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The Beginning (1991-2002)

It all began when Tim Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website on August 6, 1991. As expected, it was followed by numerous other websites.

Evolution of search engines

In 1993, search platforms including Excite started categorizing results based on keywords located within content. Then, major search engines such as Yahoo entered in 1994, and Google in 1997. Both platforms helped simplify how data is transmitted and indexed.

Within the increasing popularity of Yahoo and Googles, black-hat techniques like excessive keyword stuffing began to arise. As search engine ranking metrics began to value cross-domain links, backlink building rose to popularity.

Improvement Continues (2003 – 2009)

Google continued leading the search engine revolution by enhancing indexing and penalizing black-hat tactics. Other search engines followed Google by personalizing their search results based and improving user experiences. This also marked the birth of local SEO.

In 2008, Google began including more engaging content media in search results such as images, videos, and news. The trio of Google Autocomplete, Google Trends, and Google Analytics helped search results become more efficient.

Endless Evolution (2010-Present)

“Google changes its algorithm 500-600 times per year,” according to Moz. The year 2010 is the start of massive SEO changes. This involves earning rankings through engagement, user-focused content, and overall website quality.

In 2012, Google began welcoming more immediate answer with Knowledge Graph. Furthermore, Google algorithms started to become more powerful. These algorithms include Panda (2011), Penguin (2012), Hummingbird (2013), and Pigeon (2014).

Tons of changes and improvements continue to roll out such as boosting localized SEO results, influence of social media channels, focused on valuable and shareable content, security enhancements, user experience, and mobile optimization.