Here’s a really cool infographic from Search Engine Journal on the evolution of search engines and search engine optimization as a field/profession/pursuit. It’s amazing how much has happened in only 17 fast years and how quickly things continue to change.
A few things that really stood out for me:
- The Search Engine Marketing Industry is worth $19.3 Billion in the US alone, and has grown on average %26 year over year for over 7 years, according to the graph. That’s one good growth industry! This is no small growth, but a booming industry caused by a cultural change.
- Google has only totally dominated Search Engine Market Share since 2008. I’ve been using Google search almost exclusively since… as long as I can remember… 1998 maybe? I’m surprised to see that Google has only served over half of all online searches since 2006. Of course, Yahoo was using Google’s search technology from 2000 to 2004, so you could argue that Google has served over half of all search results for most of history, but just not through their own sites.
- Just how quickly things change! If your SEO skills are a few years out of date, you don’t have any SEO skills!
On the original post at Search Engine Journal, one of the commenters said:
“We all know that SEO is evolving but is it evolving towards more of a fusion of SEO and traditional marketing strategy? Meaning that because of Panda, “branding,” site aesthetics and consumer engagement combined with on and off page SEO are all needed to rank on the first page.”
SEO in a narrow sense is all about getting to the top of search results pages, but it’s really about getting found and converting website visitors into customers, members, fans, or whatever the purpose of your website is.
So in the proper sense, SEO is really an inseparable part of marketing.
In some ways SEO is evolving to become more like traditional marketing because traditional marketing has always been about converting people to customers. There’s also the fact that most purchases today start with online research, even purchases made in person at a store, “offline”.
So marketing is becoming more like SEO because more and more the online experience IS the marketing. People don’t want to get junk mail fliers, unsolicited email, telemarketing calls or knocks at the door during dinner time.
People just expect that you will be there online when they come looking for you.