Timeline of search engine optimization

From Timelines
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a timeline of search engine optimization, attempting to describe significant events related to this practice. For the sake of context, many events directly related to search engines, their evolution, products and updates, are included.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What are some notable SEO tool services?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "SEO tool launch".
    • You will see a variety of services (some of them for free) offering analytics, SEO rank tracking software, blogging, etc.
  • What are some events describing practices against search engine guidelines?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Spamdexing".
    • You will see a number of Black hat SEO techniques, and related events.
  • What are some significant updates involving search engines?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Notable update".
    • You will see some significant updates by prominent search engines, mainly Google; aimed at combating spamdexing, but also improving aspects like geographic intent, end-user data, etc.
  • What are some of the several competitions specialized in SEO?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "SEO contest".
    • You will see a number of notable contests launched throughout the years.
  • What are some of the numerous books focused on SEO?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Literature".
    • You will see a mostly random list of titles illustrating the literature industry on the topic of CEO.
  • What are some events providing context to SEO?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Background".
    • You will see significant events, some of them describing search evolution, and others related to major search engines.

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
1991–2002 Prelude period[1] Early period starting from the launch of the world’s first website by Tim Berners-Lee. As websites start crowding the Internet, the first search engines fill a need for structure and accessibility. in 1993, search platforms like Excite revolutionize how information is cataloged and make finding information easier by sorting results based on keywords found within content and backend optimization. Webmasters and content providers begin optimizing websites for search engines in the mid-decade. Yahoo! in 1994 and Google in 1997 enter the scene to improve and simplify how data is indexed and delivered. In this primitive stage, marketers would leverage keyword stuffing, excessive tagging, and (often spammy) backlinks to generate high rankings in search. Often, major algorithm updates would take several months to complete, allowing black-hat SEO tactics to remain effective for long stretches of time. In 1994, several new search engines become widely accessible to the public.[2] In 1996, in which some consider the time when SEO really took off, Sergey Brin and Larry Page begin building BackRub, the predecessor of Google, which would become the biggest, most recognized search engine.[3] Around 1997, the first algorithm crackers appear. 1997 is the year that several SEO providers decode all 35 parameters of Excite’s algorithm.[4]
2003–2005 Early developments[1] Google, MSN and Yahoo!, the three major search engines that are left, start incorporating undisclosed page ranking factors into their algorithms. The era of keyword-spamming SEO is long over. Webmasters and content providers have to rely on more creative ways to promote content and generate inbound links in order to achieve long term increases in search engine rankings.[4]
2006–2009 Middle period This period introduces highlights like Google's Universal Search to offer additionally more engaging content media in search results such as news, images, and video.[1]
2010–2012 Consolidation period [1] Social media becomes a more pivotal piece of SEO strategy.[5] By 2010, content farms appear, designed to lure search engine algorithms. As a response, Google decides that the quality of the content should matter more for search engine rankings, and in 2011 launches its Google Panda update which effectively kills the practice.[6] Toward 2012, Google continues setting restrictions to means of improving users' ranking score and continues penalizing websites using unethical methods of rankings.[7]
2013–present Modern SEO era[1] Focus moves towards mobile search. In 2014, the app indexing launches, making apps appear alongside websites in search results. In 2015, the so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’ update appears, making website mobile friendliness a ranking signal in searches.[6] By 2017, SEO is considered, for the most part, a conversation with Google Search.[4] 2018 starts with the continuation of mobile as a key focus for search engines.[6] As of 2019, SEO campaigns are much more laborious and complex than they were a decade ago. Users get better relevant results and webmasters and content providers have to provide actual value in order to rank high on search results.[4]

Visual data

Google Trends

The image below shows Google Trends data for Search engine optimization (topic) from 2004 (the start of availability of the data) to June 2020.[8]

SEO Google Trends.jpg

Wikipedia Views

The image below shows Wikipedia views for the article Search engine optimization from December 2007 for desktop, and from July 2015 (see red vertical line) for mobile web, mobile app, desktop spider, and mobile web spider; to June 2020, when the screenshot was taken.[9]

SEO Wikipedia Views.jpg

Full timeline

Year Month and date Search engine (when applicable) Event type Details
