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The History Of Search Engines, Who Needs SEO?

Aug 17, 2007
Search engines are programs that help people find information they are hunting for on the Internet. They maintain massive databases of websites compiled by programs called crawlers, spiders or robots, which spider across the web to collect information from the various websites. This information is then indexed and catalogued into the database by the search engine. The search engine retrieves the relevant information for the user when they key in the phrase on which information is sought.

The first search engine that surfaced in the Internet world was in 1989 and was named Archie (contraction of Archives) by its inventor, Alan Emtage. Archie is called the 'grandfather of all search engines' and is no longer used. The 'grandmother of search engines', Veronica, arrived 4 years later in 1993. These ancient search engines were soon followed by a host of modern-day search engines, some prominent ones being:

AliWeb (1993)
WebCrawler (1994)
Lycos (1994)
Yahoo! (1995)
AltaVista (1995)
Excite (1995)
HotBot (1996)
Inktomi (1996)
Ask Jeeves (1997)
GoTo (1997, renamed as Overture in 2001)
Google (1998)
MSN (Microsoft Network, 1998)
DirectHit (1998)
AllTheWeb (1999)
Teoma (2000)
Yahoo! Search (2004)
MSN Search (2004)
Ask.com (2005, re-branded Ask Jeeves)
Windows Live Search (2006)

Ask Jeeves acquired DirectHit in 2000 and Teoma in 2001, while Yahoo! acquired Inktomi in 2002 and Overture in 2003. Today the major players in web search market are giants like Google, Yahoo! and MSN. There is a kind of 'search engine war' going on among them, with each one trying to be a step ahead than the other in order to gain increasingly more users and get a bigger bite of the search market pie.

Who Needs SEO?

Studies have shown that most Internet users, while hunting for information on any search engine, rarely click past the first three or four search engine results pages (SERPS). In fact, many would not even go beyond the first page if they find satisfactory information on the first page itself. This means that your website remains as good as invisible (to people who matter, people whom you want to attract to your site and, obviously, make money) if it is not listed in the first one or two SERPS, irrespective of how many search engines crawlers may have spotted and seen your site. These studies also show that most people prefer to click on natural search results rather than on paid sponsored results.

The question that arises then is: How do you make your website visible and stand out from amongst millions of web pages? This is where a search engine optimization consultant (SEO consultant) steps in. SEO refers to a website marketing strategy that involves preparing a website for submission to a search engine in such an optimal way that its chances of making it to the top one or two SERPS for a given keyword or key phrase are maximized in a natural crawler-based search. A search engine optimization consultant while optimizing your website will pay attention to a number of factors such as appropriate key phrases to be used in the content of your website (the single most important factor), the structure of website's copy writing and the page layout, the HTML meta-tags, generating incoming backlinks, the submission process, etc.

Without using the services of a search engine optimization consultant for your website, it is highly unlikely to be ranked high on search engines results pages and thus reach your target customers, however good your content may be. Even the best quality content would require some legitimate SEO, because even if content is considered the king, SEO is the queen. With the right advice from a clever search engine optimization consultant, any online business can benefit from a legitimate SEO campaign and get their website where it should be in front of the customers.

To sum up, SEO by a professional search engine optimization consultant is a very important and essential course of action for any website marketing itself on WorldWideWeb in order to make money or to be noticed as one of best in the industry.
But the importance of your SEO campaign being genuine and fair cannot be stressed enough.

There is absolutely no point getting your website a higher ranking on SERPS by spamming methods (e.g., by stuffing your content with irrelevant popular keywords, using tricks to fool the search engines or by generating backlinks from some useless websites), because in spite of your high ranking you will not be able to convert visitors to clients, defeating the whole purpose of your SEO campaign. The only way you can make money on the net on a steady basis is by first making the content of your website informative, up-to-date, and relevant to your business, and then take the help of a search engine optimization consultant to launch a legitimate SEO campaign, all else, including money, will follow automatically.
About the Author
James Johnson, a search engine consultant who is more and more getting involved with repairing web sites.

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