The term ‘Search Engine Optimization’ (SEO) was coined in the late 90’s by an early internet marketing pioneer, Danny Sullivan (History of SEO, n.d). At that period people were just beginning to explore the money-making possibilities that the internet had to offer. Early search engines were primarily text-based archives of indexed websites. As the internet evolved and grew, a new concept of ranking emerged to display search results ranked from most relevant to least. Out of that shift came the idea of optimizing web pages to appear higher in ranked results.
By strategically using key words, businesses could put their sites in front of potential customers who were already searching for their product or service. While there has been some debate over the years about the need for SEO and whether or not its truly effective in driving traffic, the bottom line is that search engine optimization is a way for businesses to leverage their advertising and marketing budget in a way that was previously unthinkable. SEO opens the doors to previously unthinkable markets, for free.
The History of SEO, n.d. History of SEO website, retrieved from: http://www.thehistoryofseo.com/The-Industry/The_History_of_Search_Engine_Optimization.aspx