It’s February 13 — a significant day in Search Marketing History. On this day in 1998, the first version of Google was released. This day also marks the anniversary of the launch of the Overture Advertising Network and the birth of the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) industry.
The first version of Google was launched on February 13, 1998 by two Stanford graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It was the first iteration of the now-ubiquitous and globally-popular search engine. The two founders developed an innovative approach to indexing web pages and a complex algorithm to rank them.
At the time, it was a revolutionary concept and Google went on to become the first search engine to use Trust Rank and PageRank algorithms to determine websites’ relative position on the SERP.
Two years later, on February 13, 2000, the Overture Advertising Network was launched, revolutionizing the search marketing industry and paving the way for PPC.
What made Overture stand out from its competitors was its pay-per-click model – advertisers only had to pay for their ads when someone clicked on them. Meanwhile, other search engines such as Go To and AltaVista had a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) pricing model. This model meant that advertisers would have to pay regardless of whether or not someone clicked on the ad.
Key Milestones in Search Marketing
Since the launch of these two influential search marketing products, there have been several key developments in the industry. Here are a few of the most important milestones:
• 2003 – Google AdWords was launched, offering advertisers more control over their campaigns and the ability to target specific keywords.
• 2006 – Google acquired the popular video platform YouTube, introducing the world of video advertising.
• 2008 – The launch of the Google Display Network broadened the reach of advertisers by allowing them to display their ads on websites and in applications across the web.
• 2009 – Google integrated its search, display, and mobile ad networks together in one platform, called AdWords, to offer advertisers more visibility and insights into their campaigns.
• 2011 – Google introduced Quality Score, a new algorithm that determines the relevance of an ad to a search query.
• 2015 – AdWords launched its Smart Bidding feature, which allowed advertisers to automate the bidding process and optimize their campaigns based on the performance of the ad.
• 2018 – Google launched its analytics offering for advertisers, Google Attribution, allowing them to track the performance of their campaigns across multiple channels.
Today, search marketing is a core component of modern marketing. It has evolved from its humble beginnings to become an industry that powers the success of many businesses. It all started on February 13, 1998 when the first version of Google was launched and two years later, when the Overture Advertising Network ushered in the PPC industry.