1991 Early development The first website is developed for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.[10] It is believed that SEO is born in this year, with the launch of the first website.[3]
1994 Early developent Greg Boser discovers that he could use the Internet to sell protective foam equipment to fight fires. Boser builds a website and starts seeking ways to drive potential customers to his site for sales.[11]
1995 Organization John Audette forms Multi-Media Marketing Group, which would produce a popular newsletter with tips for influencing search engines.[12][11]
1996 April 1 SEO tool launch Alexa Internet is founded. It offers commercial online traffic data and analytics.[13]
1996 May 22 Spamdexing The earliest known reference[14] to the term spamdexing is by Eric Convey, who says:
The problem arises when site operators load their Web pages with hundreds of extraneous terms so search engines will list them among legitimate addresses. The process is called "spamdexing," a combination of spamming — the Internet term for sending users unsolicited information — and "indexing."[14]
1997 Concept development According to industry analyst Danny Sullivan, the phrase "search engine optimization" probably comes into use around this time. Sullivan credits Bruce Clay as one of the first people to popularize the term.[15] "all signs definitely point to the term SEO originating around 1997."[16] "In 1997, the words “search engine optimization” were first used by John Audette and Bruce Clay, and soon after SEO became a widely used term."[17]
1997 September Google Background google.com is registered as a domain name.[18]
1999 November 18 Conference Search Engine Strategies (SES) takes place as the first-ever all search marketing conference.[16][19][17]
1999 Spamdexing Link farms are first developed by search engine optimizers (SEOs) to take advantage of the Inktomi search engine's dependence upon link popularity.[20]
1999 Google Spamdexing Google bombs date back to this year, when a search for "more evil than Satan himself" results in the Microsoft homepage as the top result.[21][22]
2000 Yahoo!, Google Background In what is considered to be the worst strategic move in search history[23], Yahoo! partners with Google and lets Google power their organic results instead of Inktomi. At this time Google is a little-known search engine. After this, every Yahoo search result would say “Powered by Google”, with Yahoo! ending up introducing their largest competitor to the world and Google becoming a household name.[16]
2000 Conference Pubcon launches in London as the first of a large search conference series.[24][25]
2000 SEO tool launch WebCEO is founded.[26] It offers SEO tool kit for digital agencies.[27]
2000 October 23 Google Service launch Google AdWords launches.[16] It is a pay-per-click online advertising platform that allows advertisers to display their ads on Google's search engine results page.[28]
2000 December 11 Google Notable update Google Toolbar becomes available as a web browser toolbar for Internet Explorer, allowing SEO practitioners to see their PageRank score (a number between 0-10).[29][30][16][19]
2001 Concept development Danny Sullivan, a prominent industry writer, unsuccessfully suggests the term "search engine marketing" as a successor to "search engine optimization", with the purpose to cover the spectrum of activities involved in performing SEO, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and individuals.[16][31]
2001 Year round Google Background Users massively abandon old search engines like Lycos, Excite, AltaVista and Hotbot, and move their interest towards Google.[4][17] Brett Tabke, Founder of WebmasterWorld, comments: “Many SEOs have sleepless nights as we realize it is Google or bust.” [17]
2002 November 15 SEO contest Schnitzelmitkartoffelsalat is launched by German webmasters as the first recorded SEO Contest.[32]
2002 Google Service launch Google announces the launch of Froogle, a free product listing and price comparison service where users can discover various products from across the vendors, sort them and make a purchase.[17][33]
2003 Google Product launch After acquiring Blogger.com, Google launches AdSense, which serves contextually targeted Google AdWords ads on publisher sites.[16]
2003 SEO evolution Blogging becomes popular and is utilized for SEO. Blogger and WordPress become widely used.[17]
2003 November 16 Google Notable update Google launches its Google Florida update, aimed at combatting keyword stuffing[34], a practice consisting in loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in search results.[35]
2003 April 3 Google Spamdexing The term Googlewashing is coined by Andrew Orlowski to describe the use of media manipulation to change the perception of a term, or push out competition from search engine results pages (SERPs).[36][37]
2004 March SEO contest Promoweb agency organizes the first French-speaking contest, Mangeur de Cigogne (eater of stork).[38]
2004 May SEO contest Nigritude Ultramarine 2004 launches as the first english language SEO competition, created by darkblue.com and run by SearchGuild.[39]
2004 August SEO contest A new contest of SEO is organized in the United Kingdom by a web agency, based this time on keywords seraphim proudleduck.[38] This contest is presented by Salmonbones.[39]
2004 Google Notable update Google and other top search engines start improving results for queries that have a geographic intent (e.g., a restaurant, plumber, or some other type of business or service provider in the user's location).[16]
