…I was learning my trade, and this is one of my oldest websites. It may look dated today but way back when it was made, it was truly cutting edge. When it launched, there was no such thing as Facebook (well, it was being made in 2004 but only available to Hardvard students), no meaningful social media, and keyword advertising was only just getting going with Google Adwords.
The Power Of Affiliates
This was a fully featured search engine that relied on word of mouth and affiliates to gets it’s traffic. Leveraging affiliates was one of the only ways to mass market websites, and this one got big. Really big. You may even have seen it if you were online back then.
It got so big that it was ranked in the top 8,000 sites in the world according to Alexa, was getting over 60 million hits a month, especially in the USA, and had over 8,000 website owners sending traffic my way.
It was enormous. Imagine doing this with no social media today. This was all single handedly built, run, and maintained with from a laptop on my kitchen table. Having this website meant I was ‘in the zone’ for several years. I was constantly working, constantly evolving, and constantly communicating with the world. A true baptism of fire.
It’s amazing to think this was 20 years ago. Time flies.
A Lesson In Traffic
Back in the day, it was a real ‘wild west’ with internet traffic, and you had to really think on your feet to overcome problems. Things like click fraud were emerging and with affiliates earning money from traffic, things were developing fast. With such a huge volume of traffic, I had to implement strategies on the fly, and without interrupting the website.
Multi-IP click protection, variable click timing, view to click delays – you name it, I devised and implemented it. There were no ‘off the shelf’ solutions back then. This is where I really learned about the mechanics of the internet.
Managing a website of this size was a big job. From the multitude of emails, client payments, traffic checking, stat analysis – alongside development and research meant the hours were long. It’s very much like the internet today. Except now, as a small business owner, you have all this analysis to do with not much traffic. You have social media accounts to maintain, cloud stats systems such as Google Analytics and Search Console, the need for link and profile building – the workload can be enormous to stay ahead of your competition.
This is why it is imperative you have a plan from the outset, and a website that works around you. So many times I say to people that they must run their own business, not a website. Ensure it is easy to maintain and manage. Don’t make it overly complex, and let it just draw in the customers.
Thousands Of Members
Anybody can make a website. That’s why some people offer them cheaply. But you cannot buy the kind of experience you get with my services. The difference between a good, functional website that works for you, and an ‘off the shelf’ website is one of visibility and professionalism. A bespoke site that follows Google’s protocols will rank much higher, and bring in more traffic. It’s then up to you to convert it into business.
A website represents your very business, and if it looks half finished, what does that say about you to potential new clients?
January 6, 2024