IndustryA visual history of Google SERPs: 1996 to 2017

A visual history of Google SERPs: 1996 to 2017

Over the past 20 years, Google has revolutionized how we source information, how we buy products, and how advertisers sell those products to us. And yet, one fact remains stubbornly true: the shop-front for brands on Google is still the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Over the past 20 years, Google has revolutionized how we source information, how we buy products, and how advertisers sell those products to us.

And yet, one fact remains stubbornly true: the shop-front for brands on Google is still the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

The original lists of static results, comprised of what we nostalgically term ‘10 blue links’, have evolved into multi-media, cross-device, highly-personalized interfaces that can even adapt as we speak to them. There are now images, GIFs, news articles, videos, and podcasts in SERPs, all powered by algorithms that grow evermore sophisticated through machine learning.

Nonetheless, in the face of such change, it still matters where our website ranks on those all-important SERPs. The content of those results pages, however, is in constant flux, as a result of 20 years of innovations and new products.

We experience this evolution iteratively and, while we can all appreciate that significant changes have taken place, it can be easy to lose sight of the wider context and acknowledge just how radical the overhaul of Google results has been.

Google hasn’t always got it right along the way, but it has always been willing to put its failures aside and invest again in new initiatives. As such, we thought it a good time to take a step back and look at Google’s evolution over the past two decades, its many successes and its few notable failures, through the lens of the humble SERP.

 

Infographic created by Clark Boyd, Safiya Lawrence, and graphic designer Chelsea Herbert.

Resources

The Third-Party Data Deprecation Playbook

whitepaper | Digital Marketing The Third-Party Data Deprecation Playbook

3m
Utilizing Email To Stop Fraud-eCommerce Client Fraud Case Study

whitepaper | Digital Marketing Utilizing Email To Stop Fraud-eCommerce Client Fraud Case Study

4m
21 Steps To Email Deliverability Success

whitepaper | Digital Marketing 21 Steps To Email Deliverability Success

4m
Email, The Weapon Against Identity Fraud

whitepaper | Digital Marketing Email, The Weapon Against Identity Fraud

5m