2004 Google Notable update Google and other search engines begin making greater use of end-user data, such as search history and interests, to personalize search results. This means that the results the user sees could be different than what another person obtains sitting next to the user in another computer when searching for the same query.[16]
2004 SEO tool launch SEO Moz is founded by Rand Fiskin. First a blog, SEOmoz would grow to become one of the largest providers of SEO Tools.[17]
2004 Google, MSN, Yahoo! Notable update The three major search engines that are left, Google, MSN and Yahoo!, start incorporating undisclosed page ranking factors into their algorithms.[4]
2005 January Google, MSN, Yahoo! Background Google unites with Yahoo! and MSN for the nofollow attribute, which is created in part to decrease the amount of spammy links and comments on websites, especially blogs.[5]
2005 March 1 SEO contest Loquine Glupe is held. It is hosted by webmaster-forums.co.uk.[39]
2005 April SEO tool launch SpyFu launches.[40] It is a keyword research and competitive intelligence tool used by digital marketers to improve their performance in online search.[41]
2005 May–December SEO contest Hommingberger Gepardenforelle 2005 launches as another German contest. The goal of this SEO contest is to figure out how search engines determine rankings.[39]
2005 June Google Notable update Google debuts personalized search, which makes use of user personal search and browsing history to make results more relevant,[5] thus presenting customized results pages when the user is logged in.[4]
2005 Spamdexing Nofollow tags are created as a means to combat spam. SEO professionals begin using this tag as a way of PageRank sculpting, a technique consisting in distributing the PageRank of a website to other subpages.[16]
2005 August Spamdexing The term splog (short for spam blog) is popularized around the time, when it is used publicly by Mark Cuban, who writes: " A splog is any blog whose creator doesn’t add any written value. I’m sure some might argue that packaging data, such as news feeds or the blog posts of others is added value. I dont think it is."[42]
2005 SEO contest Msnbetter Thangoogle launches as a Polish SEO contest intended to promote SEO in Poland and get the attention of search engines.[39]
2005 SEO tool launch Conductor is founded.[43] It is a SEO technology firm offering a suite of enterprise SEO tools and performance.[44]
2005 Spamdexing The practice of meta-tag stuffing becomes ineffective. The practice involves repeating keywords in the Meta tags, and using meta keywords that are unrelated to the site's content.[45]
2005 September Google Notable update Google releases Jagger, an update that helps to diminish the level of unsolicited link exchanges that fly around.[16][46]
2005 September 29 Spamdexing The term sping (a short for "spam ping") is coined by a French SEO blogger, Sébastien Billiard, in an article titled "Spam 2.0".[47]
2005 November Google SEO tool launch Google launches Google Analytics. This free, web-based tool would become so popular at launch that webmasters would experience downtime and maintenance warnings.[5][17][16]
2005 December Google Notable update Google releases Big Daddy, an update that improves the architecture of Google to allow for improved understanding of the worth and relationship of links between sites.[16][48]
2005 December 20 SEO contest The V7ndotcom Elursrebmem Competition is organized in the United States.[39][38]
2006 February–May SEO contest "The Four Required Words" SEO Contest launches. It is sponsored by milliondollarscreenshot.com and is the first contest to use an expression in quotes and targeted image search, even though no images are shown in the time of the contest.[39]
2006 March–December SEO contest Carcasherdotcom seocontest launches.[39]
2006 May 11 SEO tool launch Google Trends launches.[49] It is a tool for SEO research.[50]
2006 July 11 Literature The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More is published by Chris Anderson.[51]
2006 Google Product launch Google launches Google Webmaster Tools, a suite of SEO tools that provides data and configuration control and lets webmasters view crawling errors, see what searches the user's site showed up for, and request reinclusion.[16]
2006 Product launch XML sitemaps are introduced, soon acquiring a great support from the search engines. XML sitemaps allow webmasters to display to the search engines, every URL on their website that is available for crawling. An XML sitemap contains not only a list of URLs but a range of further information, which help search engines to crawl more intelligently.[16][19]
2006 Google Spamdexing BMW is banned and utterly removed from Google’s search results for using a technique called cloaking, which means showing one type of content for search engines and another one for users.[6]
2006 SEO contest Redscowl Bluesingsky SEO contest takes place. It is sponsored by SEOLogs.[39]
2006 Google SEO tool launch Google Webmaster Central is launched. It is a free portal from that notifies the user of major technical issues with his/her website.[17][52]
2006 Notable update Since 2006, better methods of accessibility, including progressive enhancement, become available, so cloaking is no longer necessary for regular SEO.[53]
2006 Website launch BlackHatWorld launches as a forum[1] aimed at discussing the latest trends in internet marketing. [54]
2006 September 15 SEO tool launch DeepCrawl is founded. It offers a SEO platform aimed at helping brands to accelerate growth and mitigate losses in organic search performance.[55]
2006 October Google Background Google acquires YouTube for US$1.65 billion. Youtube would ultimately become the second most used search property in the world.[16]
