Webmasters started website optimization for the search engines in the 1990’s. The phrase search engine optimization probably came into use in 1997. That was the time when the search engines were first introduced to the web. The initial optimization process involved the webmasters to submit the URL or the address of the page to the search engines. These search engines would send a spider (a program) to crawl through the submitted link and used to extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page. In this process, the spider downloads a page and stores it on the search engine's own server then a second program namely an indexer, extracts various data about the page, such as the words it contains and where these are located, as well as weightage for specific words, and all links that page contains, which are then placed into a scheduler for crawling at a later date.

For everything on earth, man finds how to adulterate it. And, this is not an exception to it. As days passed, the knowledge about SEO grew up with webmasters and some of them started manipulating to get high ranking. These happened as a consequence of site owners starting to recognize the value of having their sites highly ranked and visible in search engine results which at first gave opportunities for white hat and black hat SEO practitioners and then competition grew over at an alarming rate with a number of practitioners coming into existence.

As a preventive measure, the ways by which manipulation occurred were found and tried for solving. Some were rectified and some were not. So the entire process was changed which involved much complicated ways so as to avoid manipulation and the sites found guilt were removed from the search engines’ database.

In view to provide better results to their users, search engines had to adapt to ensure their results pages showed the most relevant search results, rather than falling prey to the manipulated sites. The triumph and fame of a search engine is determined by its ability to produce the most relevant results to any given search, if the results were irrelevant, it would obviously turn the users to seek for a better search engine, as competition always stayed in this field. To make sure of this, search engines were developed with more complex ranking algorithms, taking into account additional factors that were more difficult for anyone to manipulate.

By 2004, search engines had incorporated a wide range of unrevealed factors in their ranking algorithms to diminish the impact of manipulation.

Nowadays, the search engines had started personalizing search results for each user. This was a milestone in the history of SEO as the ranking of a website will be meaningless with the user personalized searching option. These searches mainly concentrated on the user’s previous searches and several other factors. Google says it now uses more than 200 such factors to provide the search results.

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