The Evolution of Making Page 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

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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... Read Full Bio
Jenise Uehara Henrikson
Jenise Uehara Henrikson
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  • Nick Stamoulis

    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.

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Hi Nick, I think “rollercoaster” best describes the ride! πŸ™‚ Now that we can see the path behind, anyone care to make predictions about what’s around the corner?

  • Charlie

    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. πŸ™‚

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Charlie there should be badges or medals for the ones who managed to stay on top through the changes.

  • Leslie Whittaker

    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.

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Thanks for the feedback and that is great you can use the IG with your clients. I think it does illustrate it does take an expert to stay abreast.

  • Danon

    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. πŸ™‚

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

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Danon thanks very much. Perhaps we will do an update in a year or so!

  • Matt

    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.

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Matt glad you enjoyed it.

  • Adrixe Photography

    Really cool diagram! very very well done!

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Thanks Adrixe!

  • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

    Talha I was just thinking the same thing. Anyone interested in writing a guest post about predictions for the future of the search engines and SEO?

    • Danon

      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.

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      I see the beginnings of a great office pool πŸ™‚

  • Sujan Patel

    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.

    • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      I’m no SEO expert but I think that is a spot on observation Sujan!

  • Doug Millington

    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.

  • Jan-Willem Bobbink

    Nice compilation of requirements to rank!