2006 December 11 Website launch searchengineland.com launches as a new search news blog.[56]
2006 End of year Spamdexing According to EURid statistics, over 50% of the registrations could be considered at best speculative and at worst domain name warehousing, a practice by registrars obtaining control of expired domain names already under their management, with the intent to hold or “warehouse” names for their own use and/or profit.[57]
2007 January 15 SEO contest SEO World Championship launches. It is sponsored by European Internet Marketing company Eastpoin.[39]
2007 March 20 Google Product launch Google announces Plus Box, a new search feature that lets users see more information about individual search results.[58]
2007 May 2 Concept development Jason Gambert attempts to trademark the term SEO by convincing the Trademark Office in Arizona that SEO is a "process" involving manipulation of keywords and not a "marketing service."[59]
2007 May 16 Google Product launch Google undertakes the most radical change to its search results ever, with the introduction of its Universal Search system that blends listings from its news, video, images, local and book search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages.[60]
2007 Google Spamdexing Google starts a campaign against paid links affecting PageRank.[4]
2007 August SEO tool launch SimilarWeb is founded.[61] It gives users the ability to see their competitors' traffic sources.[62]
2007 September Spamdexing Ralph Tegtmeier and Ed Purkiss coin the term "mosaic cloaking", which consists in only cloaking parts of the website in an effort to be more stealth.[63]
2008 February–April SEO contest seocontest2008 launches. It is sponsored by the UK Webmaster World Community.[39]
2008 March 31 Literature Search Engine Optimization is published by Kristopher B. Jones.[64]
2008 June–August SEO contest Busby SEO Challenge 2008 is held. It is sponsored by Busby Web Solutions based in Australia.[39][65][66]
2008 August 3 SEO tool launch SEMrush launches.[67] It provides an all-in-one tool suite for improving online visibility and discovering marketing insights.[68]
2008 Product launch Yoast SEO starts operations as a SEO tool.[69][70] It is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy for users to do things like control titles and meta descriptions, set their targeted keywords and track how often they're using them, manage sitemaps, and other tasks.[71]
2009 January 18 Google Notable update Google Vince Update is released. It favors brand websites when it comes to search results for traffic-rich keywords.[16][72][73]
2009 March–August SEO contest Net Builders SEO Contest is held. The targeted keyword is "sulumits retsambew" which is webmaster stimulus backwards. Backwards seems to be a common trend in these contests.[39]
2009 April Literature Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies is published by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza.[74]
2009 June 3 Bing SEO tool launch Bing Webmaster Tools launches along with Bing.[75]
2009 August 10 Google Notable update Google announces Caffeine, which would become one of the most important updates in the search engine’s history.[76]
2009 SEO tool launch AuthorityLabs launches as a SEO rank tracking software.[77][78]
2009 Bing Background After Microsoft Live Search becomes Bing, in an unsuccessful attempt to challenge Google’s nearly 70 percent grip of the U.S. search market, Yahoo! and Microsoft join forces to partner on a 10-year search deal (though it would end up being reworked five years later).[16]
2009 September–December SEO contest OES Tsetnoc SEO Contest is held.[39]
2009 October Literature The Art of SEO is published by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessie Stricchiola.[79]
2009 Year round Google Notable update Google executes between 350 and 550 adjustments to its search algorithm along the year, meaning at least once a day, showing the "rapid advancement required to stay on top if playing the game of SEO at the highest level".[6]
2009 Google Spamdexing Google announces attempt to stop the effects of PageRank sculpting that come as a result of nofollow links.[4]
2010 January SEO tool launch WooRank launches.[80] It is an automated website reviewing tool offering SEO auditing and monitoring.[81]
2010 SEO tool launch Screaming Frog launches.[82] It offers SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services.[83]
2010 Spamdexing A tactic appears where websites are created from large amounts of low-quality textual content, frequently updated and specifically designed to lure search engine algorithms. These sites are linked together forming so-called ‘content farms’ whose only purpose is to drive search engine traffic and, just like doorway pages before them, sending the incoming traffic to the final destination.[6]
2010 SEO tool launch SEOPanel is released. It is an open source multi-website SEO monitoring application.[84]
2010 December Google Notable update Both Google and Bing add "social signals," which first display any written Facebook posts, for example, from the user's own network that matches his/her query.[5]
2010 Year round Statistics 52% of the companies are estimated to spend more on SEO, 39% Spending about the same, and 9% Spending less.[17]
2011 February 14 Google Notable update Google launches the Google Chrome extension "Personal Blocklist", as part of countermeasures against content farming.[85]
2011 February 23 Google Notable update Google launches Google Panda, a algorithm update aimed at combating content farms by rewarding high-quality websites and diminishing the presence of low-quality websites in Google’s organic search engine results. Google Panda is initially known as "Farmer." The algorithm also combats keyword stuffing.[86][87]
