I have been wanting to write up some things about how I got into SEO and what some of SEO crowd mean to me. I have read about SEO for years, I have blogged for about five days.
As a way of introducing myself to everyone I am probably going to meet at SMX (my first search conference ever in the whole wide world) here begins the “Pat Tells All” series.
As I was thinking about this, I was on Cartoon Barry, the blog of Barry Schwartz (the news guru of Searchengineland). More exactly I was reading his post about linking to and discussing the posts at Search Engine RoundTable when I remembered something, Rusty Brick is where I first read about SEO. Really. It was a long while ago. I remember that I saw his PageRank prediction tool. I didn’t know what Google page rank was, and starting reading about page rank because of that tool.
How I got into SEO
I was eating sunflower seeds in Portland Oregon when I decided to move to Hawaii. Only problem was I had no money (I sold paintings on the street or at Saturday Market) except twenty dollars.
Like any wise person does, I put that twenty dollar bill into the slot of a video poker machine to see if my Hawaii idea was a good one. I ended up with 750 dollars that night and I was on a plane in a couple of days to Honolulu. I ran completely out of money after two days in Waikiki, but I had my hostel room for a few more days and I noticed a sign that said that you could work for a few hours a week instead of paying rent. Cool. I was a sweeping mopping really tan guy living less that two blocks from Waikiki beach.
Well, they had a computer that you could use for free at that hostel, and use it I did. I was curious about how search engines worked, not because of SEO, but more just cause I thought it was neato that Google could sort through things the way it did.
The hostel had a website that sucked. The general manager noticed how I was always on the computer and asked me what I was doing. I told him. I was making websites with frontpage and seeing what happened. He asked if I would look at their website and see if I could offer any suggestions.
I was an SEO!
Okay, I wasn’t even aware of the term SEO yet, but by goly, I had an honest to goodness website to play with now. I began researching SEO heavily, very very heavily. The first thing I did was read every page of Barry’s RustyBrick.com . My first two memories of SEO were his tool page and an image that showed the inter-relationship of search engines that I am not sure if it was on his site or not, but I remember that image.
That was my first SEO research which led to me discovering an enormous amount of resources that were out there. The website of the hostel was eventually redesigned and has enjoyed top ranking for years, and I made some good money out of it. That was my first SEO “job”
So Barry, thanks and I look forward to meeting you and saying hello at SMX.