The exponential growth of the internet since 1993 created also a new yawning gap, as millions of people became active users. It became a Herculean task to access quality information that is being daily churned out on the web.
A search engine naturally became the most appropriate tool to discovering particular information that any internet user may be looking for.
As search engines crawled over web space and public domain to store information, they became the encyclopedic resource where people began to make recourse to, in order to arrive at their desired web destinations. In fact, 95% of web traffic (first visit) to almost all websites was accounted for by search engines.
The search engines acquired such a great reputation and trust that it became natural for every website owner to seek after them, in order to gain exposure and visitor traffic to their websites. Like I already said before, SEO is one juicy area that many thousands of people build their business consultancy upon, and also feed fat from, particularly in North America.