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The History of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing. If we'd have said these two words just 10 years ago, we guarantee the majority of people wouldn't have known what we were talking about.

The world of digital marketing has grown year on year, with numerous changes and innovations. Read on to see what we think are the main milestones in the history of digital marketing.

1994: The Birth of Yahoo

Yahoo is established. By the end of 1994, Yahoo had one million hits.  

1995: The Definition of SEO

Search engine optimisation is added into the dictionary.  

1998: The Internet is introduced to Google

Google is founded and included in the Top 100 Websites for 1998.  

2000: "Internet Bubble Burst"

  • Google launches Toolbar.
  • Google AdWords introduced.
  • With the steady increase of the internet, many assumed that a company operating online would be worth millions (these companies were later known as the "dot-coms"). This anticipation was highly overvalued and premature, causing the "internet bubble burst".

2002: Rise of Adwords and Founding of LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn is Founded.
  • New AdWords: includes Cost Per Cluck pricing, set of API's and partnership with AOL.

2003: The SEO Algorithm Change

  • The first major SEO algorithm change is declared named the “Boston” update. Quickly followed was the Cassandra update, which focused on basic link quality issues and hidden text.
  • Dominic, Esmeralda, Fritz and Florida were updates that followed closely after. These proved to be the biggest changes to date and cost many sites their ranking. 

2004: Google goes public and Zuckerberg starts Facebook

  • Zuckerberg launches Facebook. Google goes public, opening at $100 a share. By the beginning of 2012, shares reached a peak of $660.
  • Gmail is introduced; by 2012, 350 million have a Gmail account. 

2005: Google gets Bigger

  • Google Maps goes live.
  • Global search engine share: Google (37%) Yahoo (30%) MSN (16%) ASK (6%) Other (11%).
  • Launch of YouTube. 

2006: Twitter & Trends

  • Twitter is launched. The thought process is condensed to 140 characters. As of 2012 it has reached 140 million users.
  • Google released Google Trends.
  • In 2016, it was reported that in the UK alone, £1,165.6m was spent on PPC (paid per click) in 2006. 

2007: The Birth of the Smartphone Revolution

  • The first smartphone is born. The iPhone.
  • In 2007, it was reported in the UK, £1,619.1m was spent on PPC (pay per click). A dramatic increase on just the year previous. 

2008: Competitor Brands/Advertising

  • Google allow paid advertisers to “bid” on competitor brands. This caused a lot of frustration and anger for larger brand owners.
  • Google now allow paid gambling and alcohol ads.  

2009: Bing/Yahoo Partnership

Bing/ Yahoo partnership begins. Bing replaces MSN and starts to feed search results on Yahoo. 

2010: The May Algorithm & The iPad

  • The May Day algorithm was released by Google which focused on long tail keywords. Sites with large-scale thin content seemed to be hit especially hard.
  • Apple releases the first iPad - the increased use in tablets contributes to the change in what platforms users are viewing digital marketing.

2011: Google +

Google launched Google+ as their version of a social media platform.

Google panda algorithm update, this sees dramatic changes in site ranking for multiple businesses.  

2012: Search Ads

Google introduced dynamic search Ads and the 'Penguin' search algorithm update. This algorithm impacted an estimated 3.1% of English queries.

2013: Responsive Marketing

  • The introduction of enhanced campaigns by Google, enforced advertisers to include all devices (desktop, mobile and tablet).
  • Google reveal the hummingbird algorithm change.
  • Snapchat enters the social networking world.

2014: HTTP Security

Google starts giving a ranking boost to secure HTTPS/SSL sites.

2015 “Mobile-geddon”

“Mobile-geddon”- this showed the change in how digital marketing was being used over the past years. This Google update announced that responsive website would be favoured in search results over desktop only websites.  

Digital Marketing with iCandy Design…

If this blog post has outlined anything, it is the continuous importance of digital marketing. As a business ourselves, iCandy Design understand the importance of adjusting our websites to fit the latest algorithms and ensuring that we are up to date with the latest trends.

iCandy Design provide marketing campaigns and activities guaranteed to deliver results. If you are interested in our services, or want more information on how we can help your business, please contact iCandy Design today!