Search Engine Journal: 20 Years of SEO: A Brief History of Search Engine Optimization . “Search engine optimization (SEO) very much revolves around Google today. However, the practice we now know as SEO actually pre-dates the world’s most popular search engine co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Although it could be argued that SEO and all things search engine marketing began with the launch of the first website published in 1991, or perhaps when the first web search engine launched, the story of SEO ‘officially’ begins a bit later, around 1997.”
Bloomberg: Father of the Web Confronts His Creation in the Era of Fake News. “The World Wide Web is 28 years old. But these days it often appears to have the growing pains of a teenager. There’s the scourge of fake news, growing pockets of censorship around the world, the fiery debate over net neutrality and more. When teens get into trouble, you typically talk to the parents. As it happens, I had the opportunity last week to interview Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who was working for the European research organization CERN back in 1989 when he proposed the idea of using a tool called a web browser to visit distinct pages on the internet, each with an individual domain name and connected via a network of hyperlinks.”
TechCrunch: After the end of the startup era. “Hordes of engineering and business graduates secretly dream of building the new Facebook, the new Uber, the new Airbnb. Almost every big city now boasts one or more startup accelerators, modeled after Paul Graham’s now-legendary Y Combinator. Throngs of technology entrepreneurs are reshaping, ‘disrupting,’ every aspect of our economy. Today’s big businesses are arthritic dinosaurs soon devoured by these nimble, fast-growing mammals with sharp teeth. Right Er, actually, no. That was last decade. We live in a new world now, and it favors the big, not the small. The pendulum has already begun to swing back. Big businesses and executives, rather than startups and entrepreneurs, will own the next decade; today’s graduates are much more likely to work for Mark Zuckerberg than follow in his footsteps.”
Ars Technica: More than a decade later, how do original YouTube stars feel about the site?. “Modern YouTube stars can bring in millions of dollars through sponsorship and companies they own and run (often built on the foundation of their videos). Polish and premise on-site can match most of what you’d find on TV or streaming services. Accordingly, someone like Jacob Sartorius is better-known to a generation of young men and women than many mainstream celebrities. But even in YouTube’s early going, there were people creating videos and growing some kind of community—it’s just their experiences differed quite a bit from the meteoric video star risings of today, plenty of which end in lucrative business partnerships or studio-based opportunities.” Extensive, thoughtful article.
BBC: Just google it: The student project that changed the world. “Google dominates the search market, handling close to 90% of searches worldwide. Many businesses rely on ranking highly in its organic search results. And Google constantly tweaks the algorithm that decides them. Google gives general advice about how to do well, but it is not transparent about how it ranks results – not least because that would give away the information necessary to game the system. We would be back to searching for cars and getting porn.” I do not agree with everything in this article – actually I yelled at the monitor a couple of times – but it’s a good backgrounder.
If you’ve been on the Web for 20+ years you’ll enjoy this: Alan Levine falls down a Gopher hole.
The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is getting an update. “The Wayback Machine, a service used by millions to access 19 years of the Web’s history, is about get an update. When completed in 2017, the next generation Wayback Machine will have more and better webpages that are easier to find. The Internet Archive, with generous support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), is re-building the Wayback Machine which currently offers access to 439+ billion Web captures including Web pages, video and images.” Hit the link for the roundup of changes. Looking forward to it.