The Evolution of Making Page 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Since the early caveman days of web directories and search, webmasters have been figuring out how to outrank competitors while the search engines continually refined and fiddled with ranking criteria. It’s the ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario: Did SEOs make search more sophisticated? Or did the search engines just make SEOs smarter?

Take a look below at where both began (factoid: 1997 was the first documented use of the term “search engine optimization”). The factors that help win the page 1 crown have certainly changed over the years in the ongoing battle to improve quality and relevance in organic search.
(click to enlarge)

This is part of a special infographic series by Search Engine Journal. To see the rest go here.

Jenise Uehara Henrikson
Jenise is the CEO of Alpha Brand Media, home of Search Engine Journal and LinkPatrol, a WordPress plugin that enables users to find and fix outgoing links on their websites.
Jenise Uehara Henrikson
Jenise Uehara Henrikson

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19 thoughts on “The Evolution of Making Page 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

  1. It’s really interesting to see how the SEO industry has changed in such a short time. If we can take anything away from this infographic it’s that SEO is always evolving. Tactics come and go and come back with a twist.

  2. Great info-graphic! I remember Overture back in 2000… that was the ONLY way to paid search. Meta-data was the ALL “SEO”…”Florida” update was a big headache back in 2003… maybe like “Panda” today or even worst.

    Great memories for all of us who still trying to “survive” and adapt to the “new” SEO. :)

  3. What an amazing graphic. I will certainly be using with my clients. It’s astounding how many changes have been created in such a short amount of time.

    I love that search results are becoming more relevant to my unique tastes and that spamming your way to the top is a difficult if not impossible task. I love that the organic results are getting better and better at delivering the most relevant content and best businesses not just the ones who have the money to “buy” their way to the top.

    It certainly makes businesses have to step up their entire game. Fully demonstrate that they are a leader in their given industry, not just someone with a lot of money to throw around.

  4. Its amazing to see how quickly it went from Keyword Stuffing to 200+ factors in determining ranking. Its even more interesting to see how a great info-graphic spans across all 4 SEO factors to top ranking. :)

    Well done, this is one of the better graphics I have seen!

  5. So interesting presentation about the online marketing evaluation. I am amazed to see after 2006 introduction of twitter in just 5 years it become so much popular also how google capture market. Thanks so much for nice graphics. Wonderful.

    1. Thats a great idea, we were just having this discussion in the office. Everyone was speculating on ranking factors and triggers for the future, and predictions are fun.

  6. We all know that SEO is evolving but is it evolving towards more of a fusion of SEO and traditional marketing strategy? Meaning that because of Panda, “branding,” site aesthetics and consumer engagement combined with on and off page SEO are all needed to rank on the first page.

  7. Two things jump out at me – the evolution of search and the internet is moving at warp speed and the old saying – the only constant is change. It’s also ironic that your timeline for the evolution of making page 1 comes out just before Facebook announces its new timeline feature. A little serendipity.