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Social media marketing should be an integral part of any marketing strategy as so much of our lives are online nowadays. 

If you want to read over our last social media blogs, you can learn all about Instagram and TikTok

Today, however, the topic is Facebook.  

Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world and one that most are already acquainted with, but why? 


Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student at the time, had developed a site called ‘FaceMash’ using photos of Harvard students’ faces. It allowed users to rate them based on attractiveness by comparing the pictures. 

Putting aside the moral issue, the site violated Harvard’s privacy policy as the pictures were student ID photos that had been stolen by breaching the school’s security system. 

It was shut down quickly, but Zuckerberg was let off with merely a slap on the wrist.  

Using his experience and knowledge from this failed project, the idea came to him: a site for Harvard students to communicate and socialise online (although Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss claim that he copied their idea and some of the code they'd paid him to create). 

Not long after, in February 2004, Facebook (known as ‘thefacebook’ at the time) was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz. 

As the site was intended for and founded by Harvard students, word of mouth spread. In under 24 hours, around 1,200 students had signed up. 

Within a month, about half of all Harvard students had a profile. It then began to spread to other colleges, not staying exclusive to Harvard was the first step on the journey Facebook has taken to be where it is now.  

In 2004, Facebook (known as ‘thefacebook’ at the time) was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz. 

Mark Zuckerberg explained his reasoning for creating Facebook on Freakonomics Radio in 2018. 

"I was just trying to help connect people at colleges and a few schools."  

"That was a basic need, I looked around at the internet and there were services for a lot of things that you wanted. 

"You could find music, you could find news, you could find information, but you couldn’t find and connect with the people that you cared about - which as people is actually the most important thing. So that seemed like a pretty big hole that needed to get filled."  

From student exclusivity to general public

By December 2004, Facebook had hit 1 million users.  

It had originally started for college students, but they decided to make it available to high school networks. In the same month, ‘thefacebook’ changed its name to simply ‘Facebook’. 

By September 2006, anyone could join Facebook. In the months that followed, membership increased to 12 million users. 

The step from student exclusivity to general public could have gone badly - the original objective was now lost - but by this point, the site had evolved and wasn’t considered a resource or a student hub - it was a young, fresh and cool social media platform. 

2.91 billion monthly users

Facebook continued to grow, adding new features and buying other companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp. 

Facebook now has 2.91 billion monthly active users, 2.75 billion of that are mobile users. Considering that it was originally developed for desktop, this development is an important one.  

Facts and statistics 


Facebook is the most popular social media platform, so including it in your social media marketing plan is certainly a good idea. 

With the user demographic having so much range, you have to work with the algorithm to put your content in front of the right people. Once you master that, Facebook is a great place for your business to be.  

It’s a stable platform offering features such as the Meta Business Hub which makes marketing and advertising much easier for users. 

Are you struggling to make a social media marketing plan for your business? We want to help, contact our team for more information.

The top 10 list of the world’s biggest websites can vary depending on who you ask and what measure is being used.

The list is, obviously, a fluid one and therefore subject to change.

In terms of web traffic, here are the 10 that consistently rank in 2022:

1 - Google
2 - YouTube
3 - Facebook
4 - Twitter
5 - Wikipedia
6 - Baidu
7 - Yahoo!
8 - Yandex
9 - Amazon
10 - Netflix

There’s an argument for Instagram being 6th and WhatsApp in 10th, but again, this depends on who you ask given that both are widely considered to be apps, not websites.

If this blog is going to be a frank one, then adult websites also need to be acknowledged as major global players. They frequently feature in or around the top 10 lists, but again, it depends on which list you're looking at.

In any case, there’s no debate to be had over what the world’s number one website is, it has comfortably occupied the top spot since September 2010.

The early days of the information superhighway

In March 1989, Tim Berners-Lee gave managers at CERN a proposal for an information management system that used hypertext to link documents on different computers that were connected to the internet.

Labelled “vague but exciting” by his boss, the proposal wasn't accepted at first.

