optimization” If this is the first use of the term is not known. It is good to say that the early pioneers have all discovered the importance of internet marketing for websites and the need to optimize them so that they are better ranked by search engines. Traffic increases. These pioneers have unwittingly embarked on an activity called “search engine optimization”. . Today, SEO is sometimes used in conjunction with “search engine marketing;” a similar term that has evolved over the last decade.

The pioneers of SEO have learned from each other and sometimes competed with each other while discovering new ways to optimize search. At the time of Internet discovery, the technology was growing and in use, but the concepts related to the growth of these new tools and industries were not complete. conceptualized. While almost 20 years after the birth of the search engines, all the facts are not known about the history of the referral and our goal is to interview the pioneers at the beginning to share and learn more. As the evolution of the Internet since its birth in 1958 until its first semantic representation in 1974 and until now, the history of SEO will continue to evolve to a new form in from the pioneering work of beginning and modernity.


SEO explained and definition of search engine optmization
SEO explained and definition of search engine optimization


The basis behind a search engine

At the back, a search engine is a piece of software that uses applications to collect information about web pages. The collected information usually consists of keywords or phrases that are possible indicators of what is considered on the web page as a whole, the URL of the page, the code that makes up the page and links to and from the page. That information is then indexed and stored in a database.


At the front, the software has a user interface where users type a search term – a word or phrase – in an attempt to find specific information. When the user clicks a search query, an algorithm examines the information stored in the back-end database and retrieves these links to match web pages that resemble the entered search term.


The collection of web page information is performed by an agent called a crawler, spider, or robot. The crawler literally looks at every URL on the web that collects keywords and phrases on each page, which are then included in the database that powers the search engine.


If you’ve been on the internet, you may have heard a bit about spiders, crawlers and robots. These small web creatures are programs that look around the web catalog data so that they can be searched. In the most elementary sense, all three programs – crawlers, spiders and robots – are basically the same. They all collect information about each web URL.


Each search engine contains or is connected to a system of databases, where the data about each URL is stored on the internet. These databases are huge storage areas with multiple data points for each URL. The data can be arranged in different ways and arranged according to a method of ranking and collection that is usually owned by the company that owns the search engine.


A search algorithm is a process that solves a problem, evaluates a number of possible answers, and then returns the solution to that problem. A search algorithm for a search engine registers the problem (the word or phrase searched), searches a database of cataloged keywords and the URLs to which these words are related, and then returns pages with the word or sentence that was searched for, in the body from the page or in a URL that points to the page.


There are different classifications of search algorithms and each search engine uses algorithms that differ slightly from each other. That is why a search for a word or phrase produces different results from different search engines.


Different types of search algorithms are used by search engines. In most cases, you create your own search algorithm. The key to maximizing the results of your search engine is to understand how each search engine works.


For a web search engine, retrieving data is a combined activity of the crawler (or spin or robot), the database and the search algorithm. These three elements work together to retrieve the word or expression that a user enters into the user interface of the search engine.


The question interface is what most people are familiar with and it is probably what you come to mind when you hear the term  “search engine.”. The query interface is the page that users see when they navigate to a search engine to enter a search term “Keyword”.


The query interface or the search engine results page (SERP) is the only part of a search engine that the user will ever see. Every other part of the search engine is behind the scenes, from the sof de people who uses it every day. The back is the most important part of the search engine.


Although retrieval and ranking are listed as separate topics, they are actually part of the search algorithm.


20 years of SEO: a short history of search engine optimization


Search engine optimization (SEO) is now very close to Google. The practice we now know as SEO, however, dates from the world’s most popular search engine co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.


Although it can be argued that SEO and all things started with search engine marketing with the launch of the first website that was published in 1991, or perhaps when the first web search engine was launched, the story of SEO officially starts a little later, around 1997.


According to Bob Heyman, author of ‘Digital Engagement’, we can not thank anyone less than rock band manager Jefferson Starship for pitching a new field that we know as “search engine optimization.”