2011 SEO tool launch Ahrefs launches. It is a toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis.[88][89]
2012 February 28 Literature Content Strategy for the Web is published by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach.[90]
2012 April 24 Google Notable update Google Penguin launches as a Google algorithm update.[5][2] It is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines.[91]
2012 May Google Product launch Google unveils the Knowledge Graph, a new visual interface that provides popular facts about people, places and things alongside Google's traditional results. This constitutes a major shift away from interpreting keywords strings to understanding semantics and intent.[16][92] The Knowledge Graph would become popular in knowledge representation and knowledge management applications widely across search engine, biomedical, media and industrial domains.[93][94][95]
2012 July 26 Google Product launch Moz launches MozCast, the "Google weather report". The tool, available online at mozcast.com, tracks the "temperature" of changes to Google's search algorithm and rankings on a day-to-day basis, helping provide better context to search algorithm changes beyond just the biggest ones.[96][97][98]
2012 September 10 SEO tool launch Backlink is founded as a SEO firm offering website optimization, search engine optimization and social media internet marketing solutions.[99]
2012 SEO tool launch Kerboo launches as LinkRisk. It offers link audits, SEO, content marketing, and link building.[100][101]
2013 June 27 Literature Google Semantic Search is published by David Amerland.[102]
2013 August Google Notable update Google Hummingbird launches as an update, helping to combat keyword stuffing.[103]
2013 October Google System launch Google App Indexing is launched for a limited set of publishers. It is a system that allows searchers to click on listings in Google's search results, taking them into apps on their Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.[6] [104][105]
2013 November 28 Literature SEO Made Easy: Everything You Need to Know about SEO and Nothing More is published by Evan Bailyn.[106]
2013 SEO tool launch Serpstat is founded.[107] IT offers a tool for keyword research, PPC analysis and competitor research.[108]
2014 Google Notable update Google releases "Pigeon", an algorithm update whose goal is to improve local search rankings.[5][109][110]
2014 September Bing Notable update Bing launches update aimed at combating keyword stuffing.[111]
2014 September Google Spamdexing Google targets private blog networks (also known as link farms) with manual action ranking penalties.[112]
2014 October 5 Google Notable update Google launches Penguin 3.0, a new algorithm update aimed to penalize those sites who use black hat link building tactics to build unnatural links to manipulate search engines. The update affects 0.3% English Language queries all over the world.[113] Black hat link building tactics are methods used to direct people to a site by exploiting website loopholes, enabling a site to rank higher than it should through "organic" search means.[114]
2014 November Google Notable update Google adds a "mobile-friendly" label for search results that are optimized for such platforms, where text is readable without zooming or horizontal scrolling, and links are spaced well enough so that there’s a reduced chance of mis-tapping.[5][115]
2015 February Google Notable update Google announces a change, with a mobile-friendly test that allows webmasters to view potential issues and make changes before the rollout.[5]
2015 March 16 Google Notable update Google introduces a new penalty algorithm to decrease the likelihood of doorway pages ranking in search results.[116][117] Doorway pages are low-quality pages, optimized to rank well for specific keywords that act as a door between users and content.[118]
2015 April 21 Google Notable update Google introduces search engine algorithm update so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’, which makes website mobile friendliness a ranking signal in searches.[6][119]
2015 April Google Notable update Google introduces mobile update. Since then, non-mobile-friendly websites would start getting lower rankings. This means SEO is no longer about keywords and content, with responsive design as new factor.[5]
2015 May 1 SEO tool launch Rank Tracker launches. This tool automatically tracks the users' daily keyword positions movements across all major search engines.[120]
2015 May Background Mobile search surpasses desktop search.[121]
2015 Google Background 2015 is known as the Year of Mobile, the point at which mobile searches overtake desktop search for the first time on Google.[16]
2015 October Google System launch Google RankBrain is announced. It is a machine learning (AI) algorithm initially used to try to interpret the 15 percent of searches that Google has never seen before, based on the words or phrases the user has entered.[16][122]
2015 November 19 Google Guidelines release Google releases the full versions of its search quality raters guidelines (QRG), a 160-page-long handbook that it previously only gave human evaluators to rate websites. The guidelines help websites understand what qualities Google Search would like to see in websites, although ratings made by raters based on these guidelines do not directly change search engine rankings. The release follows a leak in October 2015 of the same guidelines[123] Two important pieces of jargon that gain currency in the SEO world due to these guidelines are: YMYL (your money or your life), a term for websites that offer information or allow people to take actions that have the potential to negatively impact the end user's health and wealth (examples include sites related to e-commerce, financial advice, medical advice, and legal advice), and E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trust), factors that are important to Google Search for ranking sites, and even more important for YMYL sites.[124] The guidelines are described as "160 pages of wonderful SEO knowledge."[123]
