What is the first niche that you worked in? What were your results?
9 👍🏽948 💬🗨
Local fragrance shop in 2001. I started messing with Title tag with "hot fragrances" and it hit #1. But no ecom store.
And this was before multiple mfg images of products. I was actually taking pics and posting for every product. Soon this tiny perfume shop was hotlinked and copied for dozens of top brands.
But when Cher appeared on Oprah talkshow and talked about a miracle skincare product is when we hit the jackpot. People went to Yahoo and Google to search for this rare product. Sold all 5 bottles in a day.
The store closed in 2008 as the owner retired.
Assuming you mean only in my years online, well, that's still really going to be opening a web design business in 1995. Pretty competitive, then and now. 🤣
However, when it comes to web marketing / Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it was the 'Adult' market. Back in the mid 90s there was no 'SEO' – that name didn't come along until around 1998. Instead we did web promotion or web positioning. There weren't that many businesses online in 1996. Many of those that were didn't have online shopping or a merchant account, and instead worked more like an online brochure for mail order.
But the online businesses that did have online payments sorted, and some serious ecommerce going on already, were the adult industry, and the gambling industry. p0rn and Casinos were the two biggest niches, and the two biggest employers. Online dating wasn't too far behind, and often had some connections with the adult industry anyway.
So, I spent around 5 years all-told specializing in the adult niche, dealing with database driven sites and server-smashing traffic volumes when most others were building 3-page brochure sites. Hugely competitive, extremely cut-throat, and it gave me a technical and experiential advantage that held good for years.
Thanks for sharing and giving me a glimpse of what SEO was like in the early days.
Ammon 🎓 » Follosco
In the 90s, most 'respectable' brands and companies thought we were 'hacking' the search engines or something similar. They'd make us sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)s before even talking to us about potentially making a proposal. 😃
Built a business that's clawed in many multiples of 7 figures and continues to dominate its industry. In that it's still the only one really.
We got hit by panda and a few years ago we took a minor beating from an unknown update .. but generally it's been plain sailing.
Adam J. Humphreys
Infosec or really hacking with an ebook for $60 for how to hack. I ran one of the top progenic sites and predicted more than a few major hacks that came years down the road because big egos fall first. After that a MasterCard affiliate which it's too bad I didn't do myself because those guys were morons.
Ammon I didn't know I was even doing "SEO" until 2007. I just recognized that links and architecture made obvious changes. W3 and Google was basically my resource from 2001 on. I learned mostly from viewing people's source and in some cases making my own scripts.
I worked with a Local School Management Software(Nepal) and was able to outrank big players.
Unfortunately, the product(system) wasn't ready for the global market, otherwise, it would have been a great hit.
Home Improvement. We took a local business website and ranked it. Two of their most profitable pages ranked almost everywhere in the US and in many other countries. It was so sweet to see a small business kill it that way. At its peak, brought in upwards of 20k visitors/month. 🙂
My first web site was a digital celebrity fan mail database. It was built as a sort of experiment in how to create a web site (with the limited tools we had available to us back then) without a lot of scripting (since that needed certain browsers to function properly) but that contained a lot of information and that could scale.
Back in 1994, the web was new – at least in terms of being accessible to the masses. I was always interested in pop culture, and since a few movie studios were experimenting with things for movie (and star promotion) it made sense for me to play in that arena. I knew the web was going to evolve into a great way for famous folks to communicate to the masses to promote themselves and their upcoming projects, but there was no real central "directory" for that sort of thing.
So, I made a DB that had celebrity's public email addresses (usually things routed through their agents for fan mail, really) as well as connections to their own web sites if they had them. I worked a bit with some celebrities directly (Like Rodney Dangerfield who was, at that time, the undisputed King of Merch on the web) and some small production companies (like Adam Sandler's guys before they actually became "Happy Madison") and others to integrate news feeds via XML so they could promote public chat room appearances, new movie news, and so on. It was pretty darned cool stuff. Got to email back and forth with several pretty big names directly, too. So that was fun.
As for the "Results" part of the question… well, I never made a dime on it. At that point, I still had my full time job in Food and Beverage. I was doing the "web thing" to try to learn it and figure out where it was going – and then trying to find ways to eventually turn that into something. So, even without ever seeing a penny (besides some free movie tickets, I did get work making a few "Official Celebrity" web sites but that never really took off. Christian Bale (a virtual nobody back then) was about the biggest name there – even though he wouldn't really be a "big" name for another decade.
It laid the foundation for future work, though. And, as you can see from the attached screenshot, it taught me how to totally shut down my horrific design sensibilities and just focus on the "function" side of things. lol (This is a VERY early screenshot and the design of the site DID get a bit better before the end – but it gives you an idea of why you want me working on the "tech" side of things and why we really want to bring someone else in to work on the "design" side.)
My eyes! My eyes! 😃
Yep. It's wise to keep me over in the "tech and implementation" department and to keep me far away from the design side. lol
Truslow 🎓 » Ammon
Here's the site I was working back when you and I first started to run in the same circles. Not much design improvement there. How many choices CAN I get above the damned fold!!?!?!?
The thing was basically responsive, too. It didn't "stack columns" like modern design would, but all the main divs would scale and content would wrap properly so you could view it on anything from a 320px screen and up.
So, as usual… it "worked" better than it "looked" lol
Yeah, I actually remember that site of yours. I don't know how you can say it had no improvement because at the very least a palette of blues is sane compared to the "I hear there are now 64 million colors and I want to use ALL of them" approach of that earlier one. 😃
I had no idea you were fluent in so many languages though! 😁
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