You know, he was pretty upset that the official Jefferson Starship website was on page 4 of a particular search engine instead of in position 1 on page 1.


Admittedly, we will never know whether this story is more revisionist history or 100 percent fact, all characters absolutely point to the term SEO that originated around 1997.


Do some more hunting around and you will see that John Audette of Multimedia Marketing Group used the term on February 15, 1997.


Scoring high on search engines in 1997 was still a fairly new concept. It was also very directory-driven. Before DMOZ managed the original Google Rating, LookSmart was powered by Zeal, Go.com was its own directory and the Yahoo Directory was a major player in Yahoo Search.


If you are unfamiliar with DMOZ, the Mozilla Open Directory Project (remember, Mozilla was a company and Moz was a brand well before SEOMoz), it was in fact a Yellow Pages for websites. What Yahoo is originally based on is the ability to find the best websites that are available as approved by editors.


I started in 1998 with SEO, as a need for our customers who have built cool sites but have little traffic. I did not know it would be a lifestyle.


On the other hand, the World Wide Web at that time was still a fairly new concept for most people.


Today? Everyone wants to manage the results pages of search engines (SERPs).


Search engine optimization versus search engine marketing


Before Search Engine Optimization became the official name, other terms were also used. For example:

  • Search engine placement
  • Search engine positioning
  • Search engine ranking
  • Search engine registration
  • Mention of search engine
  • Website promotion


But no discussion would be complete without mentioning another term: search engine marketing.


At one point in 2001, a leading industry writer suggested search engine marketing as a successor to search engine optimization.


It clearly has not happened.

Prepare now: you will see many false claims (e.g., “SEO is dead” “the new SEO”)  and tries to revive SEO (“Search Experience Optimization”).

Although SEO is not perfect – we do not optimize the search engines, we optimize our presence on the web – it has been the preferred term for our industry for 20 years. probably in the near future.


As for search engine marketing – it is still used, but is now more associated with paid search. The two terms of today consist peacefully side by side.


A timeline with the history of the search engine

Search engines have changed the way we find information, research, shop for products and services, enjoy ourselves and connect with others.


Behind just about any online destination – whether it’s a website, blog or social network work or an app, is a search engine. Search engines have become the connecting force and direction guide for daily life.


But how did this all start?

We have compiled a timeline with remarkable milestones from the history of search engines and search engine optimization to understand the origins of this technology, which has become such an important part of our world.


The beginning of SEO : “The era of the Wild West ”

In the last decade of the 1900s the landscape of the search engine was very competitive. You had the choice between search engines – both human-driven folders and crawler-based lists – including AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, Excite, Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo.


In the beginning, the only way to do some form of SEO was through activities on the page. This meant, among other things, that the content was good and relevant, that there was enough text, that your HTML tags were correct and that you had internal and external links, among other things.


If you want to score well in this era, the trick is to simply repeat enough keywords in your web pages and meta tags. Do you want to exceed a page that uses 100 times a keyword? Then you would use the keyword 200 times! Nowadays we call this practice spamming.


Here are some highlights:

1994: Yahoo was created by Stanford University students Jerry Wang and David Filo in a camp trailer. Yahoo was originally a bookmark list for the internet and a list of interesting sites. Webmasters had to manually send their page to the Yahoo directory to be indexed, so Yahoo could find it when someone did a search. AltaVista, Excite and Lycos have also been launched.

1996: Page and Brin, two students from Stanford University, built and tested Backrub, a new search engine that ranked sites based on the relevance and popularity of inbound links. Backrub would eventually become Google. HotBot, made possible by Inktomi, was also launched.

1997: Following the success of A Webmaster’s Search Engines Guide, Danny Sullivan launched Search Engine Watch, a website dedicated to news about the search industry, tips for searching the web and information about better ranking of websites. (Ten years later, after leaving SEW, Sullivan founded another popular search publication, Search Engine Land.) Ask Jeeves also debuted and Google.com was registered.

