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Before Search Engines Everything Was Referral Based

ID-100206924-300x225The way to find information at the dawn of the Internet was by referrals. If you are a search engine marketer, this is important.  The basic core algorithm for all search engines is “What is the most popular website?”  This one question tortures and challenges search engine marketers.  They have created schemes, tricks and tools for the sole purpose of creating web page popularity.  Their mistake is not studying user behavior.  Companies do not invest in studying user behavior and how the data relates to their particular web site requirements.

You Have to See This

In 1995 I bought a 286 PC with a 9600 baud modem that shared my phone line.  To get email, access the Web and make my first AOL website, I had to call a long distance phone number to reach an AOL server.  Once I was connected and the modem screeching ended, I went to my favorite groups in AOL that were arranged by topic to meet and talk with other people interested in the same things.  I belonged to and moderated several email subscription groups that essentially did the same thing, which was bringing people and information together.

In the years to come, there would be all kinds of ways to find people to meet and share information with, such as e-zines, groups, chat rooms, listservs, Deja news, UseNet and early forms of instant messaging.  In 1998 I launched a forums, while participated in several others.  There was no shortage of information. Before search engines were destinations, when we wanted to know how to do something, we went to a forum or an email distribution list. Building up your business online meant participating in conversations and making referrals and recommendations.

Is your website ready for people to rave about it?