SEO optimization is more and more popular in recent years. Business owners, more than ever, become aware of the fact that this is an important part of creating and maintaining their websites, because it enables to move to the top of search results. SEO, of course, had to build its popularity for a long time. Let´s now look at evolution of SEO.

The emergence of SEO

First steps to optimize websites began to implement in the first years of the Internet, so since 1990. Since 1994 the first modern web search engines began to appear. Yahoo counted among the most popular search engine, then there were search engines Lycos and Galaxy. However, they were only web directories, not the full-text search engines, as we know them today. In 1994 the first full-text search engine WebCrawler was created.

During this period, there were early attempts to influence the position in search results, which gave rise to a new field - search engine optimization. Due to a small amount of information, for a successful SEO optimization was enough to add new content to indexing robots. Manual inserting into the indexing robots was soon replaced by automatic programmes and the Internet slowly began to be filled with the information.

At the same time, other Internet search engines, such as AltaVista, Excite, Infoseek and others were created. In those days, the number of keyword occurrences on the page was used to sort results. SEO focused on increasing the keyword density as one of the most important factors. This also used the now banned techniques such as duplicate text insertion or text insertion in the background, through which the user saw something other than search engine indexing robots. Because of these fraudulent techniques, search engines stopped returning relevant search results and distrust of the Internet slightly increased.

In response to this situation an innovative concept of sorting search results was created in 1996. This concept was firstly launched by Google (back then called BackRub), which began to establish the sequence of results by the number of backlinks which refer to the website. SEO gained a new tool, so-called linkbuilding, whose purpose is to create the highest number of backlinks.

Algorithms oriented on-page factors

As the time passed, search engines began to sort search results according to their own search algorithms. The algorithm was basically a simple criteria scale with a different importance. On the basis of performance of these criteria, algorithms then assign varying degrees of relevance to websites and according to it they order search results. SEO began to get to the fore, because it allowed to reach websites top positions thanks to their modifying in accordance with the criteria of the algorithm.

At this time more and more people began to use the Internet to search information, even in the business sphere. The Internet has become an important marketing tool and demand for SEO slowly began to grow. Marketing companies had sensed an opportunity and a number of companies offering SEO services had been created.

In 1997, one of the SEO agencies managed to decode all 35 parameters of the search engine Excite and then it completely adapted websites to this algorithm. This optimization ensured clients of agency the first rank in the search engines.

Optimization results were already apparent within 24 hours, no wonder that SEO in this period really enjoyed great popularity. In the SEO optimization there was discovered other fraudulent technique called cloaking. Cloaking means that the server sends a different version of websites to search engine robots and it then displays the website visitors the other ones.

By 1998, the relevance of websites was determined by all the algorithms using only on-page factors, which are the factors related only to the content and page code. These factors were (and still are) using SEO a very easily influenced, in addition to it, the use of fraudulent techniques of SEO was more and more frequent. The result was a very significant decrease in the relevance of search results at the top positions.

Algorithms focused on off-page factors

Participants of the first Conference of SEO in 1998 responded to this situation, who pointed to the fact that it is necessary to programme the algorithms better. Algorithms from the on-page factors should refocus more on off-page factors, which include website age or number of backlinks. After this conference, search engine algorithms have undergone considerable change and become more complex.

SEO experts have not been able to break the algorithms and therefore, almost from day to day, the search results markedly changed. Websites optimized for the previous algorithms have failed down deep in the search results and companies dealing with SEO optimization suddenly faced a serious decline of interest in their services.

SEO specialists have tried to find new ways of influencing position in search engines. As one of the important factors became a number of backlinks mentioned above, there were so-called linkfarms, which began to emerge to serve to collecting a huge number of links referring to each other. Due to registering for a larger number of such websites, the web receives a sufficient number of backlinks, which helps it to strengthen its position in search results.

The emergence of PageRank

Another breakthrough benefit of Google was the introduction of PageRank in 2000. Using PageRank search engine began to analyze the quality of its website and backlinks and on the basis of evaluation of these two characteristics, it assigned the site a value of 0 – 10. Pagerank emerged as an excellent way of evaluation and gradually began to appear even in more search engines.

SEO Today

Over the years search engines undergone many changes, some disappeared, others were bought by larger companies. There are also new search engines, such as Microsoft's Bing. The most popular is undoubtedly the Google search engine, which in 2006 used 45% of users. Nowadays, it is (the figure for September 2010) used by for almost 84% of Internet users.

It is therefore not surprising that at present SEO is focused primarily on obtaining the highest PageRank, which since its inception, has undergone a series of minor adjustments, however, persisted to this day. The algorithm for calculating PageRank Google carefully hides, however its constituents are generally known. Constant subject of speculation are rather the weights of individual criteria.

To increase the PageRank and thus the position in search results, SEO focuses on:

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