BeGreat! is a revenue marketing agency. We collaborate with clients to increase their digital revenue.

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History of the SEO Service Industry

Story told by: Anthony Ragland - Celebrating 25 Years in SEO (1999-2024)

  • In 1997

    Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal says that “John Audette of Multimedia Marketing Group was using the term SEO as early as February 15, 1997.”

  • In 1998

    Google was founded on September 4, 1998, by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while at Stanford University: original dissertation paper.

  • In 1999

    Anthony Ragland, Head of SEO at BeGreat! Agency, earned a Computer Science degree, and was hired to be the Webmaster for the heavy boxing champ.

  • In 2000

    Anthony discovered Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet® at a coffee shop. Bruce Clay is one of the first people to popularize the term SEO and have SEO tools.

  • In 2001

    Danny Sullivan and his website Search Engine Watch become the source for SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) news, best practices, and events.

  • In 2002

    Anthony applies SEO + SEM tactics to grow online traffic, eCommerce orders, and fan club subscriptions for

  • In 2003

    Aaron Wall wrote “SEO Book” and launched His book, website, and tools instantly became popular within the SEO industry.

  • In 2004

    Google goes public with about 44% market share of all internet searches. If you invested $1 in Google’s IPO then, it would be worth $55 today.

  • In 2005

    Google launches two algorithm updates: (1) Jagger Update and (2) Big Daddy Update to crack down on unnatural link building, paid links, and spam.

  • In 2006

    Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools launched, two SEO tools that are foundational to technical SEO as we know it today.

  • In 2007

    Anthony grows in the field of SEO. By 2007, he’s compiled over 15,000 hours of technical SEO service on 100s of B2B & eCommerce web sites.

  • In 2008

    The Obama Campaign’s New Media team masterfully executes Web 2.0 & SEO strategies across the Internet to help win the U.S. presidency.

  • In 2009

    Google launches two algorithm updates: (1) Vince Update and (2) Caffeine Update. Also in 2009, Microsoft Live Search changed to Bing.

  • In 2010

    Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are becoming popular. A new set of SEO skills become required to include social.

  • In 2011

    Google launched a year-long algorithm update: the Panda Update (1.0 – 3.1). Also in 2011,
    Schema markup & structured data was released.

  • In 2012

    Anthony achieved top search engine rankings for keyword clusters of “Credit Card Debt” generating hundreds of thousands in SEO traffic.

  • In 2013

    Google launches algorithm updates to reward better content: the (1) Panda, (2) Payday Loan, (3) Hummingbird, and (4) Penguin updates.

  • In 2014

    Anthony achieved top search engine rankings for keyword clusters of “How to Stop Snoring” generating hundreds of thousands in SEO traffic.

  • In 2015

    Mobile searches on Google overtook desktop searches for the first time. Mobile-friendly websites are rewarded with better search rankings.

  • In 2016

    Google releases Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to help news media and publishers quickly adopt to mobile. Machine learning & AI emerge.

  • In 2017

    Google announced page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile search. Google CEO declares they are a machine learning-first company.

  • In 2018

    In 2018, WordPress had 32% market share of the CMS industry. Today, 63.1% of websites with a CMS use WordPress (43% of all websites).

  • In 2019

    Google and Bing both launched significant algorithm updates called, BERT, to better understand the intent behind users’ search queries.

  • In 2020

    Anthony launched a local search engine & eCommerce marketplace in Tennessee. The platform was impacted & dissolved by COVID.

  • In 2021

    The SEO services industry becomes saturated after COVID, with a reported 51% of SEO professionals today having less than 4 years experience.

  • In 2022

    Anthony launched BeGreat! Agency – an integrated marketing communications & advertising agency. BeGreat acquired it’s first few clients.

  • In 2023

    One of biggest years of change in SEO history. The year of AI-powered and personalized Google Search. And the end of Universal Analytics (UA).

  • In 2024

    BeGreat! pivots to become a revenue marketing agency. The agency launches it’s flagship technical SEO solution for WordPress websites.

Featured Client Brand Marketing Video

BeGreat! Agency wrote, casted, and produced this brand marketing video for CMO Swipe File™.