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SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimizer.[1] It is a process used by webmasters to increase the number of visitors to a particular website by trying to move up its ranking on a search engine's search results page. A website with a higher rank placement in the search page will have a better chance to get more internet users to view the website.

Internet users research different things on the Internet. SEO targets the different types of searches including academic, image, local, news and video.

Search Engine

Search engine is a program that was created to organize data and help users find information on the Internet by just typing a keyword. Prior to the development of search engines, the world wide web was a collection of File Transfer Protocols (FTP), a standard network of protocol that is used to transfer data from one host to another through a TCP-based network. Because of the rapid increase of Internet users, organizing the FTP files shared on the Internet became a requirement. The search engine was created to provide easy access and navigation of information in the world wide web.[2]

Different Search Engines

Alan Emtage, a student from Mc Gill University in Montreal, developed the first search engine called Archie in 1990. It is an index or archive of files stored on unknown FTP sites to a given network of computers. After one year, in 1991, another search engine named Gopher was created by Mark McCahill from the University of Minnesota.

In 1993, Excite search engine was created by six undergraduate students from the University of Stanford to improve the relevance of searches on the Internet.

In 1994, several search engines were created such as Yahoo by David Filo and Jerry Young; Web Crawler by Brian Pinkerton, a computer science engineering student from the University of Washington; Lycos which was developed by Dr. Michael Mauldin and a team of researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University, and Infoseek which as created by Steve Kirsch.

In 1995, Alta Vista was developed by scientists at Digital Equipment Corporation’s (DEC) Western Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California and in 1996 Inktomi was developed by Eric Brewer while Ask was developed by Garret Gruener and David Warthen. The search engine was launched as Ask Jeeves in 1997. Subsequently Google was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both students from the University of Stanford. Google was incorporated in 1998, and it became the most popular search engine to date.

In 1998, Bill Gross launched Overture while MSN Search was offered by Microsoft as part of their service offering.The latest search engine that was developed was alltheweb in 1999. It was purchased by Overture in 2003 and eventually acquired by Yahoo after purchasing Overture.[3]

Beginnings of SEO

According to SEO experts, website owners realized the importance of being in the top place of the search engine to increase the revenue of their businesses in the middle of 1990s.

Danny Sullivan, is considered among the pioneers who started optimizing the search engine. In 1995, one of his clients inquired why his website doesn't appear on top of the search engine. This prompted Sullivan to find information on how to increase the ranking of a certain website on the search engine. In 1996, he published the Webmasters Guide to Search Engine and subsequently created the Search Engine Watch'.[4]

About the same year, Bruce Clay, President and CEO of Bruce Clay, Inc. started optimizing the websites of his clients by editing pages for the search engine Infoseek.[5]

In 1999, Danny Sullivan organized the first SEO strategies conference in San Francisco. It was attended by approximately 200 individuals and Bruce Clay was one of the speakers.

Other SEO pioneers include Greg Boser, Christine Churchill, John Audette, Derrick Wheeler, and Marshall Simmonds.

Types of SEO

The different types of SEO include:[6]

  1. White Hat SEO uses the techniques and strategies that follows the guidelines set by search engines without deception by using useful content and valuable content for readers. This type of SEO is incapable of generating results if the content of a web page is poorly written.
  2. Black Hat SEO is a strategy that uses tricks or unethical ways to gain high ranking in the search engine results page. It doesn't follow the rules set by search engines.


Here’s the summary of the SEO tracking tools:[7]

  • Competitive analysis
  • Keyword ranking
  • Keyword research
  • Link building
  • Link research
  • Local SEO software
  • Mobile SEO software
  • On site audit
  • SEO report card
  • SEO suites


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