by Patrick Compton

December 20, 2019

Marketing 3 min read
SEO

The History of Search Engines and Their Algorithms: How Do They Impact SEO

There’s a saying that goes, “When life gives you questions, Google has answers.” This can’t be any truer.

Looking for the best steak restaurant near you? Or a crafts store that sells fabric glue? What about an agency to launch your marketing campaign?

Google — and search engines altogether — has been there with all the answers.

Because of their impact on daily life, they play a huge role in growing your audience online. That’s why SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) exists.

But before understanding how SEO works, you need to understand how search engines work.

Let’s discuss the history of search engines and their algorithms.

The Early Days of Search

We take for granted how smart Google and other search engines are. They use advanced systems categorise and rank information, understand voice search, and personalise search results.

So much has changed from the early days of search.

For example, if you didn’t know the exact spelling of a website’s name, you’d be unable to find it. Search results were often clogged with spam. And, it took new businesses weeks or months to get their content indexed.

Archie, the first search engine, came online in 1990.

By today’s standards, Archie was simple. But it was groundbreaking technology at the time. Archie searched FTP (File transfer protocol) sites and indexed downloadable files.

But because of the limited file space, you could only view listings and not the actual content of sites.

Since Archie, hundreds of search engines have come and gone. Let’s take a look at the origins of some of the bigger names:

Search Engines History

Major Google Algorithm Changes of the Years

When we talk about search, we’re talking about Google.

Google dominates nearly 75% of the global market. So any changes in their algorithm impact SEO on a major scale.

Since 2000, there have been thousands of updates over the years. Most changes are minor. But major updates like Panda, Pigeon, and RankBrain have redefined SEO.

So it's a no-brainer that businesses need to keep track of Google updates. This helps them adjust their SEO strategies and improve their rankings.

Experts refer to Google’s updates as either confirmed and unconfirmed. Confirmed changes Google acknowledges publicly. Unconfirmed updates are major changes experts have noticed but Google will not comment on.

Here are some of the biggest changes over the years.

Major Google Algorithm Changes of the Years

These are just 10 of the many Google updates from over the years. The big takeaway here is Google is constantly creating new ways to optimise search. So webmasters must adapt to sharpen their SEO strategies.

Looking into the Future of Search Engines

Google’s continues to reshape search engines through voice search and AI assistants (Google Assistant).

For businesses to stay competitive, they need to stay ahead of the latest changes. Begin with search engine updates. And from here, develop a solid SEO plan that ensures you stay ahead of the pack.

To do that, you need to learn all the essentials of SEO.

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