The Evolution of Blogging

The evolution of blogging has been in a constant state of flux from day one. Since the earliest days of the Web, the natural human inclination to communicate, share and form groups has expressed itself using whatever tools that happen to be available. Beginning with BBS and Usenet and continuing into the 90s with Personal Journals and cult sites like The Best Page in the Universe, the primitive blogging The evolution of bloggingecosystem was a wild and woolly place.

We’ve come a long way since those relatively unpolished times, and through the evolution of blogging our sites are now viewed as legitimate forums for commerce, information sharing and serious discourse online.

According to a 2006 article in The Economist the evolution of blogging began as early as 1997:

“The word “blog” appears to date back to 1997, when one of the few practitioners at the time, Jorn Barger, called his site a “weblog”. In 1999, another user, Peter Merholz, playfully broke the word into “we blog”, and somehow the new term—blog—stuck as both a verb and a noun.”

Niche Blogger Revolution

Many consider the key turning point in the blog explosion of the 21st century to be the rise of niche blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch, which attracted mainstream readership in droves. Hundreds of millions of people around the world turn to such blogs for entertainment, advice and more every day. News blogs like the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post now directly challenge the monopoly once held by corporate media. They’re actually even more popular with many web users looking for a fresh slant on current events.

How Algorithms Have Changed the Evolution of Blogging

Considering how lucrative blogging can be to those with a large audience, it wasn’t surprising that bloggers would attempt to “game the system” using any means necessary. For the better part of the past decade, it was quite simple for bloggers to use Long Tail Keywords to laser-target their content and dominate a niche. Unfortunately, this approach didn’t always lead to high-quality content. Google’s Penguin and Panda updates changed the focus of SEO to link authority and overall quality, making it easier for good bloggers who engage with their community to rank highly and attract traffic. As Google and the other search engines continue to tweak their ranking algorithms, SEO becomes less of an exact science and more of a guessing game and the evolution of blogging presses on.

Monetization, Marketing, Cookies & More

Once the Pandora’s Box of commercial blogging was opened, all bets were officially off. The typical monetization strategy of the mid-level to high-end blogs these days includes affiliate sales, AdSense and a mishmash of alternate revenue sources. However, that paradigm is threatened by the constantly changing legal environment surrounding the Internet. The recent EU cookie legislation, for instance, had many worried about the future of blog-based marketing. Such restrictions and government meddling in the world of blogging are legion, and they continue to threaten amateur and professional bloggers alike.

The Social Media Factor

Although social media has been around in one form or another since Day One of the Internet, it’s only recently made its impact felt on the larger web. Thanks to the inclusion of social media widgets on nearly every web page, the popularity of CommentLuv and constant Facebook sharing, building a reasonably popular blog is as possible as it ever has been – as long as you get through the difficult bit at the start. Increasingly, platforms like Triberr, Social Buzz Club and JustRetweet are being used to improve blog outreach and increase connections. More than anything else, social media has made blogging more of a conversational two-way street than just an “indie” version of mainstream media online.

Where the Future Evolution of Blogging Might Take Us

The convergence of our real and digital lives will eventually cause blogging to morph into a kind of uninterrupted virtual reality. The written word will continue to have value for the foreseeable future, all things being equal. Still, it’s not hard to imagine a future where “blogging” ditches UTF-8 and trades up to holograms. Stay tuned, because the only constant of blogging and the web is constant change. Whatever happens, this constant state of flux spurred by the rapid advancement of online technology is sure to make for an interesting future for bloggers everywhere.

About 

Matt Beswick is the founder of Hidden Pixel and an SEO consultant, working with clients of all shapes and sizes, and the co-founder of Pet365.

49 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hi Matt,
    Informative post. I guess the SEO algorithms are changing in a rapid manner compared to the evolution of blogging. But in Google’s perspective, that’s the best thing they can do. Otherwise, malpratices like selling links and other things would have wide spread. And coming to social media, I can’t imagine how I will get traffic without them. If there was no twitter and facebook, I simply don’t know how I will notify the world that “I have written something on my blog and please so red it”.. LOL

    • I think all of SEO algorithms are focusing on content to bring the best information to the searchers. So that blogging is the best way to communicate with potential customer!

  2. That’s really an awesome article. The content that you are given through this post is excellent. According to my point of view you can be more friendly with the readers.That will make more involvement from readers side.The topic that you come across is very good one and rare one…

    Any way thanks for an awesome post..