2015 Google Standard development According to a study, the top-ranking factors for search engines and their algorithms (including Google’s core algorithm) are ranked in order of importance as:
  • Domain-level link features
  • Page-level link features
  • Page-level keyword and content-based features
  • Page-level keyword agnostic features
  • Engagement and traffic/query data
  • Domain-level brand metrics
  • Domain-level keyword usage
  • Domain-level keyword-agnostic features
  • Page-level social metrics[2]
2016 March–June SEO contest Apex Forum SEO Contest is held.[39]
2016 September 13 Literature SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs is published by John Jantsch and Phil Singleton.[125]
2016 December 27 Literature Digital Marketing For Dummies is published by Russ Henneberry and Ryan Deiss.[126]
2017 January Google Notable update Google introduces an algorithmic change called the “Intrusive Interstitial Penalty” in order to “punish aggressive interstitials and pop-ups that might damage the mobile user experience.”[2]
2017 March Google Notable update Google introduces update informally known as “Fred”, which would have a major impact on the SEO community.[2]
2018 June Google Market distribution As of date, Google accounts for over 72.47% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Baidu at 13.47%, Bing at 7.64%, and Yahoo! at 4.74%.[127]
2018 July Google Notable update Google announces that from then on, page speed would be a ranking factor for mobile searches.[6][128]
2019 January 26 Spamdexing XRumer is released is a piece of software made for spamming online forums and comment sections. "It is marketed as a program for search engine optimization and was created by BotmasterLabs."[129]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "The History of Search Engine Optimization". tellmeyourgoal.com. Retrieved 10 January 2020. 
  2. 3.0 3.1 "A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEO". bluefrogdm.com. Retrieved 7 January 2020. 
  3. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 "A Brief History of SEO". medium.com. Retrieved 10 January 2020. 
  4. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 "A Brief History of Search & SEO". blog.hubspot.com. Retrieved 6 January 2020. 
  5. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 "A brief history of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)". blog.zooma.se. Retrieved 6 January 2020. 
  6. "The History of Search Engine Optimization". gopbn.com. Retrieved 10 January 2020. 
  7. "Search engine optimization". trends.google.com. Retrieved 24 June 2020. 
  8. "Search engine optimization". wikipediaviews.org. Retrieved 24 June 2020. 
  9. Parkhurst, William R. Routing First-step. 
  10. 11.0 11.1 "The History of Search Engine Optimization". thehistoryofseo.com. Retrieved 6 January 2020. 
  11. The SAGE Handbook of Web History (Niels Brügger, Ian Milligan ed.). 
  12. "Alexa Internet SuccessStory". successstory.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  13. 14.0 14.1 "Word Spy - spamdexing" (definition), March 2003, webpage:WordSpy-spamdexing.
  14. Danny Sullivan (June 14, 2004). "Who Invented the Term "Search Engine Optimization"?". Search Engine Watch. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2007.  See Google groups thread.
  15. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 16.20 "20 Years of SEO: A Brief History of Search Engine Optimization". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  16. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 "THE HISTORY OF SEARCH". seo.com. Retrieved 10 January 2020. 
  17. "Google domain name was registered 20 years ago". businessinsider.com. Retrieved 10 April 2020. 
  18. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "THE HISTORY OF SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)". amcodigital.com. Retrieved 7 January 2020. 
  19. Complete Digital Marketing Guide Book for SEO, Social Media & Brand awareness: Definitive & Hidden Secrets of Digital Marketing to grow your business. Publicancy. 
  20. Sullivan, Danny (March 18, 2002). "Google Bombs Aren't So Scary". ClickZ. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  21. "The 10 Most Incredible Google Bombs". searchenginepeople.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  22. "Story SEO: Search Engine Optimization". dailytechmonde.blogspot.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020. 
  23. "10 Things You Might Not Know About Pubcon". pubcon.com. Retrieved 20 April 2020. 
  24. "15 Facts About #Pubcon You May Not Know". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 20 April 2020. 
  25. "WebCEO". linkedin.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  26. "SEO & Digital Marketing Tools". webceo.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  27. "How Does Google AdWords Work? The Basics of Google Ads". freshbooks.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  28. "Google Toolbar History". seobythesea.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  29. "Google Toolbar & GTPR – Google Algorithm Update December 11, 2000". seocandyland.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  30. "History Of Search Engines". researchgate.net. Retrieved 10 January 2020. 
