History of Online Marketing From The Start

By | May 17, 2018

History of Online Marketing. Hey, everybody here is a little bit about the new revolution. The American economy is changing once more. Beginning when humans learn to hunt, farm, and manufacture, comes a new evolution. We are in the mist of the digital revolution.  

Updated May. 2018. Affiliate Disclaimer: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

How did we adapt?  From the stone age to the agriculture age to the Industrial Age.  Now we are at the beginning of a revolution that we have tagged as the digital age.  which gave birth to the Internet which gives birth to us writing the History of Online Marketing.

History of Online Marketing-evolution of man

History of Online Marketing

Myth; Online marketing birthdate is 1996 or 1988. Many credit Amazon with launching the first affiliate marketing program in 1996.  Others say it started in 1988 when William Tobin launched PC Flowers, Inc. on the Prodigy Network.

In fact, the History of Online Marketing began in 1994 when William Tobin introduced PC Flowers & Gifts. It is a slight name change, but that’s not the biggest difference. In 1994, using the patents that Tobin developed, PC Flowers & Gifts was the first company to provide tracking and, actually, affiliate marketing.  


One of the biggest milestones over the past two decades as stated by prolific blogger Shawn Collins. Shawn is the founder of the popular Affiliate Summit Conferences and AffiliateTip.com website, and he writes;

Milestone #1: Major Network Acquisitions Lead To Market Consolidation. As affiliate marketing continued to grow in the early 2000s, the industry underwent significant changes.  Most notable were Google’s acquisition of Double Click and  Rakuten’s purchase of Linkshare;  

This resulted in affiliate marketing becoming more mainstream as it was integrated into the larger e-commerce ecosystems that the acquiring companies were building.  As the industry evolved, a core group of major networks continued to thrive and capture more market share, which leads to more consolidation.  

That’s inevitable in any industry, last summer’s closing of the Google Affiliate Network (GAN) was of particular significance, as it forced a good many advertisers more carefully to evaluate the performance of their affiliate programs. This was a boom for stronger networks and agencies that were able to sign new merchants; yet, it also resulted in a more public exposure of the underperformers.

History of Online Marketing-a bookmark in online markleting history

Additionally, it meant that Google could now more quickly eliminate any conflicts of interest with its search arm, as it required publishers to elevate the quality of their content or risk being punished in search results. In fact, this past January, Google officially, blocked sites that don’t provide value.

Milestone #2:  The Performance Marketing Association (PMA) is put together 2008 to connect, inform and advocate on behalf of the affiliate community. Today, the PMA continues to champion for affiliates, most notably when it comes to online tax issues.

Milestone #3: Affiliate Programs Are Now Ubiquitous Among Online Retailers & Integral To The Digital Marketing Ecosystem. Affiliate programs are now table stakes for online retailers and can no longer have to worry about stand-alone marketing efforts.

Collins says he is “genuinely surprised when a company in the Internet Retailer Top 500 doesn’t have an affiliate program.” He also pointed out affiliate marketing’s role within a broader digital marketing strategy. “Affiliate marketing is not a singular tactic, but rather a collection of innovative search, content, email, social media, and virtually all other types of digital marketing.”

The Internet and Online Marketing

History of Online Marketing-history of the internet

The use of the Internet was a way to exchange emails and information.  The military and universities were the primary users.  In 1979, Compuserve (the first major U.S. Commercial online service) began offering email and technical support to personal computer users. The marketing pioneers saw the potential for an internet marketing business in 1994.

When they recognized that millions of web surfers logging on each day to find valuable and relevant information this was the perfect medium for online marketing.  Web browsers didn’t gain much popularity, until 1993 when the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released Mosaic.

This was a graphical web browser that was easier to use and install. After these inventions, the Internet began booming. And in 1994, spending for internet marketing totaled nearly nothing but increased to over $300 million in 1995.

Now, a decade later, internet marketing business has exploded to nearly $200 billion industry (according to Forrester Research) So, if your business is not online you are not in business.

Internet marketing is essential for today’s business world. Affiliate marketing is changing massively even now. People are still creating their affiliate campaigns, building their links and arranging deals with advertisers or publishers themselves, but there are alternatives.

A New Direction for Affiliate Marketing

Robert Walker writes about this new service called YieldKit. YieldKit is a great tool, developed by a startup team in Hamburg, Germany. History of Online Marketing-what's next YieldKit is a service that is free to use, and incredibly easy to install, it just requires a short Java snippet to be embedded into the index.html page.

YieldKit allows automatic affiliation, giving you, the website owner, more time to spend on content and placement. YieldKit uses YieldLink, which converts existing or dead links into affiliate links.

They also offer another service, called YieldWord. This tool scans your website, looking for keywords that can convert into a text link.

“Take a look at the new iPhone 5; it has a fantastic new camera“  YieldWord would turn iPhone 5 into a text link, which would forward you to a site connected in some way to the iPhone 5. These text links show the future. They are small, discreet, and still offer a high return to publishers.

