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 1-minute brand marketing video for our client, High Resolutions.