Berners-Lee teamed up with Robert Cailliau, a Belgian engineer at CERN, to refine the proposal.

After originally calling the project Information Management, Berners-Lee tried out names such as Mine of Information and Information Mesh before settling on WorldWideWeb.

By the end of 1990, Berners-Lee, (using a NeXT computer designed by Steve Jobs - making it the world's first ever web server), had developed the key technologies that are the bedrock of the web, including Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for creating web pages, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) - a set of rules for transferring data across the web and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) - web addresses for finding a document or page.

He also had devised a basic browser and web server software. in 1992 as it would have appeared in NCSA Mosaic browser on a Mac Classic II

The very first modern search engine

Despite the 'WorldWideWeb' being publicly available since 1990, the first search engine didn't arrive until 12th December 1993.

In the early 90's, if you didn't know the address of the next website that you wished to visit, then to continue 'surfing', most websites had a 'links' section with a manual index of sources of similar information recomended by the webmaster.

Hosted at the University of Sterling, JumpStation is recognised as the first modern search engine.

JumpStation in 1994
JumpStation in 1994

Early algorithms for ranking keywords and phrases were simple and not very efficient.

Webmasters would use a 'spider' to crawl a webpage and index the content, it would then be ranked according to the words and phrases that were used.

If your website had a blog, you could insert keywords and phrases related to whatever was popular at the time and expect to see a boost in traffic regardless of what your site was about. Site traffic was the objective, quality of content was not.

Many search engines were showing spam sites in the results.

Hiding white text on a white background to get keywords on a page worked at the time, meaning typically poor search results because webmasters were spamming the system.

Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web.
Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web. In April 1994, it was renamed 'Yahoo!'.


Fast forward to 1996, the internet landscape was dominated by AOL, Yahoo!, Geocities, Netscape, MSN, Excite, Webcrawler, Lycos, Infoseek, Primenet and Compuserve.

That year, Google was founded when Larry Page and Sergei Brin were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California.

In its early days, the Google search engine was called ‘Backrub’ because the algorithm estimated the importance of sites by crawling backlinks. They called this algorithm PageRank (named after Larry).

The established search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search term(s) appeared on the page.

Backrub search results were different because they were based on linking behavior. This meant that the more popular sites rose to the top of the list, the less popular sites fell to the bottom.

They released the first version of Google on the Stanford University website - - in August of 1996.

The original homepage had a simple design because Page and Brin had little experience in HTML.

The Backrub crawler used nearly half of Stanford’s entire network bandwidth and on at least one occasion, the project brought down Stanford’s internet connection!

The very first version of Google in 1996. "You can find the older Backrub web page here."

The name

In 1920, an American mathematician named Edward Kasner asked his nephew Milton Sirotta to help him come up with a name for the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The name ‘googol’ was the result.

When Page and Brin were looking to name their company, they decided on the word Googol to signify the mission to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”.

However, they decided to modify it by losing the ‘o’ between ‘g’ and ‘l’ and adding an ‘e’ after the ‘l’.

In years to come, as the use of Google increased, the word became a verb.

Modern SEO is invented

Put simply, PageRank was a way for the importance of a webpage to be measured by analysing the quantity and quality of the links pointing to it.

The first PageRank patent was filed on 1st September 1998. They didn’t realise it at the time, but Page and Brin had invented the concept of modern Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

PageRank evolved to look at multiple factors including the words of a query, relevance, usability of pages, expertise of sources, location and settings. The freshness of the content also became a significant factor.

Millions of webmasters could no longer buy links, 'keyword stuff' or use hidden text - they had to start understanding the concept of this new metric.

Page and Brin knew that they needed to provide their own resources and stop using Stanford’s. Starting a company became the only viable option and Google Inc. was officially born.

The company was incorporated on 4th September 1998 with Page as CEO and Brin as President. The domain name was registered on 15th September 1997.

