The Internet evolved throughout the 1980's and 1990's by academics as a means to transmit research between universities, professors, research teams, etc.
Because of this academic beginning, and the limitations of the technology of the time, the documents transmitted were text based, and bore little resemblance to the colorful and graphic websites we see today.
In 1993, the internet accounted for only 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunications networks. By 2000, that number jumped to 51%, and by 2007 that number had risen to more than 97% of the telecommunicated information. Today the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information, commerce, entertainment, and social networking.
As more people gained access to the Internet via easier to use and consumer oriented browsers, a greater number of formatting standards were borrowed from print media to provide the Internet documents a sense of uniformity and the graphic presentation consumers were used to.
While the Internet of today bears little outward resemblance to its origins, the text-based rules upon which it was founded still apply. Therefore, the challenge is to create an attractive website that is finable in search, yet still conforms to the rules imposed by the inherent structure of the web.