Search Engine Placement: A Brief History of SEO and Where it All Began

google search on tablet

You might lose up to 70% of users if you don’t optimize your page through SEO.

With the growing competitiveness in the digital world, search engine optimization is indispensable. SEO techniques keep evolving as technology advances.

SEO is what drives the way we use the internet today. It marks the success of every single web domain out there. But how did search engine placement begin?


SEO is somehow a recent technology that keeps changing. Its birth, which was around 1991, coincides with the millennial. Besides its short life, it has evolved rapidly as a digital marketing tool.

Early History of SEO

The first global website went live in 1991. Later in 1993, there was Archie and search platforms such as Excite, which revolutionized information cataloging. Yahoo sprung into existence around 1994.

Between 1995 and 1997

From 1995, new search engines emerged. Websites started paying attention to their placement of words. Between 1995 and 1996, MSN and gained traction.

The birth of SEO during this period excited website owners. They could fill their pages with irrelevant though popular words to test the effectiveness of search engine placement. This approach frustrated people who visited the sites. 

Google’s Registration in 1997

The collusion of keywords and spammy backlinks hindered the effectiveness of search engine optimization.  Page and Brin came to the rescue. The two are major players in the Google search engine history.

Page and Brin created Google and established the idea of PageRank that allows Google to rank pages based on keywords and quality. The idea cleared the path for SEO. Since then, Google has remained one of the dominant search engine tools. 

The 2000s

Google’s revolution became prominent in 2000 after partnering with Yahoo. The primary algorithm used by Google involved links. SEO effectiveness was far from perfect with the use of links. 

The development of AdSense in 2003 enhanced the blog revolution and internet publishing. Local SEO improved gradually in 2004 as Google and other search engines made use of consumer data.

The Growth of Social Media

If you go for SEO consulting, you’ll realize that social media is a significant part of search engine placement. Between 2008 and 2010, social media, particularly Facebook, gained popularity. Both Bing and Google added search results from social media.

Quality Content 

Google developed the Panda and Penguin approach around 2011 to address the poor content on websites. It also dealt with sites that sneaked in irrelevant links to lure visitors. The approach ensured that only quality information was available. 

Over the years, SEO has become a dominant aspect of digital marketing. The growth of machine language is making it more complicated. 

The Evolving Nature of Search Engine Placement

The search engine began in the 1990s, but it has grown to unimaginable heights. If your business doesn’t utilize search engine placement, you are missing out on new sales. The future of SEO is going to be incredible based on the technological advancements taking place.

It is crucial to understand the history of SEO so that you can utilize it for your online business optimization.

To know more about SEO tools, browse more of our SEO articles