HighlyStructured.com is a blog website run by Mike D'Agostino about search engine positioning, online marketing, php/MySQL, tae kwon do, and various other topics.

2005 - The Year of the Search Engine

December 09, 2005

Ahhhh, the search engines...the glue that holds the Interent together...the most trafficed sites on the Web...where would we be without them? Search engines are often the launching point of many many web surfers today every time they open a new browser window.

I remember when Google first came out. Or maybe not when it first went online, but started gaining a following. I was still using AOL, and to be honest, I don't think I really performed many web searches. I remember using Alta Vista and Webcrawler, but it was rather sparingly. As I spent more and more time online and started getting into web design, I came across an article in a magazine about the best search engines. I saw Google on the list and the rest is pretty much history.

I worked out of college for a small marketing firm as a production manager. In essence I was the entire production department since I did 99% of all the production work that came through. Our main area of concentration was web design and web development, but we started offering search engine optimization probably some time in 2001/2002. My boss at the time bought a book on the subject and the ideas in that book were used as the basis of our search engine optimization strategies up until the time I left the company in 2005.

Search engine optimization had always played a back-seat role to the services we offered our clients. To be honest, I don't think many of our clients saw the benefit of it, even though we pitched over and over and stressed the importance of good search engine ranking. As time went on we picked up clients here and there as we tuned our services into a science.

By 2003/2004 Google became known as the best and probably most well-known search engine. A lot of people were still using Yahoo! (and inadvertently the address bar in AOL), but pretty much everyone we asked knew about Google. By 2004/2005 talks of the Google stocks going public began and that's really when Google became a household name.

At the end of 2004, my former employer and I brainstormed a new business plan to really push search engine optimization to our existing and new clients. After having experimented with search engine optimization over the previous few years, we now had a well-defined service to offer our clients that would offer, at a minimum, a steady increase in search engine visibility.

The plan was a success. We started pitching the "new" service, and I think that between our offering, and just the general buzz about Google and the search engines in general, we brought on many new search engine optimization accounts. Google finally went public and has now, as we're about to enter 2006, positioned itself as the most powerful online entity.

And so I say that 2005 is the "Year of the Search Engine". The year that Google and the search engines go mainstream. I mean, even people who are completely Internet-illiterate know what Google is and are vaguely familiar with what a search engine does. General Internet users see the search engines as a starting point for any kind of information they want to find. Business and money-makers see the search engines as a way to generate income and new leads. And marketing companies in general take cues from, or atleast take serious consideration to, the ways the search engines develop their own marketing services.

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