The History of SEO

Jun 6, 2013

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Posted In : SEO, SEO

By: Micheal Green

The History of SEO

The history of SEO might just go back a little further than many people think. The internet, and all that goes with it was not one single idea. It was not invented by one person on one day. The internet which we all know and love (and couldn’t live without) is the product of a collaboration of many innovative experts. SEO history is not of course as long as the history of the internet–how can you have Search Engine Optimization before the development of Search Engines? That would be a bit like trying to put a cart before a horse.


The history of SEO dates back to early in the 1990’s when the earliest forms of search engine were devised to try and inject some sort of organization into the rapidly growing number of websites being listed every hour on the internet.

Search engine optimization actually first surfaced in 1995, during the very early stages of a baby Yahoo. Users of the internet needed to find a way of sorting through the abundant number of sites which were registered. One of the first methods of organization and search engine optimization was created alphabetically, a little bit like a telephone directory. The really exciting stuff, like keyword density, began to surface during 1996.

Yahoo had become the dominant website for submission by 1997, and new website builders quickly began to realize that if they wanted almost immediate recognition for their website, then the only way to be sure of that was to submit the site to Yahoo.

This was the boom period for SEO, as it really burst onto the scene of the public realms of the internet. Ranking processes have, however, changed considerably since those first, crazy days of Search Engine Optimization.

A titanic shift occurred in the internet at the beginning of the 21st century when the world was first introduced to the far reaching system of PageRank, developed by Google. Google may not have been the first of the search engines (Yahoo, Lycos, and Infoseek all beat them in the initial stages), but it was the one that really grasped the concept and ran with it.

Google completely revolutionized the world of SEO and the ways in which different websites were ranked. Their innovative ideas and forward thinking exploded the whole concept of SEO further than anyone could have believed. Site ranking strategies which had been previously practiced were literally thrown onto the scrapheap as the new algorithms took the concept of search engine optimization to a whole new level.

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