BLOG 1990 to 2020: 30 Major Changes in 30 Years of Digital Marketing

Published: Mar 22, 2020 4 min read
Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Ankush Mahajan

Source: Entrepreneur

Digital marketing has come a long way from when it started in 1990. The story of digital marketing will not be complete without giving special credit to Google. Thanks to Google’s continuous efforts, we are in a golden era of digital marketing, where there are no more flashy websites, doorway pages, sneaky redirects, nor all such practices.

Major changes that have taken place in the digital marketing industry since it started:

1. Search Engines Revolution is the biggest thing in the last 30 years of digital marketing. Yahoo started it and then Google superseded it and changed the dynamics of the way people search information.

2. Responsive design changed the internet and definition of website design. Ethan Marcotte suggested the approach and has now become the standard of website design.

3. The user experience is there from the 1990s, but it was Apple that launched the UX terminology in the digital world when they launched the iPhone in 2007. From there UX became part of everything we do in digital marketing.

4. In 2016, mobile searches (51 per cent) overtook desktop searches for the first time. That was the time when business owners started thinking seriously to optimize their websites and marketing campaigns for mobile devices.

5. “Content is king,” this quote from Microsoft founder Bill Gates became a success mantra for many digital marketers. However, the content was not king in digital marketing until Google released Google Panda in 2011 with a strict set of content-related guidelines.

6. Text is only one type of content.  Google took 15 years to understand this. But after the universal search (2007) update, Google starting indexing videos, images, pdf files content in search engine result pages (SERPs).

7. Data-driven content marketing brought another shift in it. It was the year of 2015-16 when digital marketers frequently started creating content after analyzing their past data and industry reports.

8. How fast does your website load? Page speed came into limelight in 2006 when Amazon claimed they saw 1 per cent increase in total revenue with a mere 100-millisecond increase in their page speed.

9. Google introduced the Rank Brain algorithm in 2015 to provide relevant search results. It was one of the major steps by Google to improve user experience and crushed black hat SEO practices.

10. With the birth of Social media channels like LinkedIn (2002), Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006), etc. digital marketing took an interesting turn. Social media emerges as a competitive threat to Google and digital marketers started thinking beyond Google to advertise their products and services.

11. Social media has started to connect people but after a few years, it becomes one of the best channels to buy and sell.

12. We saw the transition phase from link building to link earning. After the Google Penguin update, people began to understand that link quality matters more than quantity. Many companies start using tools like SERP ninja to create natural back links.

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