History of Content Writing: How it Started and Develops


Content writing is a relatively new form of writing. Having a close link with web marketing, content writing is a process of creating a written work designed for websites. The development of content writing can’t be separated from the development of the internet. As the internet started to appear in the early ’90s, the history of content writing began.

Brief History of Content Writing

Technology has gone fast beyond human’s imagination. In less than a decade, our world reshaped its face and pace with the development of modern technology. Everyone can bring the internet into the home of every citizen in the world. Now, you can access it directly from your hand.

This development of the internet and technology alters so many aspects of life, including business.

1990 – The Rise of the Internet

internet in 1990s
Internet in 1990s
source: nbcnews.com

The rise of the internet with its online activities has brought a new shape of business lanes. Many people saw it as a new opportunity; using the internet to share and promote products and services.

People started focusing on making interesting websites with the right layout. This means implementing the right ratio between pictures and words are important. Writing itself became one of the important keys to making an effective website. The customers would be more comfortable with the website, thus, attracting more in the future.

This resulted in high demand for skillful graphic designers and writers became unavoidable. 

In the 1990s, the first website was published only with one page explaining the World Wide Web project. At this early stage, there wasn’t what is called web content as what is known today. Anyone could write anything. Even though Google liked the content, the chance of readers like it is low. Any website owner could have someone else to write an article for only $1 or $2.

Then, in the early 2000s, everything was changed. 

2003-2008 – Various Types of Content

Internet in 2000s

The period of 2003-2008 is the notable phase of the history of content writing. It was the start of a new kind of web content.

During this period Google introduced FLORIDA, a system that brought the SEO into the business. FLORIDA did its job very well to get rid of the online content with excessive keywords. SEO professionals started to be in a high demand by business to get ranking.

Google has become stricter by penalizing suspicious links. JAGGER & DADDY worked out in 2005 to slash link farming and other distrustful SEO activities. 

2010 – De-ranking of thin content

Google released Panda in May 2010. Google Panda 1.0 played its role to change web content writing order. Website writers and SEO professionals were the most affected ones by the existence of the Panda.

Bad content got de-ranked overnight. It threatens SEO copywriters who played well with keywords. They had to find ways to cut the keywords on their content up to 2-4% from the entire content. For those who didn’t, their content automatically de-ranked.

Writers should focus less on the keywords, instead, they should create valuable information to readers instead.

2010 – Cut off plagiarised content

Duplicate contents would be regarded as spam; that’s why they would be removed automatically. There was no place for plagiarism anymore in this period.

Google Panda has played a significant role in the history of content writing and its development. It gets rid of bad, spammy, and duplicate content out of the internet making the readers will only get useful information.

From April to December 2011, Panda showed the world its existence and did its job to de-rank badly written contents. Because of it, many websites lost their rank; some of them even lost their traffic. Panda has reminded the world that the readers deserve good quality writings created by good quality writers. The Panda has called the world for quality writers. 

2012 – Long-form content

In 2012, there are two significant events in the history of content writing. In May 2012; Penguin 1.1 was introduced to help Panda in sweeping the spammy web contents. Penguin prefers long-form content to the short ones.

In the same year in August, Pirate 2.0, DMCA came upon to give another chance for the copywriters to breathe. Content writers who are not paid as they should or website/ blog whose contents are stolen could make an official report to Google about the violation of copyright.

Content writing has now focused more on quality.

2013 – Being useful

In May 2013, Penguin 2.0 was released. Blogging was not only about keywords; it is about useful information. Interactions on social media and digital presence are a considerable factor to push the website’s rank up.

In September 2014, Panda came with its 4.1 version. The system’s main duty is to penalize poor and thin content from Google ranking. This brought the concern of providing readers with quality content from trustworthy writers.

In the history of content writing, the updates of Google Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and any other updates which come out later on have the same chore. They exist to cut down and trim poor quality content from the internet.

Considering that factor, it is important for content writers not to focus only on keywords. Rather, they should consider how your writing will affect your readers. Will they be able to understand it, feel it? Is it useful for them? Is it likely that they want to share it.

Notable People in Content Writing History

There are a lot of changes made by Google that drive content writers and SEO crazy. However, there were always people out there who swim against the current and win.

Names like Neil Patel, Daniel Marlin, or Robert Rose are among the prominent and most influencing content writers all over the world.

Daniel Marlin has helped around 4.000 prospective-leaders and entrepreneurs. He shares his excellent ways to build brands and business through powerful content and marketing strategies.

With Robert Rose, you’ll learn how to build an online audience. He provides marketing advice and counsel for global level brands and the founder of The Content Advisory.

Neil Patel, meanwhile, started his content writing as early as 16 years old. Since then, he dived into the world of digital marketing and made himself known in the field. If you are familiar with SEM, SEO, and other digital marketing service, you should be familiar with Neil Patel. If you don’t, you can always check out his website.

To wrap it

Are you a content writer as well? Or are you a business owner on your way to find a good content writer?

Google algorithm keeps on changing. With it, the history of content creation has been up and down. You can get to be the number one, or you can get the number 167,499,309 in the search result. It won’t be stable unless you always adapt and make quality content. Do your best and make your own history!