From Search Engine Inclusion to Search Engine Optimization
In the late 1990’s & very early 2000’s terms like Search Engine Inclusion & Search Engine Submission gained parlance. Search engines had Submission forms, to which Webmasters would submit a Website for getting indexed by the Search Engines ( I remember for AltaVista, you could only submit up to 5 URLs of a Website) . Website owners would then add tags to their pages & even add the keywords they wanted to rank for, and a bot from Search Engines would then index those pages. Due to reasons like spamming, etc., this practice was discontinued and eventually gave way to purely Crawler-based Search engines.
Since 2001, with the emergence of Crawler-based Search Engines, the process of Search engine submission is not required & it is actually a useless exercise. The better way would be to earn Inbound or back-links from other Websites. However, even today we have Submission pages for Yahoo !, Google & Bing ( the odd man out, Ask.com has no Submission page. Instead it indexes Websites using other links on the web).
However, the concept of Search Engine Inclusion was alive till around 2004. During that time, if you wanted to include a Website in Yahoo’s index you had to pay to Inktomi. i.e., it was paid Inclusion, to be specific. After Inktomi’s ( Yahoo had acquired Inktomi earlier ) natural death, the concept of Paid Inclusion in Crawler-based Search Engines had taken a beating. Today, it is free to get a website indexed in Crawler-based Search Engines, like Google, Yahoo, Bing & Ask.
The acronym SEO was coined, before 2000. However, the term Search Engine Optimization became popular after 2002. I remember in the year 2001, I found it very hard to get (and failed…) an investor for my SEO firm. The investor was very skeptical about the art( or Science? ) of SEO & repeatedly told me that SEO will die & something else will come in its place. However, even after 10 years now, SEO is alive & kicking with no signs of decline in the immediate future.
SEO is defined as a process by which a website is promoted online. A SEO-friendly website is easily indexed and ranked by the Search Engines which makes its probable customers find the website easily. There are a lot of techniques involved in the process of SEO and getting them to implement is another huge task. Unfortunately, over the past 12 years, a great number of misconceptions have emerged about how the search engines operate and what’s required to perform effectively.
The journey from Search Engine Inclusion to Search Engine Optimization was not easy. With the advent of Social Media, the Search Engine Algorithms seems to have been altered to favour a Website having a good presence in the Social Media. Presently, Social Media Optimization(SMO) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) are becoming more and more interlinked. It follows that if somebody has to be proficient in SEO one must also have a strong grasp of the Social Media as well.
If today, you get a mail from a purported SEO firm offering Search Engine Inclusion & Search engine submission services, run away !