Author Topic: History of Search Engines Posts  (Read 213 times)

BoL

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History of Search Engines Posts
« on: June 05, 2018, 10:00:01 AM »
Plenty of you I'm sure have read those mega long blog posts that cover the general timeline of search engine evolution, I remember reading some but never bothered to bookmark or remember who wrote them, they just seemed cool to read at the time. They tended to be written by SEOs who'd seen the day to day news and gradual changes implemented.

I'm interested in one that covers the general timeline of engines, mainly Google and how the real estate for organic has shrank, and how privacy has been eroded.

It'll be used by someone whose relatively inexperienced that can muster some context and facts from those articles

Do you recall any good ones (in the context of they covered the points you felt were most important)? Might need to check the wayback machine if it's older but relevant.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 10:01:38 AM by BoL »

ukgimp

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Re: History of Search Engines Posts
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2018, 11:55:49 AM »

ukgimp

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BoL

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Re: History of Search Engines Posts
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 02:22:13 PM »
Those are great Rich, cheers

Any more would be great - just building up context of how things appear the way they are now.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 02:29:22 PM by BoL »

aaron

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Re: History of Search Engines Posts
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 06:23:17 PM »
SpyFu has a nice feature which allows you to see the cached version of search pages.

So here's [credit cards] from last month
https://cache.spyfu.com/?d=20180501&name=credit%20cards

here it was from 2 years ago (notice how much more the ad labels stand out)
https://cache.spyfu.com/?d=20160501&name=credit%20cards

2014, only 3 ads up top
https://cache.spyfu.com/default.aspx?d=20140701&name=credit+cards

2013, back when they had Google Advisor/Google Compare, so there were only 2 small ads up top & then that comparison search feature
https://cache.spyfu.com/default.aspx?d=20131101&name=credit+cards

2012, ads had colored background on them
https://cache.spyfu.com/default.aspx?d=20121101&name=credit+cards

2011, before compare had graphical interface, when compare ads were above the other CPC adwords ads
https://cache.spyfu.com/default.aspx?d=20111201&name=credit+cards

you can also see how map locations & local listings & such changed over time
https://cache.spyfu.com/default.aspx?d=20120101&name=auto+insurance

of course these snapshots are for desktop views of the search results, but as big of a change as the increasing ad density of desktop SERPs has been, equally big impacts are the increasing share of searches which are done on mobile devices along with the knowledge graph + featured snippets + people also ask acting is visual displacements to drive attention back upward toward the PPC ads

then there are also vertical specific offerings in areas like flights / hotels / travel, coupled with things like hiding organic search results on mobile devices
https://searchengineland.com/google-revamps-travel-search-queries-almost-making-web-results-irrelevant-241784
https://cache.spyfu.com/default.aspx?d=20180601&name=hotels

BoL

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Re: History of Search Engines Posts
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 10:13:45 PM »
Thank you Aaron,

I'll take screenshots as the aesthetic change says a lot in itself, very much appreciated.

The baked in Google estate is something I'm aware of, at least the examples you cited. I feel people generally mistake the invasiveness of many of the things you reference with the knowledge graph stuff that's generally available from open sources. Still, when you remove the open source stuff, there's a lot of commercial motives at play.

It's just interesting especially for someone younger to know there was a time where it was simply organic + ads, and organic was purely organic.

Separately, I do speak to a lot of people in the tech industry (server / programming people), who have many years online but pretty much take search engine results as gospel and 'despise' anything that involves the conception of SEO. I feel that is a lot down to naivety and that manipulating result is a poison on the well. Given the philosophical conversations about information retrieval over the years on webmasterworld and elsewhere I'm sure everyone just has to take a neutral stance in the end.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 06:56:08 AM by BoL »

aaron

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Re: History of Search Engines Posts
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 05:20:06 PM »
Quote
I feel people generally mistake the invasiveness of many of the things you reference with the knowledge graph stuff that's generally available from open sources. Still, when you remove the open source stuff, there's a lot of commercial motives at play.
The blurring between lines is certainly intentional.  Some knowledge graph results contain ads in them & then some ad units don't look much different than the knowledge graph by design.

The slick thing Google typically does is chop big moves into 2 or 3 steps to diffuse any PR blowback.

First something is either free or done as only a test on a small part of the traffic, then it is a necessary innovation for the user experience & inferior competitors are complaining about not getting a free ride & they should instead invest in innovation and provide users more value rather than trying to hold back inevitable human & technological progress, and then finally it is how things have always been done, etc.

Quote
I do speak to a lot of people in the tech industry (server / programming people), who have many years online but pretty much take search engine results as gospel and 'despise' anything that involves the conception of SEO.
The same is true of news and PR. Nobody wants to think they wasted their time consuming an ad in disguise.

The search engines can blend the ads in so deeply that most people can't distinguish them from the unpaid results, but if anybody else ranks above where they would in this faux ideal world it is oh noz.

That is part of the reason I made sure I called out Mahalo so bluntly many years ago. That guy was trying to crap on SEOs as a narrative used to pump up a thin spam play. Had to make sure he ate some of his own cooking as a matter of principle.

martinibuster

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Re: History of Search Engines Posts
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 07:36:22 PM »
Nice posts Aaron, thanks!
 ;)