After moving out of their dorm rooms, their first office was based in the garage of Susan Wojcicki - Google's first marketing manager - in Menlo Park, California (they eventually outgrew the garage and moved to their current headquarters, known as 'The Googleplex', in Mountain View, California).

The world's biggest website

That's how modern SEO was invented. The rest, as they say, is history.

Google became the world’s biggest website in June 2006. It dropped back to second place (with Yahoo! in first) in September 2008 but regained the top spot in September 2010 where it has remained since.

In June 2011, Google introduced 'Google Voice Search' to search for spoken, rather than typed, words.

In May 2018, Google-owned YouTube became the world’s second biggest website.

Google still uses PageRank as part of its algorithm, but the original patent has expired.

PageRank hasn't actually been used in its original form since 2006 and the algorithm is now a far more sophisticated one that uses machine learning.

In 2022, backlinks remain one of Google's top three ranking factors alongside content and RankBrain.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Present day

In October 2015, a restructuring meant that Alphabet Inc became the parent company of Google.

Page and Brin remained as controlling shareholders, board members and employees.

By market cap as of March 2022, their dorm room project is now the world's forth-largest company behind only Apple ($2.6 trillion), Aramco ($2.4 trillion) and Microsoft ($2.1 trillion). Alphabet has to make-do with a mere $1.7 trillion according to TradingView.

Google’s offering now goes way beyond its search engine, from YouTube, Maps and Android to Gmail, Drive and the biggest browser, Chrome to name but a few of its famous products.

However, Google's biggest contribution to the world may still be yet to come. Go to and search ‘Waymo’.

Click HERE to check out the search engine optimisation (SEO) services on offer from PageNorth Digital.

As mentioned in our previous article, social media is an incredibly important element of any marketing plan.

There’s a range of platforms to use for marketing, each one with different specialities, audience demographics and optimised content types.

Let’s talk about Instagram!


Instagram was launched on 6th October 2010. On its first day of existence, 25,000 users signed up.

This is because the developer of the app, Kevin Systrom, tweeted about the launch and the press picked it up immediately.

Unsurprisingly, the servers weren’t ready for that much traffic. Within 2 hours, the servers went down and the developers spent all night fixing the stream of issues.

By December 2010, there were a million users on the app.

Instagram came about when Kevin Systrom decided to teach himself to code in his spare time, Instagram was a side project that ended up being something much bigger.

Instagram was co-founded by Mike Krieger, a friend of Systrom and fellow Stanford graduate.

The evolution began with an app called Burbn, it was a location-based photo sharing app, but it never took off. Some speculate that it’s because it had no real focus and had too many features rather than providing something specific and unique.

The reception and feedback received for Burbn led them to make Instagram - a photo based social media platform.

After the quick growth of the app, Instagram was bought by Facebook in April 2012 for $1 billion.

Fresh and exciting

The popularity of Instagram comes down to its individuality. Image and video posts are quick and easy to view, it’s casual and fun with no big blocks of text.

It has always focused on visual content. While other platforms have evolved to accommodate wider ranges of content, Instagram stuck with what it knows.

That said, there are new features being added consistently, keeping the platform fresh and exciting.

Reels is a big one, this was inspired by TikTok’s success. The idea of short videos in their own section of the platform is perfect to scroll through when you’ve got time to kill.

Stories are another feature - content viewable away from your main feed that disappears after 24 hours. There are private story options using the close friends feature, this was inspired by snapchat and its story feature (noticing the trend?).

Facts and statistics


Instagram can be used as a more casual platform to really connect to your audience and establish personality.

Although most are on the younger side, Instagram isn’t age specific and has a very diverse user base.

Hashtags, promoted posts and ads mean that getting your content and brand out there is achievable.

With quality content and an understanding of the algorithm, Instagram is a great platform to use for your business.

If your business has a physical product or visual services, Instagram is great as an informal portfolio. It allows you to show off designs or products to an audience, it will build brand awareness and help acquire new customers.

Are you struggling to make a social media marketing plan for your business? We want to help, contact our team for more information.

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