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When did you start learning the art of Search Engine Optimization?

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3554227 posted 4:11 am on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

It was 1995 January and one of my top five print and advertising clients asked me if I could help them get online. That was the year my life and career choices changed forever.

I was armed with a copy of FrontPage (Vermeer) and had a bit of help from some local programmers. It took a few months to build a website and a year before I could even put my hands on it. They wouldn't let me edit until I could prove that I was "able" to do so. :)

At the time, it was definitely a benchmark for the client. We were light years ahead of his competition and set the stage for future things to come.

I missed the very beginning of it all which I believe was around 1994 April when WebCrawler and Yahoo! came on the scene. I remember starting when Inktomi, Excite and AltaVista were the top three. That was in late 1995. I didn't really become active in the community until 1998 at SEF.

When did you start?



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3554227 posted 10:17 pm on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Around the same time, 1995, when I did a site for a big drinks brand.

Today it would be a huge budget site, back then we were thrilled we managed to wrap text around an image and could have a downloadable movie of their latest TV ad (which was about the size of a postage stamp and would have been quicker to put on CD and post to everyone who tried).

Google was a made up,unknown word. You could still go to the pub all afternoon and hide from clients as mobiles weren't that widespread and email was pretty unknown. Blissful.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3554227 posted 10:46 pm on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

After ignoring computers for many years I first encountered the internet in 1996 and was introduced to the basics of HTML the next year, whereupon I was instantly hooked. My first sites were made using Notepad on a Windows 3.1 PC that I had been given - it was already old but it had a 14kbps modem and a copy of Netscape 2.0 and there was not a lot of competition in those days.

Many existing websites were text only and used default font and colour schemes - swathes of Times New Roman on a grey background in my case. Some used small GIF images and a few used those new-fangled JPG thingies.

Almost all the sites I looked at were badly designed, most had poor spelling and grammar, tag soup was everywhere, and factual accuracy did not seem to be a priority. Some things never change.

As I had a background in graphic design and wrote good English I found it relatively easy to trump the little competition that existed in my niches, and soon found one of my sites promoted in the national press. I still shudder when I look at the markup I wrote, but at least my sites always worked in both Netscape and Explorer, and I never once used a BLINK tag.

I remember AltaVista dominating search, but there were many other engines to submit a URL to back then. Most were dreadful portal affairs, though there was one called Northern Lights that was not so bad. When Google was launched it was a breath of fresh air, and though I never consciously did any SEO in those days my main site very quickly took the number one spot for its primary keywords, and held it for many years (until it was eventually usurped by Wikipedia).

While all this may make some readers think I am a veteran, I still feel like a student - there is always something new to learn, and that is what keeps me interested.

Fortunately, a lot of the answers can be found on WebmasterWorld...

[edited by: Samizdata at 11:08 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2008]


WebmasterWorld Administrator coopster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3554227 posted 10:13 am on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was a systems analyst for an educational institution in 1992 and realized the potential of directories and marketing. I believe I was primarily using OS/2 and gopher at that time but within a year had migrated to Mosaic ... hehehe, remember Mosaic?


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3554227 posted 1:40 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

March 14 2003 ;)

At the time I just left a web agency that was telling us that SEO was not worth the effort and that PPC was the thing to 'sell' to our clients.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3554227 posted 1:47 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mar 11, 2003 :)

We were just starting to offer our services here in Spain and within weeks were ranking #1 for the main Spain web design terms, all thx to WebmasterWorld.

Edit: le_gber, can I have my brain back? ;)


WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3554227 posted 2:04 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

1995 was the pivotal year for me. I remember thinking, hey this is good, how can I use it?

In the subsequent years of working with Infoseek, Lycos, altavista, etc., I discovered a whole new world of opportunity.

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