SEO History and World’s First Website

It was on the 6th of August 1991 that Tim Berners-Lee launched the World’s first website – and here is still is!

worlds-first-website social media seo

Very shortly after – in 1993 the first search engines started appearing. Who remembers Excite? This, of course, made finding information easier by sorting results based on keywords found within the content of the websites and via backend optimization.

SEO History! Search Engine Optimisation was born.

Does anyone remember AltaVista? In 1996 I remember attending a market research for the Internet and Search. It was by AltaVista – it was a mess and very complicated.


I remember so clearly that they showed us this large projection of a big white screen and on it was just one field and a button saying “SEARCH”. The opinion was totally unanimous. BRILLIANT. That was just what we wanted. To do just one thing on the screen. This is what made Google what it is today. It’s what makes many successful Internet companies what they are today. Total and utter simplicity.

Their sole aim was to improve and simplify how data is indexed and delivered. Add to that quality and you have, SEO History 25 years later, today’s SEO Strategy.

Think Like a Search Engine

I am forever going on about how to ‘Think Like a Search Engine’. It’s quite simple really – all you have to do is understand that the search engines want to deliver us with THE BEST websites for our search. So it is up to us to make sure that they know we ARE the best website for their search.

It Used to be a Simple Copy Paste Job (Keyword Stuffing!)

Back in the mid/late nineties it used to be that you could write your keywords a hundred times; for example for us it might be social media seo marketing london social media seo marketing london social media seo marketing london social media seo marketing london… and so on (best not do that too many times or the robots will think I am spamming this post!).

Then Google changed the mathematics (algorithms) and employed lots of spiders and robots to crawl the Internet and discover who was doing this.

SEO History – Then we had Backlinks

Backlinks were – getting a link to your website on as many other webistes that you could. This would somehow tell Google that other people thought you were good enough to link to. So this was the start of the search engines trying to determine human intervention.

The trouble with this was that it was a case of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours… so it ended up with load of reciprocal linking.

Google then managed to bring out an algorithm (mathematics) that told them which links were reciprocal and which were unique and only one way.

They also started their page ranking and if you had a unique link from a highly rated site that was from a similar industry to yours then you got more ‘brownie points’ than if you had a reciprocal link from a completely unrelated business. This actually STILL counts today – but not a lot any more, to be fair.

In this primitive stage of SEO marketers would involve in tactics like keyword stuffing, excessive tagging, and (often spammy) backlinks to get  high rankings. The major algorithm updates would invariably take several months to complete which allowed these black-hat SEO tactics to be effective for a long time.

More Algorithms and Maths – Critical in SEO History

Further major updates from Google enforced even further strict rules and regulations on keywords, content quality, and penalising over-optimization. This significantly impacted how the results were indexed.

They also improved local search results and bought in their own social channel – Google Plus (the jury’s still out on that but you have to work it because it is, after all, Google, and you need to be on the map… literally)

Let’s Get Social

Bringing ourselves rapidly up to date – Google now have deals in place with Facebook and Twitter and are using all our lovely Social Media posts – likes and shares and conversations – to influence our rankings and indexing in the SERPS – Search Engine Results Pages.

If you are PROLIFIC in producing content and if that content is of a high QUALITY and people love it then Google will love you. It’s that simple. Well it’s not actually THAT simple but you know what I mean. There is still much that needs to happen technically as well on your website. There are also many places that you can create content that you wouldn’t even know about – but that would be a full time job (and that’s what we can do!).

And here it is in all it´s glory… Google´s search field – the smallest AND biggest, most brilliant rectangle in the world! Make sure you let it know that you are brilliant too!