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Contrary to popular belief, search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for far longer than just a few years, or even a decade.

You may be questioning: what is SEO? SEO originated in the 1990s and has since become a process that connects hundreds of millions of Internet users to the resources that they need. Here is a look at how SEO has transformed throughout the years.

Origin of SEO

The first website was launched in 1991. As more and more websites launched in the 1990’s, the need for organization, structure, and great accessibility was realized. Thus, the search engine was born.

The first search engine was Archie, rather than Google or Yahoo as most people are prone to believe. While Google and Yahoo weren’t the first search engines, they were the first to simplify the process of how data is delivered and indexed.

In these days, there weren’t many restrictions on the methods of SEO. Marketers could practice keyword stuffing, backlinking, and excessive tagging without any consequences. The term, “SEO” was first coined by Bob Heyman and Leland Harden, back in 1995 when working with the band Jefferson Starship.

The First Changes

In the early 2000s, search engines decided to make changes to level the playing field in terms of ranking in search engine results. Practices like keyword stuffing and getting backlinks from spam websites will now land you into Google Penalty. The use of personal information to produce search results personalized to the individual. Local SEO was born during this time. This gave individuals access to mobile results, maps, store hours, and locations.

The Broadening of SEO’s Reach

In the late 2000s, search engines realized that users need a more reactive experience when searching for information. As a result, new features, such as Google’s Universal Search were launched. Real-time updates also became popularized. New tools like Google Suggest, Google Trends, and Google Analytics made SEO easier and more productive for marketers.

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Focus on Quality

Search engines have begun to demand that marketers provide quality content in order to have their websites rank highly. More restrictions were placed on content quality, optimization, and the use of keywords. Websites that don’t comply with these restrictions will not rank highly in the search results. Organic SEO, or white hat SEO, is the legitimate process of optimizing your site’s search results and rankings.

by Bruce Worrall, Aug-4-2015

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