  3. Fun article. It’s interesting that blogging has been around long enough to have a real history! Just like any form of media, the art of blogging will have to evolve with the changes in technology. I, for one, am glad about the crackdown on keyword-stuffing and look forward to seeing what the future holds!

  4. There was a time when people used to be serious bloggers while even using blogspot and wordpress and there where some famous bloggers who started that way only,but now everyone starts with his/her own domain

  5. Oww! Would love to learn a bit more about ‘the recent EU cookie legislation’ and how it is going to affect blogging.

    Sorry for ignorance, but I don’t have idea about it.

  6. Blogging has transformed itself and changed the way people think too. I have changed a lot since I started blogging. There’s a lot of works to do, but I am always happy with the result brought by blogging

  7. Well said, Matt. Blogging has transformed a lot and sites like Triberr, SocialBuzzClub are becoming essential tools for Blogging.

    Great post.

  8. Every blogger should be aware of the source from where blogging originated and the entire evolution proceedure. You have shared all the information one blogger must know irrespective of his period of experience in this field. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

  9. Matt, all those points are really good. I don’t think that blogging is the same anymore. Actually there are so many blogging platforms nowadays and I think the trend is to create a blog that is going beyond blogging in any possible direction. I think that benefits that WordPress blogs used to have are long gone, that’s why many bloggers reported drop in traffic after first few Panda and Penguin updates. I think not only search engines demand this evolution, but also readers want deeper interaction.

  10. Nice Article Pal ! According to me a Blogger needs to be familiar with readers .Its a revolution time for Blogging because many youths are seeking for career in blogging .

  11. Hello Matt Beswick
    Excellent article. I can see how people relate more to bloggers than to celebrities. After all, many bloggers are struggling to make ends meet – and are far more representative then a celebrity, paid millions to endorse a product! I may love watching the red carpet at the Oscars, but I don’t relate to the people on the tv at all – they really don’t live in the same world as I do.

  12. hi Matt – totally agreed. I think this is what you and i have talked in the past about and now i think the time is right. i am pretty sure one of the smart ones will figure out an answer to this and we will all benefit.

  13. The next generation of blogging systems needs to account for the fact that information — and most importantly, conversations — flow via email, Twitter, instant messages and other formats. In order to do that, the innards of blogging systems need to be rethought.

  14. great tips. beginners always have no idea of what they could do to their new blog and day by day no updates added into it. what you really help is tell us beginners how to find resource to update our website. really awesome, thank you

  15. Dear Matt,
    Informative article and great tips about blogging. I guess the SEO algorithms are changing in a rapid manner compared to the evolution of blogging.

    Thanks for sharing

  16. Blogging is going viral and a lot of people is going to blog nowadays. But it’s great to blog now though. Back in a day, tools are less to service the community and have to work really hard. Like I heard from other folk said that to check other people twitter pages, you have to go around and BOOKMARK them to see if there are any updates ): – that’s so hard compare to now :) many great tools are available to use for free and given us so many great features.

    Thank you – Ferb

  17. Blogging is here to stay, one way or another, and as you stated, recent changes in seo have made bloggers to rethink their strategy, Adaptation is key. And i am sure, as we grow with it, we will adapt to it. It is important to understand the purpose of blogging, one just can’t set up a blog and expect to make money out of it. And this concept has diluted blogging in last few years. These changes are good changes and will help bloggers in the long run.
    thanks for sharing such a informative post.

  18. Hi,
    It’s excellent post for blog beginners.Blogging is going viral and a lot of people is going to blog nowadays.This is very helpful post

    Thanks for sharing

  19. This was a pretty detailed post about the evolution of blogging. I really enjoyed it. Thanks. I personally believe hat the future of blogging would continue to get more and more social with more tools to reach your desired audience.

  20. wow, I’m impressed Matt, this is… like reading a mind of a blogger :)

    I think that blogging will change the way we live and work, it’s changing us already but in the future it’s going to be faster and we will have millions of people going to work for their blogging communities.

    It will truly turn into virtual reality where biggest player is written word and where blog represents an Industry like Oil is today.

    thanks for sharing

  21. Matt, I think blogging began in the caveman days with writing on the walls of the caves :) But I love how you went through how blogging has changed recently. It’s amazing how much it has evolved in such a short time period. It sure will be interesting to see how it will evolve more in even a shorter time period.

  22. The latest Google Updates have refocused the emphasis of blogging on producing quality content. That should be the first and primary goal of every blogger looking for traffic and revenue…

    Quality content or bust!!

    Thanks

    Ryan H.