YieldKit is a product that changes the way consumers view affiliates and works extremely well on sites that network and compile high-level content due to its discreetness.  

Through time, concepts change and advances, there are only so many alternatives on a platform that in some ways are beginning to stagnate.  Hidden affiliation is becoming the new secret weapon with the use of tools like YieldKit.

Search Engines

History of Online Marketing-history of search

As we write the History of Online Marketing, a valuable tool for its operation is the search engine.  Even though the first search engine “Archie,” it wasn’t until 1994 that the first search engine most like today’s search engines shows up on the scene.  A company called WebCrawler.

WebCrawler released a search engine that indexed titles and headers of a web page as well as all of its content. Later that year, the search engine Lycos added to the features of Web Crawler by ranking results based on relevancy.

After Google had been invented in 1996, the company launched its AdWords campaign in 2003, which was the first system that marketers could use to serve ads in response to a user’s desire. By Alyssa Warner, in General, Marketing

Keyword research is the basis of SEO strategy. Users looking for a product or service will type related words into Google, Bing, Yahoo or another search engine. The search engine will list results according to popularity on the Web. Users typically don’t click through more than the first pages of results. Businesses want to be at the top of the listings.

Social Media Marketing

Internet use now takes place on tablets and mobile devices. As content is being shared the
possibilities for building a brand has once again changed the face of Internet marketing.  Social media has become the third force in SEO marketing and an advertising strategy in its right.

Building a brand involves interacting, as the brand, in social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Posting high-quality content that is easy to share increases the brand’s likelihood of generating social signals. Defining the target audience is vital to a social strategy.

The Internet continues to grow and change as well in Internet marketing.  The history of online marketing has evolved into a creative and fast-moving business service that has already developed some specializations.  Ever-renewing web design and staying up to date with technological advances in the name of the game.

Online marketing has and continues to evolve with each technological advancement. If you want to start an online business, there is no place better than the program I am apart of. Furthermore, I am not saying that because I am a part of it, I say it because I have experienced it.

I am inviting you to join my marketing team now!  This program intense training and everything you will need to create an online business for free. Furthermore, as a member, you will have access to all that the program offers as shown in my review.

See You On The Other Side

Tap Here  

Thanks for stopping by. The History of Online Marketing was a joy to research. I wish you all the best for your online business, and, may you have blessings and prosperity. Let’s communicate, share a comment or question and I will get back in touch with you.  

Affiliate Disclosure

Related Articles:

Don’t Be Late to Automate It Is More Than A Trend

Real Marketing Tools And Terminology

Category: Why Wealthy Affiliate Tags: , ,

About Maurice Jackson

Hello, my name is Maurice Jackson I live and, started my business in Detroit. My intentions are, to help any and every one with affiliate marketing as a home business, become a successful professional. My first career was working for the city of Detroit as an inspector, where I thought I would retire. But life brings change and surprises. I sustained an injury that led to an earlier retirement than I had planned. With that said I reinvented myself in April of 2014 and, became part of an affiliate program. Within the time of my reinvention leading up to the present, I am generating lots of traffic to my website and it grows every day. ROI has been minimal but then again I invested nothing to start. I am at the point of letting my site mature, as I keep writing quality content about it. In this business, you have to pay your dues. Furthermore, I and the rest of our family (become a member and you will see the family side of it) of 109000, including the founders of the program (yes they participate), will see to it that we all will be making a substantial amount of revenue as members

8 thoughts on “History of Online Marketing From The Start

  1. Calvin

    Hey great article. The history of the internet is very interesting to me. I never knew how early affiliate programs were formed. I was also astounded recently when I found out that Walmart also has an affiliate program. I recently read that they are trying to take over amazon with its affiliate program. What do you think of this?

  2. Maurice Jackson Post author

    Thank you for responding,I do appreciate it. It is most gratifying to know that I was able to help in some way.

  3. Yashlene Sheikhvand

    Hi, I am a junior at my local community college. I am currently writing a 25-page research paper on hospitals utilizing online marketing. For the first portion of my paper, I was to write about the history of online marketing. I had such a difficult time finding sources and information about what I needed to write about. This article of yours has helped me so much!! It created a wonderful outline on the topics I need to cover and the sources I should check out. I was able to build upon a lot of what you said and get into more detail on each subject!
    This was the best source I found for my paper! Thank you!

  4. Taylor

    I was just about to say that, “what if there was no internet”. I’m a computer nerd techy lover and if that was so, I would of lost my mind. I was a little kid the first time i used the internet, and it was AOL. So everything that was before it I never knew. It actually was quite interesting reading about the first search engines and how everything got started. Great Article

  5. Brandon

    I completely agree with you, how we evolved. Without the internet there’s no online marketing. It’s really amazing how it works, right? What if there was no internet? I damn hell know the world will be A LOT different. If I was only older then I would of known what it was like when there was no online world.

    Great work on this article.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *