Today, the practice known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization revolves around and is most associated with the Google search engine. However, the technique predated the most popular search engine in the world. Although SEO most commonly revolves around search queries, the practice started in 1991 with the first website launch and became officially mainstream in 1997.
Earlier, website owners tend to have little traffic but attractive websites. As time progressed and improved online searching methods became available, search engines became a means of bridging the gap between users and their search queries.
Since Google became the most popular search engine, optimizing a website according to its requirements became mainstream. Now SEO has become the essential online marketing tool for users worldwide, and millions of businesses promote themselves through this practice.
Search engine Marketing vs. Optimization
Before the term Search Engine Optimization became official, the practice itself had many names. That includes search engine placement, ranking, positioning, registration, submission, and website promotion. However, there is one term without which the discussion remains incomplete: search engine marketing.
Search engine marketing is for paid techniques to promote a webpage or any other online prospect. Many believed that search engine marketing would replace search engine optimization, but that did not happen.
Throughout time, both these methods have existed peacefully. The difference between them is SEO; we optimize website pages and content to gain search rankings and, ultimately, visitors.
On the other hand, search engine marketing relies primarily on paid techniques. A marketer bids on keywords for a limited time window during which users can see their ads on top of the search engines. Whenever a user clicks on the line, the marketer pays the price of that click. It then directs the searcher to the relevant page.
Search engine Optimization history
Before the accessible searching features, the practice of search engine optimization revolved around keywords. Marketers used to stuff keywords in their content to gain rankings. However, the practice has changed, and the search engine algorithms consider the quality of content and relevancy over several keywords present.
The same practice was used for the backlinking process, where marketers used to gain backlinks from relevant or irrelevant sources to gain rankings. However, that practice has also significantly improved, and now the SERP relies on the quality of backlinks over quantity. Numerous updates stopped this spammy backlinking feature from giving users genuine information and results to their queries.
The ranking criteria have changed to quality and whoever attempts to spam themselves up to rankings goes into black hat SEO. Such practices might penalize a site and, in some cases, complete blockage of user accounts.
In early 2000, we saw the emergence of Google from an ordinary search engine to the world’s most renowned and authentic source of information. Google itself provided guidelines for effective white hat SEO techniques to gain organic rankings and visitors.
Why it became Important?
Since 2010, the emergence of online marketing and presence for businesses has become essential. These marketing methods started to take over traditional promotion techniques to reach relevant people and get better outcomes. The companies that emerged online took over brick-and-mortar retail systems, and users also preferred the shift in the processes.
More people liked such methods as they became customer-centric and relied heavily on the user experience. Businesses created better UI and UX for users to engage and effective options throughout the buyer’s journey.
Users who felt easy in making buying decisions started to give positive feedback, which further became the basis for earning relevant organic traffic. Almost all industries use SEO today to reach their relevant audience and gain better rankings.
Search Engine Optimization gave rise to other marketing techniques, such as Social Media Campaigns, to reach a more targeted audience. Whichever method users prefer has its foundations in Search Engine Optimization.