1998: Goto.com launched with sponsored links and paid search. Advertisers offered Goto.com to come up with organic search results, made possible by Inktomi. Goto.com was eventually taken over by Yahoo. DMOZ (the Open Directory Project) became the most popular place for SEO practitioners to mention their pages. MSN started searching with MSN Search, initially made possible by Inktomi.

1999: the very first search engine marketing conference, Search Engine Strategies (SES), took place. You can read a retrospective about that event by Sullivan here. (The SES conference series continued to run between different monikers and parent companies until it closed in 2016.)


The Google Revolution

In 2000, Yahoo had the worst strategic move in search history and worked with Google and enabled Google to deliver organic results instead of Inktomi. Beforehand, Google was a little known search engine. Hardly known! The end result: every Yahoo search result “Powered by Google” and they introduced their biggest competitor in the world and Google became a household name.


So far, search engines have ranked sites based on the number of n-pages, domain names, ability to be listed in the mentioned folders and basic structure of the site (breadcrumbling). But Google’s web crawler and PageRank algorithm were revolutionary for retrieving information. Google has looked at factors on and off the page: the quantity and quality of external links that point to a website (as well as the anchor text that was used).


When you think about it, Google’s algorithm was essentially about “When people talk about you, you have to be important”.


Although links were only part of Google’s overall ranking algorithm, SEO users could use links as the most important factor and create a complete link building subsector. In the course of the next decade, it became a race to gain as many links as possible in the hope of taking a higher place and the links became a heavily abused tactic that Google should address in the coming years.


It was also in 2000 that the Google Toolbar became available on Internet Explorer, so SEO practitioners could see their PageRank score (a number between 0 and 10). This ushered in an era of unsolicited requests for a link exchange.


So with PageRank, Google introduced a currency indicator for linking it. Much like domain authority is being abused today.


The organic results of Google also got a company in the form of AdWords ads from 2000. These paid search ads started to appear above, below, and to the right of Google’s unpaid results.


Meanwhile, a group of webmasters gathered informally at a pub in London to share information about all things SEO in 2000. This informal meeting eventually became Pubcon, a large series of research conferences that are still being held.


Over the coming months and years, the SEO world became accustomed to a monthly Google Dance or a period in which Google updated its index, which sometimes resulted in large rankings.


Although Google’s Brin once famously said that Google did not believe in web spam, his opinion probably changed by the time 2003 rolled around. SEO became a lot harder because of updates like Florida, because it became much more important than just repeating keywords x number of times.


Google Adsense: generating revenue with awful SEO content

In 2003, after acquiring Blogger.com, Google launched AdSense, which displays contextually-targeted Google AdWords ads on publisher sites. The mix of AdSense and Blogger.com leads to a wave of matched simple internet publications and a flower resolution.


Although Google probably did not realize this at the time, they created problems that they had to solve along the way. AdSense has delivered spammy tactics and Made for AdSense sites that are full of thin / bad / stolen content that only existed to score well, get clicks and make money.


Oh and something else important happened in 2003. I have the site on which you were founded, Search Engine Journal! And I am incredibly happy to say that we are still there, stronger than ever!


Local SEO and personalization

Around 2004, Google and other top seekers began to improve results for searches with a geographic goal (for example, a restaurant, plumber, or other type of company or service provider in your town or village). In 2006, Google introduced a Maps Plus Box, which I was very impressed at the time.


It was also around 2004 that Google and search engines started to make more use of end-user data, such as search history and interests, to personalize the search results. This meant that the results you could see differences from those of another person sitting next to you in a coffee shop when looking for the same question.


Nofollow tags were also created in 2005 as a means to combat spam. SEO professionals started using this tag as a way of PageRank sculpting.


Google has also released a few notable updates:

Jagger, who contributed to reducing the level of unsolicited exchanges of links that flew around, as well as announcing the fact that anchor text as a result of bribery is less important.

Big Daddy (devised by Jeff Manson of RealGeeks), who has improved Google’s architecture to allow a better understanding of the value and relationship of links between sites.