  31. Lenssen, Philipp. 55 Ways to Have Fun with Google. 
  32. "AN INTRODUCTION TO GOOGLE SHOPPING". blog.adnabu.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  33. "Google Florida: The First Major Algorithm Update". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020. 
  34. "Irrelevant keywords". support.google.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  35. Orlowski, Andrew (April 3, 2003). "Anti-war slogan coined, repurposed and Googlewashed ... in 42 days.". The Register. Retrieved January 6, 2007. 
  36. Andrew A. Adams; Rachel McCrindle (15 February 2008). Pandora's Box: Social and Professional Issues of the Information Age. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-0-470-06553-2. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  37. 38.0 38.1 38.2 "SEO contests or web ranking competitions". noname.fr. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  38. 39.00 39.01 39.02 39.03 39.04 39.05 39.06 39.07 39.08 39.09 39.10 39.11 39.12 39.13 39.14 "Previous SEO Competitions". beanseohero.com. Retrieved 8 January 2020. 
  39. "List of Free Courses and Tools That You Can Use for Free During the Coronavirus Lockdown.". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  40. "SpyFu Review, Pricing & Features: Best SEO Tool for Competitor Keyword Research". softwarepundit.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  41. "A splog here, a splog there, pretty soon it ads up… and we all lose". blogmaverick.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  42. "Conductor". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  43. Odden, Lee. Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. 
  44. Complete Digital Marketing Guide Book for SEO, Social Media & Brand awareness: Definitive & Hidden Secrets of Digital Marketing to grow your business. Publicancy. 
  45. "Google's Jagger Update Rocks Manipulative Link Building". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  46. "Spam 2.0". s.billard.free.fr. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  47. "Google's Big Daddy Update: Big Changes to Google's Infrastructure & the SERPs". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  48. Jun, Seung-Pyo; Yoo, Hyoung Sun; Choi, San. "Ten years of research change using Google Trends: From the perspective of big data utilizations and applications". doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2017.11.009. 
  49. "7 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEO & Content Marketing". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  50. "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Anderson, Chris (July 11, 2006) Hardcover Unknown Binding – January 1, 1800". amazon.com. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  51. "Technical Considerations for Your Local Business Website". moz.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  52. Complete Digital Marketing Guide Book for SEO, Social Media & Brand awareness: Definitive & Hidden Secrets of Digital Marketing to grow your busines (Publicancy ed.). 
  53. "Advertise on BlackHatWorld.com Review". toolswelike.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  54. "DeepCrawl Launches Automator to Enable SEO Quality Assurance". businesswire.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  55. "Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Land Launches December 11". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  56. "The .eu domain 2006" (PDF). web.archive.org. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  57. "More than meets the eye". googleblog.blogspot.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  58. "Trademark/Service Mark Application, Principal Register". Retrieved 3 January 2020. 
  59. "Google Launches "Universal Search" & Blended Results". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 17 May 2020. 
  60. "We are the measure of the digital world". similarweb.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  61. "SimilarWeb". backlinko.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  62. "What is cloaking in SEO? How to apply cloaking on my affiliate links(Black Hat SEO technique)". linkedin.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  63. "Search Engine Optimization: Your visual blueprint for effective Internet marketing". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  64. "Busby SEO Challenge World Cup". ryangaraygay.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020. 
  65. "Busby SEO Challenge Contest 2008". 3seo.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020. 
  66. "SEMrush: Russian SEO firm's Trevose offices build keyword software". technical.ly. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  67. "What is SEMrush?". semrush.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  68. "YOAST SEO". wordpress.org. Retrieved 8 January 2020. 
  69. "The history of Yoast". yoast.com. Retrieved 8 January 2020. 
  70. "Everything You Need to Know About Using Yoast SEO for Wordpress". moz.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  71. "Google's Vince Update: The Day Big Brands Won". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  72. "Why is the Vince Update also referred to as the Brand Update?". sistrix.com. Retrieved 10 April 2020. 
  73. "Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  74. "Bing Webmaster Tools vs Google Search Console". fourfront.us. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  75. "Google's Caffeine Update: Better Indexing & Fresher Search Results". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  76. "Authority Labs Review". seobook.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  77. "Authority Labs Review – Features, Tips, Pricing, and More". digitalexaminer.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  78. "The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  79. "So What Is WooRank?". woorank.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  80. "WooRank". capterra.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  81. "3 Ways You Should Be Using Screaming Frog". forwardpmx.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  82. "We are a UK based search marketing agency and the creators of the famous website crawler and log file analyser tools.". screamingfrog.co.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  83. "Seo Panel". installatron.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  84. "New: Block Sites From Google Results Using Chrome's "Personal Blocklist"". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 24 June 2020. 
