A Brief History of SEO

Whilst being aware of the history of SEO is not a major requirement in order to carry out the process correctly, it can help you understand how the internet marketing technique has changed since it first emerged. After all, a lot can change over a couple of decades and techniques that were considered acceptable in 2005 are now called black hat methods. Here is a brief history of SEO…


With the introduction of the internet becoming widespread in many households, finding out certain information was very simple. Unfortunately, the quality of this information was not the highest it could be. This was because search engines were only matching words that the user was searching for and this lead to keyword stuffing. During this black hat technique, certain phrase were repeated multiple times in order to raise the ranking unethically.

Early 00’s

Welcoming the takeover of Google, the early 2000’s introduced guidelines that SEO providers must abide by known as ‘white hat’ techniques. This helped websites to rank without competing with the black hat providers that frequented the 90’s.


Unfortunately, these guidelines didn’t impact the ranking yet so many users didn’t follow them as well as they should. This was because the ranking was based on inbound links and the more that a page had, the higher it ranked. In fact, some people would add links that were not even related to the actual search or page content, making it spam.


The halfway point through the 2000’s is easily known as the biggest year for SEO. This was the year that Google, Yahoo and MSN united for the Nofollow Attribute; a creation was aimed to decrease spam links. It also saw google create a personalised search that allowed users to find more relevant results.

2009 – 2010

Four years later, the SEO world was hit with a shakeup and saw content being optimized rather than key words. In fact, Bing’s premiere saw search results ranking higher than Google. September of 2010 however welcomed Google’s suggestion feature and whilst this didn’t have much of an impact on SEO rankings, it helped users search find more relevant content.

Panda and Penguin

Google updates emerged over the next couple of years that changed the way many SEO providers had to operate. The panda update was an update that targeted content farms in order to drive out frequently updated low content writing that was written purely to raise rankings. A year later, the penguin update targeted those using black hat techniques such as hyperlink spam.

It is safe to say that SEO has developed considerably since its introduction in the early 90’s. In 2017, the focus of this internet marketing technique relies heavily on high quality content that is relevant to what a user is searching for. To find out more information, contact a member of the team today!