In the early days, as more and more independent dial-up and then broad band providers began to supplement the AOL and Compuserve market, the prevalance of truly naked portals like Lycos and Yahoo grew. Further growth of search engines like Infoseek, Go, and Alta Vista sparked a new need to look for alternative means of ranking their index of pages. Exotic engines like Direct hit would measure how long you stayed on the page you clicked and how long before you came back if at all. Google analytics today attempts to provide statistics as to the average time on the site.
Search Engine Optimization today can be completely ignored, as some players for certain keywords can skip the lengthy time to rank a website by using alternate means such as FaceBook pages and FaceBook advertising. Groupon and other coupon sites will market products and services relentlessly for the right price.
But still, the ultimate measure of importance for established keywords requires that we consider a level of SEO to earn our entitled position in search engines. While not number one always, a search for the term 'Hammer' quickly leads us the the Estwing brand, an indestructible and well regarded brand of hammer for construction and general household use known by every American ever remotely interested in tools. Similarly, a search for 'soft drinks' gets us Coca-Cola® somewhere on the first page of search results, every time.
For more information on Search Engine Optimization visit Web-Atlanta, or search for 'Atlanta Google Ranking'.