  85. "TED 2011: The 'Panda' That Hates Farms: A Q&A With Google's Top Search Engineers". wired.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020. 
  86. "Google Panda". moz.com. Retrieved 18 May 2020. 
  87. "What is Ahrefs.com?". help.ahrefs.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  88. "Ahrefs Review: More Than Just an SEO Backlink Analysis Tool". 99signals.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  89. "Content Strategy for the Web: Content Strategy Web _p2". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  90. "Webmaster Guidelines - Webmaster Tools Help". Support.google.com. Retrieved 10 April 2020. 
  91. "Google Testing Semantic Search Update". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  92. Wasny, Garrett. Advanced Googling: How to Search Smarter, Faster and More Efficiently on Google. 
  93. Pan, Jeff Z.; Calvanese, Diego; Eiter, Thomas; Horrocks, Ian; Kifer, Michael; Lin, Fangzhen; Zhao, Yuting. Reasoning Web: Logical Foundation of Knowledge Graph Construction and Query Answering: 12th International Summer School 2016, Aberdeen, UK, September 5-9, 2016, Tutorial Lectures. 
  94. Färber, M. Semantic Search for Novel Information. 
  95. Meyers, Peter (July 26, 2012). "Announcing MozCast - The Google Weather Report". Moz. Retrieved 2 July 2020. 
  96. "Internet Archive's Wayback Machine results for mozcast.com in 2012". Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  97. Ryan, David (May 22, 2016). "Mozcast Vs. Algoroo – Which Tool Should You Use?". Inside Online. Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  98. "back-link". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  99. "2012: The start of our journey.". kerboo.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  100. "Kerboo". linkedin.com. Retrieved 29 June 2020. 
  101. "Google Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Get Your Company More Traffic, Increase Brand Impact, and Amplify Your Online Presence". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  102. "FAQ: All About The New Google "Hummingbird" Algorithm". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020. 
  103. "Google: App Indexing". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 7 January 2020. 
  104. "The Death of the Desktop: The Future For Mobile SEO". 4mation.com.au. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  105. "SEO Made Easy: Everything You Need to Know About SEO and Nothing More". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  106. "All-in-One SEO platform". serpstat.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  107. "Serpstat Review: The Ultimate SEO & PPC Tool for Bloggers". 99signals.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  108. "Google Pigeon – What Is It and What Should I Do?". leapgo.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  109. "Google Pigeon". webopedia.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020. 
  110. "URL Keyword Stuffing Spam Filtering". blogs.bing.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020. 
  111. "Google Targets Sites Using Private Blog Networks With Manual Action Ranking Penalties". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020. 
  112. "Google Penguin Update 3 Released, Impacts 0.3% Of English-Language Queries". searchengineland.com. Retrieved 24 June 2020. 
  113. "black hat link building". searchcontentmanagement.techtarget.com. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  114. "Helping users find mobile-friendly pages". webmasters.googleblog.com. Retrieved 6 January 2020. 
  115. "An update on doorway pages". webmasters.googleblog.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  116. "How Doorway Pages Hurt Your Site's SEO". thecontentworks.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2020. 
  117. "Google's shutting the door on doorway pages for SEO". brafton.com. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  118. "Finding more mobile-friendly search results". webmasters.googleblog.com. Retrieved 7 January 2020. 
  119. "RankTracker". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020. 
  120. "Inside AdWords: Building for the next moment" Google Inside Adwords May 15, 2015.
  121. "A Complete Guide to the Google RankBrain Algorithm". searchenginejournal.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020. 
  122. 123.0 123.1 "Google Releases The Full Version Of Their Search Quality Rating Guidelines. For the first time, Google has released the full version of its Search Quality Raters guidelines and handbook. It is 160 pages of wonderful SEO knowledge.". Search Engine Land. November 19, 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2020. 
  123. Slegg, Jennifer (November 25, 2015). "30+ Important Takeaways from Google's Search Quality Rater's Guidelines". SEOMoz. Retrieved 7 July 2020. 
  124. "SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs". goodreads.com. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  125. "Digital Marketing For Dummies". books.google.com.ar. Retrieved 30 June 2020. 
  126. "GOOGLE LOCAL SEO STATISTICS THAT EVERY SEARCH MARKETER SHOULD READ". seoexpertbrad.com. Retrieved 6 April 2020. 
  127. "Using page speed in mobile search ranking". webmasters.googleblog.com. Retrieved 7 January 2020. 
  128. "XRumer". botmasterlabs.net. Retrieved 29 June 2020.