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SEO in 1996

SEO, a marketing buzz word, stands for “search engine optimization”:


“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.” – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


SEO is one of the most cost effective marketing strategies and would you believe me if I tell you that I first started SEO back in 1996?  Not only I started doing SEO back in 1996, I did it for one of the well known Snacks producer in the country, UTZ Snacks, Inc.  Yup, I am not kidding and let me prove it…  It’s actually very funny!


So, check this out…

step 1: go to, a digital library of Internet sites.  Type in “” in their web archive search and click on “Take Me Back” button as shown below:


way back machine


step 2: click on “1997” section of the entire’s archive as depicted below:


Way Back Machine


Step 3: On the calendar view of 1997, look at the April section and you will see 2 dates are circled: 15th & 16th.  The 2 circled dates means that has pages from archived on file from these two dates.  Click on the 15th, the very first date of ever recorded by and you should see this archived page.


Step 4: View the source of archived page and you should see the following source html:



What I did was later (only about ~10 years later) known as the SEO spam technique but back in 1996, it was a perfectly legitimate SEO technique to employ.


You may also notice that I’ve also coded my name in the html source…  LOL… Yup, I put my name in the source.  I did it because I knew 15 years late today I would be writing this post to brag about my doing 15 years ago.


HAHAHA…  Just kidding, the real reason I did it is because I didn’t have any reference for my resume back in 1996 (I was only a college sophomore).  So instead, I figured that if I put my name on the site, I could use the site as a reference.  Well, it worked, my interviewers always had a good laugh about it.


In case you are wondering, known search engins back then was and Yahoo! was new to market.  This SEO spam technique worked very well for both search engines and it’s one of the reason that killed Yahoo! search.  I wrote the site with VI editor on school’s SGI.  I used school scanner (only back and white) to scan in the pictures used on the site.  The entire site was completed under 3 hours and I made ~$1,200 from this project.


DISCLAIMER:  SEO today is very different.  Please DO NOT do what I did!  If you do you will be running the risk of having all indexes of your site to be totally removed from search engines! There is a very easy way for you to reduce your marketing cost and transform your website to be an organic one…  Just hire me! 🙂


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