The year 1995 is very significant to the growth of search engines. Most people remember Jeeves the beloved butler from the Ask Jeeves website. The website introduced a simple concept: ask Jeeves a question and he will give you an answer in the form of a search result. It was one of the first websites to incorporate an algorithm that worked with keywords to deliver search results.
That technology was cutting-edge in 1995. In 2005, Jeeves was less present on the website, which became simply Ask.com. The website abandoned its roots as a search engine in 2010, recreating it as a question and answer site. The website and mobile app used user-generated content, rather than search results.
Ask Jeeves is still remembered as one of the earliest examples of search engine usability. While the website was flawed and often returned non-credible resources, this was due to the way the search engine was programmed. Websites that were littered with keywords would tend to come up more often when a question was posed.
Ask Jeeves lost a lot of its popularity as Google began to take over. This was partially due to Google developing better algorithms that provided people with more reputable resources and information, even during a simple web search.
Modern search engines like Google have a much better grasp of what kinds of websites and resources the average user wants to find during their search. Here are a few examples of the things Google looks at:
· Contains relevant information
· Ease of use
· Quality website design
Keywords and backlinks still play a major role when it comes to website rankings on Google. There are several other factors that search engines need to consider in order to help them weed through thousands or millions of web pages based on a single keyword. These factors weren’t accounted for in the early algorithms that Ask Jeeves introduced. Here are some examples:
· Content: Fresh content has a big impact on how it appears in the search results. Google won’t just rank websites that are updated frequently, it also looks for creative, unique content. Adding multimedia is also considered as it can help make points clearer. There are several SEO factors that designers need to consider.
· Engagement metrics: Google looks at the time people spend on a page to help determine its quality. For example, Google considers immediate click backs to indicate that the result isn’t something the average user would be interested in. The goal of the search engine is to deliver informative, relevant content first.
· Panda: The Panda algorithm was introduced in 2011 and it had an impact on about 20 percent of search results. It incorporated data from human evaluators, rather than just web crawlers. This helped them rank thousands of websites.
Search engine usability has improved significantly over the past few decades. Considering that ranking in an Ask Jeeves search result was as easy as stuffing keywords, a lot has changed. As websites compete for traffic it is important to have a stronger ranking. Highly advanced algorithms are used to judge the credibility and quality of websites found in search results.
Search engine giants like Google are constantly working on improving their algorithms. This makes their search engines faster and more reliable. The algorithm improvements also help cut down on spam and de-ranks websites that try to get around the standards set in place.
This is a major improvement from the 1995 release of Ask Jeeves.