the personal: there is an “I” in SEO

I enjoyed Marty Weintraub‘s (@aimclear) 4 am reflection back upon his SEO experience, and through it, a tour of industry tactics as they unfolded since the 90’s. It reminds us that there are narratives to be told, experiences and values behind the companies, strategies and names. And this too is part of Social Media.

Let’s Play Beat-The-Algorithm!

The first time I ever “optimized” a webpage was in mid-January 1994. Jonathan Fletcher Stirling’s creation, JumpStation, was most likely the first search engine to truly crawl the web. I had been using Archie to locate FTP files around the world since late 1991. JumpStation was hosted at Scotland’s University of Stirling and mined document headings and titles to index web pages by bot. It was completely intriguing to enter keywords in a web-based form, search and receive a list of unranked URLs meeting the query’s criteria. At the time figuring out how to dominate the index with keyword-driven titles and headings, for my own web content, was a fascinating hobby and super easy. To my mind, I was helping to make valuable content more discoverable. Still, it was sport. The term, “SEO” had not yet been coined and I had no idea how important the concept of sculpting pages for discoverability would become in my life and to the world.

read the whole story at his blog SEO Confessions of a Former “Dirty Little Secret” Keeper. He has a book coming, looking forward to it.

Addendum: Todd Mintz in comments linked his own SEO recall, written back in 07.

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