YouTube, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

In October 2006, Google acquired the user-generated video sharing network on YouTube for $ 1.65 billion, which eventually became the second most used search feature in the world.


Today, YouTube has more than one billion users. Because of the increasing popularity, video SEO is crucial for brands, companies and people who wanted to be found.


Google also launched two incredibly important products in 2006:

Google Analytics. This free web-based tool was so popular at launch that webmasters experienced downtime and maintenance notifications.

Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools are now known as the Search Console and show webmasters crawl errors, see which queries have been created on your site and ask for repetition.

In 2006, XML Sitemaps also received universal support from the search engines. With XML Sitemaps, webmasters can be shown to the search engines, any URL on their website that is available for crawling. An XML sitemap contains not only a list of URLs, but also a series of additional information that allows search engines to crawl more intelligently.


Universal search

We really began to see that the search in new and exciting ways began to evolve from 2007 onwards. All these updates were aimed at improving the user experience.


Let’s start with Google’s Universal Search. Until this moment the search results consisted of 10 blue links.


Then Google started to combine traditional organic search results with other types of vertical results, such as news, video and images. This was easily the biggest change in Google search – and SEO – since the update in Florida.


Clean the cesspool

In 2008, the then Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that the internet became a cesspit and that brands were the solution. “Brands are how you sort out the cesspool,” he said.


Less than six months after his reply, there was a Google update called Vince. Big brands suddenly seemed to score much better in the SERPs.


But it was not really the intention to reward brands, according to Google. Google wanted to put more trust in the algorithm (and big brands tend to have more confidence than smaller and less established brands).


Shortly after this update, Google will release another version to improve the speed of their indexing, called Caffeine. As SEJ reported at the time, Caffeine was a next-generation Google search engine that should be faster, more accurate, produce better, more relevant results and search larger parts of the web

Speaking of speed, In 2010, Google announced that site speed was a ranking factor.


Bing and The search alliance

In 2009, Microsoft became Live Search Bing. In an attempt to dispute the almost 70 percent grip of Google on the US search market, Yahoo and Microsoft have joined forces to work together on a 10-year search transaction (although it was finally re-edited five years later).


The Search Alliance saw Bing’s organic and paid Yahoo search results from Microsoft. Although Bing became the clear search engine for number 2, they could eventually find the enormous grip of Google in the United States and did not break worldwide.


The rise of social media

Another phenomenon arose at the end of the 2000s social networks.


Google made its big bet on YouTube (although it would try again with Google+). But other networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all came forward as important players (with much more to come and go in the coming years).


Along with the rise of social media, it has been speculated that social signals can influence the search results. Yes, social media can help SEO, but indirectly – just like other forms of marketing this can ensure that more traffic is directed to your website and you increase brand awareness and affinity (by which a search is generated).


Although the impact of social shares (likes, tweets, + 1’s, etc.) By Google over the years time and again as a ranking factor was refused, it remained a strong correlation between different ranking factor studies. If you want to read more about this topic, I encourage you to read how social media support the final answer of SEO.


The Google Zoo: Panda and Penguin

Two major algorithmic updates, in 2011 and 2012, had a major impact on SEO that is still felt today, as Google once again tried to clean its search results and reward high-quality sites.


In 2011, Google found the search results with serious criticism, because the so-called “content farms” (websites that produced large amounts of low-quality content) dominated the search results. The SERPs of Google were also full of websites with non-original and automatically generated content – and even, in some cases scraper sites were guards with subdued content.


As a result, these sites earned tons of advertising revenue (remember when I mentioned the homemade Google AdSense problem?). These sites also lived and died through organic traffic from Google.


But when the Panda update from Google was launched in 2011, many websites saw a lot, if not everything, disappear from one moment to the next. Google gave some insight into what counts as a high quality site.


Focused on eliminating low-quality (or thin) content, Panda was regularly updated over the coming years and eventually it became integrated in Google’s core algorithm in 2016.