  23. this was very helpful, I remember the days when I made my first blog on blogger. I was so lost, but you learn as you go. But one thing I decided is not to learn how panda and other Google algorithms work just because they keep changing

  24. It is interesting that just a few years ago nobody knew anything about blogging and now blogging became an essential part of our everyday life: various interests, research, feedbacks etc. – all come from blogs. I can not even imagine my life without blogging any more. You are right about one thing in your article: blogging is a constant change and we need to accept that fact. That means never stop learning and improving.

  25. It is a very informative post. Thank you very much for sharing these insights. By the way, I often ask myself the same question as you do – where the future evolutions and revolutions in blogging might take us.

  26. The face of blogging has definitely changed quite a bit over the years. Blogging is still blogging but has expanded its reach and the means in which we interact. The game is still the same, but the rules have changed, became more complex and has evolved for the better, atleast in my humble opinion. I do wonder what the blogging world will look like in the years to come, I am sure it will be exciting!

  27. Now i feel like there are no static HTML sites anymore, all sites are blogs and because there are millions of new posts daily the content become stuffing very fast, so how could any new blogger start attracting new audience

  28. In the early days blogs were treated almost like a daily diary and started off pretty much all about the blogger. Now if you want to be successful, in addition to simply writing about something your passionate about you have to spend a bit of money, put the time in and seriously get involved with your readers.

    Sites like Pinterest demonstrate how big it’s now all become.

  29. Blogging has come along way and just jumped aboard about 9 or 10 months ago.

    It is going to continue to have a great influence on the internet going forward.

  30. The search engine algorithms have totally changed the way of we are all up to the blogging business. Now it becomes a race and challenge with Google to beat its algorithm and be on the first page to challenge its paid searches.

  31. Good stuff! Blogging has been greatly affected by Google’s algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin) – and these changes have had a profound affect on how blogging has evolved (or has been forced to evolve).

  32. Hi Matt,
    A Well illustrated post on the evolution of blogging. You have also described the effect of Algorithms and the role of Social Media in making blogs popular throughout the world.
    Excellent post Indeed.
    Regards
    Ramit

  33. Matt,
    Interesting! Its really nice to read your point of view. I am blogger and I just try to preach to my loved ones about blogging. I believe, when you are into something and you expect some changes around in future, then you keep yourself alert and away from being totally vanished. So, algorithms will continue to change. Bloggers will be bloggers. We will continue to work hard and make quality content. Right??

    Nice Article.

    Cheers :)

  34. You made me remember my first site, html site with front page, and every month i needed to change the design and go through all the pages one by one. just to change the header or the title.. WordPress blogging is the ultimate solution for every kind of websites.

  35. What a great and informative post, Matt!

    Blogging has definitely come a long way, from being a spin of the online diary to now a viable source of information and a lucrative source of business. It’s opened more opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs as a way to market their business, their skills and expertise. Things will probably change in the coming years, especially with all these updates being done by Google and other search engines. Nevertheless, blogging is here to stay.

  36. Wow, cool info Matt. This is really awesome. I never had an idea on the evolution of blogging and I’m glad you took some time to share these facts with us. Great work!

  37. Wade Harman

    There are lots of factors involved with blogging. So many that I have basically thrown everything out the window and held on to a few key concepts.

    1-I write great content, keeping the reader in mind at all times

    2-I stay on social media sites and try to make connections with others.

    These have helped me to stay connected and boost my blog to another level.

  38. Well, the only question that comes into mind is what is going to be the future of blogging as I hope it’s almost at the saturation point and makes we wonder which direction it is going to take.

    Thanks a lot for knowledgeable post :)

  39. Hi..
    Very useful post. I want to add my point of view. Blogging has evolved, becoming more than just a source of straight information or opinion, but of rich context. But that’s not enough. Blogs need to evolve further, to become open, more social — to reflect more accurately our dynamic, real-times lives.

  40. Hi Matt!

    Informative post. I guess that the SEO algorithms are changing in a rapid manner compared to the evolution of blogging. But in Google’s perspective, that’s the best thing they can do. Otherwise, malpratices like selling links and other things would have wide spread.

    And coming to social media, I can’t imagine how I will get traffic without them. If there was no twitter and facebook, I simply don’t know how I will notify the world that I have written something on my blog and please so red it.

  41. Because of Google’s new updates, bloggers are forced to write unique quality articles and that’s a good thing because before the updates, there were spam blogs everywhere.

  42. Hello Matt
    It is important for we blogger to know the history of blogging.Thanks for sharing wonderful history of origin of blogging.It is very interesting . Truly I didn’t know it before.Thanks again.