Basic SEO course – Chapter -2

SEO started with the innovation of the search technology of the world wide web; this is a common understanding. When we got search engines in the form of yellow pages first, we wished to be on that list for getting visitors to our websites.

The history goes to the 1990s when we first got to see a website keeping index of popular websites. DMOZ was one of the most reputed web directories like a yellow page, that was used by Google, LookSmart,, and Yahoo. These web directories were the most searched websites. Next, we got a “Yahoo search” that was based on Yahoo directory. Yahoo and Google both used DMOZ and it was a matter of reputation to be in the list of DMOZ, this directory was an open directory project by Mozilla.

Our company Indian SEO was formed in 2004, we had three main search engines at that time, Yahoo, Google, and Bing, it was much easier for websites to get ranked, the first goal at that time was to get a listing in DMOZ. Let’s not forget Alexa’s ranking, which was based on the number of internet explorer users having Alexa toolbar installed. Funny!

Term search engine optimization becomes the official name for SEO much latter, tech guys used to call this with a different similar name like:

  • Search engine positioning
  • Search engine registration
  • Website promotion
  • Search placement
  • Search ranking

If we try to understand the meaning of the word “search engine optimization”, that refers to optimizing search engines but, do we optimize search engines? No, we can not do that, the correct word should be “website optimization for search engines” (WOSE).

The idea of optimization or improving a website so that they can get a better placement in search engine result page to get visitors, in present ever booming internet world we have many other sources of visitors like video blogs, micro text blogs, social media websites, paid advertisement, games, tv advertisements, newspapers, but we have to calculate the return on investment (ROI). And when you do a quick research, you will find organic ranking, one of the best of all.

Today entire SEO industry is mainly targeting Google, the search engine boss, because globally they have almost 92% market share, next is Bing with 2% and Yahoo only with less than 2%. In India market share of Google is much higher at 98%, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, YANDEX RU, and Ecosia are not even at 1%.

There is one more term “search engine marketing” (SEM), that was used by many authors, but finally, search engine optimization is the most used term, and it is going to stay with us till the next generation. Google on different help pages for webmasters, clearly explains SEO is good if it is done to improve your website, trying to manipulate search result page by unethical means is bad, and you might get penalized. It is recommended for every webmaster to read carefully what is advice by Google.

History of search engines

Today our life decisions are guided by search engines, we use to search for online shopping, reading news, traveling, learning about medicine, for entertainment, sports, software download, even for finding local barbershop. Search engines are very intelligent and platform-independent, we use them on TV, mobile, Desktop, Laptop, and tablets. They keep a track of what we search, what is our location, what kind of products we are interested in, based on our search behaviors we see advertisements on all over pages we visit.

It was much easier to rank at that time because search engines had limited capabilities to rank, webmasters use to have keyword-rich text and adequate HTML tags like Title, Description, and Keyword.

1994: Jerry Wang and David Filo students of Stanford University created Yahoo as an Internet bookmark list and directory of popular websites. Website owners had to manually submit their website is Yahoo directory for listing. Once a listing is done it was available for end-users for keywords searched related to submitted title and description. AltaVista, Excite, and Lycos also launched around this time.

1996: Another two bright students of Stanford University Page and Brin launched Backrub a new search engine that ranked websites based on the number of inbound links, website relevancy, popularity, and text written on them. We know Backrub today as Google. At this time HotBot, powered by Inktomi, was also launched.

1998: MSN search was launched initially powered by Inktomi. was launched with sponsored links and paid search results. Goto was finally acquired by Yahoo. DMOZ became the most important web directory for SEO practitioners to get their pages listed in search engines.

2000: This was time for Google’s boom, Yahoo allowed google powered organic search result for worldwide users, one of the worst strategic moves in the history of search engines by Yahoo. This year Google launched a toolbar “Google Toolbar” to be installed in internet explorer, and SEO experts could see website PageRank in a small green bar (0 to 10). Same year, Adwords was launched to show paid Ads on search result pages on top, right, and bottom, revenue module of Google.

2003: Google acquired and launched AdSense to show contextually targeted ads on publisher sites. Mix of AdWords and AdSense started monetizing for common internet publishers.

2004: We got our company Indian SEO established. In December 2004 domain was registered by Abhishek, our founder.

Assignment: Write an article comparing the origin of Yahoo and Google, history, and revenue module of both search engines, upload the same in your shared Google drive and mail to