10 years of Search Engine Marketing
The first decade of Web Marketing Workshop, 2000-2010
A lot of changes have happened in the online world since we first launched Web Marketing Workshop in the UK in 2000. Ten years ago, online business was just starting to develop as a significant marketing channel, despite the dot.com boom and bust!
These are some of things that were happening a decade ago:
- In Australia, 37% of households had Internet access in September 2000, which was up by 50% on the year before and meant that Australia ranked 6th in the world in terms of total Internet users, despite the relatively small population. Today, over 80% of households have access to the Internet but the country now ranks 26th in terms of total users.
- Data was not being collected on broadband access in Australia until 2004, since access was still very low and Telstra was just launching their new services in 2000.
- The culmination of the so-called 'Dot com' boom and bust period had affected many websites and investors earlier in 2000 and resulted in a reality check in the growth forecasts and development of commercial websites – notable 'failures' at the time included boo.com in the UK, pets.com in the US, as well as Go.com and Infospace.
- Some of the popular search engines at the time included Lycos, AltaVista, Excite, Direct Hit (purchased by Ask Jeeves).
- Google was a relatively new player in the search market, having launched in 1997, but it was beginning to gain market share and signed a deal to power Yahoo searches in 2000 as Yahoo had begun to realise that their human-edited directory was starting to fall behind the rapid growth in new website launches.
- GoTo was developing the original paid search service and gaining wide coverage on many search engines, except for Google. However, paid search was still seen as an unwelcome commercial intrusion into search engine services by many people. GoTo was eventually rebranded as Overture and then bought by Yahoo several years later.
- Some search engines, such as Ask Jeeves and Looksmart, also offered a paid inclusion service to get editorial listings appearing in search results, plus Yahoo introduced a paid submission fee to be considered for their directory listings in 2000.
- Google launched AdWords in 2000 and without the level of fanfare or comment that new launches from Google receive these days! AdWords was originally offered on a cost-per-impression basis, before it later changed to a cost-per-click model and started become more widely used around 2002.
- In the wider world, September 2000 saw the United Nations Millennium Summit being held in New York, marking the largest meeting of world leaders in history.
- In the UK, anger about fuel taxes led to blockades of many refineries and fuel depots, leading to petrol shortages.
- And, of course, in Sydney there was the small matter of the 2000 Olympic Games being held in September!
It's difficult to visualise how the online world will be in another 10 years but there's sure to be more significant changes in trends and market leading websites. You can keep up with the latest developments through our monthly newsletter, web marketing blog or Twitter account, and Web Marketing Workshop will be here for the next 10 years, supporting our customers to get the most from their online businesses.