Over the years Google has gone from being just another search engine to a household name. Instead of saying “I am going to search for xyz”, most people say “I am going to Google xyz”. While this cultural shift may have gone unnoticed by many, for others it is quite the opposite. Since Google was first founded in 1996, it has undergone many changes – as has the rest of our technological world – to bring it to where it is today. For businesses and marketing agencies, in particular, this has been a big deal. In recent years, especially, businesses have learned just how important having a presence on Google is. In order to show up on the first page of search engine results and make sure your customers can find you, you must play by Google’s rules.
Regardless of what industry you are in or how big your company is, it is imperative you understand how Google has evolved over the years and what this means for your business right now. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you aren’t in Google’s good graces, you might as well kiss any business goodbye. Let’s now take a look at where Google started and where they are today.
As mentioned, Google first began in 1996 as an idea by two Stanford students. The first iteration of Google was quite different than it is today: it was aimed at helping researchers find valuable search results through citations and other keywords. The algorithm displayed ‘valuable’ search results based on how many times they were mentioned across the entire web. While things have evolved and changed drastically, the basic idea behind this first version of Google – rewarding businesses and pages that have the most traffic and mentions – is still there.
In the following years Google engineers worked hard to find a unique algorithm that provided searchers with more relevant search results. In 2000 the first real evolution of Google began when the team developed an algorithm that brought relevant, reliable pages to the top of the search engine results.
Since 2000, Google has undergone many changes and transformations. Let’s take a brief look:
- 2003 – Google started weeding out the bad links, or ones that were undermining the algorithm in order to pop up at the top of the search results.
- 2010 – Google started to pay attention to social media in order to determine which pages were the most relevant to searchers.
- 2011-2015 – Google unveiled the Panda algorithm, which was aimed at penalizing ad-centric content pages in order to improve user experience. This was huge for Google and businesses alike, as it caused companies to step up their game and stop simply putting out fluff or thin content. During this period, Google really drove home how important high-quality, original content was. If a page was riddled with grammatical errors or spelling blips, they would be demoted.
- 2012-present – Google began introducing numerous Penguin updates, which were aimed at penalizing websites that were using ad-heavy, spammy techniques in order to try and improve their rankings. This is when keyword stuffing became a big no-no.
Over the years we have seen just how much Google has changed, not only the way we search but the way businesses market to consumers. We expect these algorithm changes to continue, all with the intention of highlighting websites and companies that are reputable and have something of value to offer. To learn more about why Google is so important to your business, please contact Tech-Critic today, Arlington’s leading digital marketing agency.