First Generation SEO’s Still Kicking Butt

Back in the 1990′s BC, before Web 2.0, search engine marketing, social media marketing and RSS feed worship, there were some folks like myself messing around with source code fully intent on outsmarting search algorithms. The tools we used then were crude and required a little elbow grease. There were these insane moments when I’d be in a meeting, being congratulated for making the client’s site rank so well, and all that was missing were the nearly naked male attendants fanning me and feeding me grapes.

I have on my desk one of Bruce Clay’s first colorful search engine maps, as my own personal keepsake of the old days when there were lots of search engines that mattered, not just one. He may represent different things to people, but for me, Bruce Clay was the man who provided the first color coded visual of what I had stored inside my head, and had on my own website in text format.

My version of the search engine map had pricing, and tracked who was purchased by whom, the date of the death of the search engine, and the URL’s for submitting to them. I had a page that tracked search engines and another one that tracked directories. In those days, there was a difference. There were many players, choices and options.

Lately, several of the pioneers in the industry are making comebacks or finding ways to meet the challenging landscape that tortures every SEO. Danny Sullivan has a new company, several new sites, a new conference program and a new social web site called Sphinn.

The man who researched how search engines work and wrote the Search Engine Book most of us inhaled on the topic, Mike Grehan, has joined Bruce Clay Inc. as their Vice President, International Business Development

Peter DaVanzo has launched Link Juicy. Peter starts off by interviewing “Fantomaster”. Interviews were something he used to do on a regular basis in his SearchEngineBlog. He conducted them with humor and a strong sense of wanting to get real information rather than fluff.

The always brilliant, entertaining and thoughtful Bob Massa has a new blog called, Ask The SEO Guru. Bob has been through hell and back in this industry. Don’t miss his blog.

“Fantomaster”, Ralph Tegtmeier, has recently brought FantomNews out of moth balls. “Fantomaster” is legendary. He and his team were cutting edge when knives and drills were needed to slap search engines around, but somehow, he managed to produce his products with class. Threadwatch got a reprieve when it was saved from drowning by Ralph and fans, who turned it into Threadwatcher.

San Jose SES

I leave for San Jose SES on Sunday. It’ll be my first visit to California and first conference I’m attending without my bodyguard guideperson husband. As a reporter for SearchEngineRoundTable, it will be my job to bring some of the conference experience to your corner of the world so you’re not left out. Our blogging schedule has been posted – Roundtable Coverage Schedule of the Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2007 Show.

I will be attending the Google Dance, looking for somebody to show me what all the fuss over this gig is about. I’ll be attending the SEO Womens Luncheon, praying I’m not kicked out because technically, I no longer do SEO. I work with them. I support them. But I’m not sure I deserve a chair at this limited seating event. I know I RSVP’d the WebmasterRadio.FM SearchBash but I never received any confirmation, so I have no idea if I filled out the form right and frustrating the usability lady is, well, we just won’t go there. I’ve caused enough trouble.

I would, however, like to know what mysterious thing you have to do to get into the so-called “private” parties. Obviously I need a hot date…someone who knows everybody and has been around for years and years.

Like I have.

7 thoughts on “First Generation SEO’s Still Kicking Butt”

  1. Hi Kim,

    I think I could have written your comments on SES San Jose. I keep getting emails to RSVP for webmasterradio.fm but I already did it – I think…..

    I’m a small town girl – but totally excited about travel. My first conference trip my boss and a client were with me, so Seattle wasnt that scary – now I’m taking a co-worker – also a “small town girl” should be an interesting “Wizard of Oz/Clampetts visit San Jose” remix! :D

    See you there – If we dont see each other before, I’ll catch up w/ you at the “Ladies who Lunch” event!

    ~Carrie

  2. It’s a deal Carrie!

    FYI to all:

    The Women in SEO Lunch is filling up so fast Liana got extra room and seats. Anyone still interested must contact her asap.

    Ave. cost of the meal will be $25US, though she’s seeking a sponsor who wants to make a lasting impression on the brilliant and talented women who will be there, and who wants some publicity.

  3. I also am heading to Search Engine Strategies this week. I am writing this while looking at the ocean at The Kind Grind in Santa Cruz. From reading your post I guess I am one of the “First Generation SEO’s” that are still kicking around. My last trip to San Jose was in 1995 to the Spring Internet World. By then I was already building web sites and working with the keywords to get first place rankings.

    Over the last twelve years we have seen the Internet change the world in ways we could only imagine then. My first introduction to the Internet was when I was told to purchase Spry Internet in a Box. At the Spring Internet Show they were celebrating the sale of the company to Compuserve for one hundred million dollars the first big Internet deal.

    As I sit here at the beach drinking my Kona blend coffee I am listening to a bunch of old surfers tell stories of the old days over their coffee, I imagine this week will be something like that and I also know we will hear a whole lot of great new ideas and information.

    This week we all need to answer the question: What’s next?

  4. I wish I could be there, Kim. I would have loved to attend the “Lunch for Ladies who do something” (teasing about the name, but mean it about attending).

    I remember many people from way back when, many of whom are still around. Lots of discussion. I guess I usually just go quietly about my business, but I remember determining that “mechanized SEO” ;) was not going to be my path — which is not to say that it isn’t sometimes illuminating to hear about it.

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