Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a process which improves the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via search results. The higher on the page and more frequently a site or page appears in the search list, the more people will visit it. This process gives a website web presence.
SEO is an Internet marketing strategy. It considers how search engines work nd what people search for. A tactic of SEO is to promote a site to increase the number of backlinks or inbound links. It may involve removing barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and associated coding to raise its relevance to specific keywords.
In the mid-1990s, as the first search engines were cataloging the early days of the Web, webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines. The phrase “search engine optimization” came into use in 1997, according to industry analyst Danny Sullivan. The first documented use of the term was by John Audette (http://www.thehistoryofseo.com/seo-interviews/john-audette/) and his company Multimedia Marketing Group as documented by a web page from their site from February, 1997 on the Internet Way Back machine.
Early search engines suffered from abuse and ranking manipulation. To provide better results, search engines had to adapt and grow to make sure their page results showed relevant results. The success and popularity of a search engine is determined by its most relevant results, allowing results to be false or overly stuffy with words would turn users to other search sources. Search engines had to develop complex rankings that were more difficult for webmasters to manipulate.
In 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. Both off-page and on-page factors were considered for page rankings. This enables Google to avoid manipulation like the kind seen by search engines who only consider on-page factors for their rankings. Since Google has a simple design, it has attracted a loyal following among the growing number of Internet users.
To reduce the impact of link manipulation, a wide range of undisclosed factors in page rankings was incorporated by search engines by 2004. Google uses more than 200 different signals in their ranks of sites. Google and Yahoo, the leading search engines, do not disclose their factors in page rankings.
In an attempt to make search results timely and more relevant, by late 2009 real-time-search was introduced. This approach places importance on current, fresh, and unique content in search results rankings.