Because websites were still recovering from the effects of Panda, Google unleashed a long-awaited algorithm for too much optimization, designed to eliminate “offensive spam tactics” from the results. Pinguin was ultimately called Penguin, this algorithm focused on link schemes (websites with unusual connection patterns, including a large amount of exact match anchor text that matched keywords that you wanted to rank) and keyword stuffing.


Penguin was updated almost as often as Panda, with more than a year between some updates. And, like Panda, Penguin became part of Google’s real-time algorithm in 2016.


Things, no strings


In May 2012, Google unveiled the knowledge chart. This was a major shift away from interpreting key words to understand semantics and intent.


Here is how Google’s Amit Singhal, SVP, engineering, described it during the launch:


With the Knowledge Graph you can search for things, people or places that Google knows about: sights, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographic features, films, celestial bodies, artworks and much more – and immediately receive information relevant to your question. This is a crucial first step towards building the next generation of searches, which has access to the collective intelligence of the web and the world a little more when people understand.”


Google has improved the search results with this information. Knowledge panels, frames and merry-go-rounds can appear when people carry out a search for one of the billions of entities and facts in the Knowledge Graph.


The next step in Google’s search for the next generation came in September 2013 in the form of Hummingbird, a new algorithm designed to better process natural language questions and conversation searches. With the advent of mobile (and voice search), Google had to completely rebuild how its algorithm worked to meet the needs of modern users.


Hummingbird is considered since 2001 as the biggest change in Google’s core algorithm. It was clear that Google wanted to deliver results faster and more relevant, especially for mobile users.



Beginning sometime around 2005 or so, a question was asked in our industry. Is this the “year of the mobile”


Well, it turned out that it was not in 2005. Or 2006. Neither was 2007. Or 2008. Or 2009. Not yet 2010 – when Google transformed itself into a mobile first company.


Then, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 started. There was talk about mobile and a lot of hyped because it grew crazy all the time. As more users adopted smartphones, they were increasingly looking for businesses and things while on the move.


Finally, in 2015, we had the mobile year – the moment when mobile searches were first overtaken on Google Desktop. And although this applies to unedited search numbers, it is also true that the search is very different and the conversion rates are much lower on mobile devices.


This was also the year comScore reported that only mobile internet users only crossed desktop users.


In 2015, Google also launched a long-awaited, mobile-friendly algorithm update designed to provide users with the most relevant and up-to-date results, regardless of whether the information is on mobile-friendly web pages or in a mobile ap.”


In an attempt to speed up pages, Google also introduced AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in 2016. AMP is designed to load content directly and is largely taken over by news media and publishers.


And there is a lot more mobile. The following: a mobile first index will be on the market somewhere in 2018.


Machine Learning, AI and Intelligent search

Previously I mentioned that Google, originally built around the collection of information, became a mobile first company. Well, that changed in 2017 because Google CEO Sundar Pichai Google had declared an AI first company.


Nowadays, Google Search is designed to inform and help, rather than giving users a list of links. That’s why Google has integrated AI into all of its products, including search, Gmail, AdWords, Google Assistant, and more.


When it comes to searching, conceWe have already seen the impact of AI on Google RankBrain. Announced in October 2015, RankBrain was initially used to try to interpret the 15 percent of searches that Google has never seen before based on the words or phrases that the user has entered.


Since then Google RankBrain has been expanded for every search. Although RankBrain influences the rankings, it is not a classification factor in the traditional sense, where you are rewarded with better rankings for doing x, y and z.


And there is much more in the world of intelligent searching.


Voice searches are increasing. Visual search has become insanely good. And users (and brands) increasingly adopt chatbots and use personal assistants (eg Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Cortana from Microsoft).


There are exciting times for SEO.



Search engines optimization “SEO” have come a long way since the 1990s. And we have only discussed a few of these ways in this post.


The history of SEO is filled with exciting curves: the birth of new search engines, the death of old search engines, new SERP functions, new algorithms and constant updates, plus the emergence of great SEO publications, conferences, tools and experts.


Although search engines and SEO have evolved over the years, one thing remains true: as long as there are search engines, SEO remains vital. And we have just started!