Evolution of SEO and Search Engines

Understanding how search engines work is the fundamental of SEO. Because of the importance of search engines, I thought we should examine search engines more thoroughly. In this article, I will try to explain the development of search engines and SEO.


First Attempts  (1991-2002)

 When the internet’s first website was launched in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee, there was no concept called SEO yet. As websites proliferated, a need started to arise: Search Engine and Search Engine Optimization. Finally, as websites crowded the Internet, the first search engines filled a need for structure and accessibility. Search platforms like Excite revolutionized how information was cataloged in 1993 and made finding information easier by sorting results based on keywords found within content and backend optimization. Then bigger players started to enter the market; In 1994, Yahoo! and in 1997 Google started serving users as new search engines. At these stages, marketers would use a variety of tactics to get higher rankings. Such as keyword stuffing, over-tagging, and (often spammy), backlinks. We call these “black hat SEO”. Although this set of methods has been eliminated by various algorithm updates, it is still used.

Google discovered great opportunities for users and websites to communicate with each other correctly. Google has made efforts to show better quality Web sites in search results by making various investments and developments.


SEO between 2003-2005 

Google, which literally wars against illegal optimization methods, has developed various algorithms. Over time, it began to penalize Web sites using these methods and push them to back pages in rankings. Thus, the number of Web sites using these methods has decreased.

In this period, Google not only brought the user to valuable content but also started to implement new services one by one. At the same point, the concept of digital marketing started to take shape and the studies focused on high content quality. Because at that time, Google’s motto was “Don’t be evil”. The use of the “no follow” meta attribute at the end of 2005 also made it difficult for sites with poor quality link profiles to target top positions. Overall, this period built the foundation for a more personalized and user-focused web.


SEO between 2006-2009  

The data analyzed up to this period and the resulting picture showed that the user experience should further improve. Google produced more customizable and good results with the introduction of user-specific search results. Then, they made search results more effective with a new concept; “Universal Search”. Real-time updates from Google News, Twitter, and newly indexed content blended the need for optimization with timely, user-oriented content.

2008, Google launched Google Trends and Google Analytics tools. This helped everyone understand the concept of a search engine. In the same period, it started to show more customized results by using the user’s search history. Thus, everything was clearer and cleaner on both the user and the digital marketing side.


SEO between 2010-2012

A massive change in SEO occurred, forcing brands to earn rankings through quality, user-focused content, or face penalties in search. The algorithm changes made had a huge impact on search results, and many Web sites started to experience a massive loss of visibility and traffic in search engines. Improved localized SEO results were listed directly in SERPs to organize all local information and offer new advertising opportunities. Google Instant expanded on Google Suggest to provide faster results and improve user experience by displaying results as a query is being typed. Planning to make a breakthrough in Social Media in the same period, Google launched its new service Google Plus and appeared with the “+1” button.

To harness the impact of Social Media, developers recognized the importance of producing content with shareable value. In this way, the use of social media sharing buttons has become widespread. This breakthrough also paved the way for the production of quality content. Thus, the search engine, which turned into a fully competitive environment, promised a higher user experience.

Timeline OF Search engines


Nowadays, no matter how advanced search engines are, people have a question mark: “Is my privacy guaranteed?”

Because many factors are including in the search results. Search engines collect data on many subjects. Such as the region it is located in, the terms it has searched before, etc. Can Google protect user privacy while trying to deliver these results?

Despite all this, search engines kept updating. Google entered 2013 with many Panda and Penguin updates. In addition, the Hummingbird algorithm, which plans to replace the classic search engine usage, was announced. With this algorithm, it was aiming to maximize the user experience.

Hundreds of updates, large and small, were also made in 2013-2014. These updates proved the seriousness of Google’s search engine. Websites that did not comply with Google’s updates were not including in the search results and suffered traffic loss. This situation enabled the concept of search engine optimization to deepen and gain continuity.

Nowadays SEO

Future of Search Engines and SEO

The concept of Search Engine has become an indispensable part of technology and human life. In this way, it solidified its nearly 25-year history. SEO also continues its evolution and development in this direction. It stands ready to help companies and web developers in every aspect of the ever-expanding search engine concept. At the point, we have reached, our work has evolved from Search Engine Optimization (Search Engine Optimization) to Search Experience Optimization (Search Experience Optimization). Because now there are multidimensional searches.

Over 500 updates are making to algorithms a year. Search engines still developing and it will keep taking upgrades. Meanwhile, users want to find what they are looking for in search engines in the fastest and easiest way.

Future of Search engines

If you need more articles about SEO you can check the link in the below.

Google Documents

Remember that we can make mistakes too, the important thing is to correct these mistakes. If you have any ideas that you see as a mistake, you can let us know by filling out the form below.

For other topics click here.


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