An SEO first stop or: How a Geek Experiment took over the World

As promised, here is a repost of an article from the old blog location. It was first posted on 13 April 2011.

I quite fondly remember a time in the late-mid-90’s when Yahoo had a Standford address and was more an exercise in manually linking websites than some version of an automated spider. It was the pioneer days of Internet search engines and no one really had a clue of what was to come. Over the next few years, various ideas of how to index and search the web were being tried. Soon to arrive were the likes of AltaVista, Lycos and Ask Jeeves. To index what eventually became known as Intranets, a resourceful programmer could download Glimpse onto a Unix box, run make, install and start indexing a list of sites. A rather simple CGI form was needed to provide a user interface and away it all went.

Times have changed since those days. Yahoo left the confines of the .edu domain and became its own business. Alta Vista became a favorite of self-filtering junkies with the use of + and -, as well as finding +links. Lycos dropped off the face of the Earth and along came Google. The technology wars were eventually eclipsed when it was figured out how to monetize searching. Pay results, sidebar ads and AdWords are now the norm. Without resources to back link like mad or not having a site that is already very popular many are linking on their own, attention has to be made to key words and content.

In real estate, the saying goes that there only three rules: Location. Location. Location. For websites, content is key and traffic is King. It is more than just making sure the content serves the keywords. It is about properly choosing keywords based on how users you want search and how they will find you. The business is marketing and marketing is the business. It is really no different than the old way, just made global. In brick and mortar, just putting out your sign and placing an ad in the Sunday paper will not drive business to your door. The same ideas apply on the Internet, now they are in an electronic environment. On-line advertising follows the same rules as off. Know your audience and how they will go about finding you. Then place yourself in their path, get their attention (and not their scorn) and give them a value proposition geared to why they should purchase. Some will, some will not, so what? Sell to those who buy and chase not those who wish not.