15 years ago

On May 22, 2002, at 2PM Pacific time, Michael Campbell (website no longer active) announced OptiLink to his newsletter subscribers.  This is the first of ground-breaking tools that “put me on the map” in SEO.


I know it seems hard to believe for you new kids, but way back in the old days, no one was talking about link text.  The tools of the day measured keyword density and link popularity (the count of inbound links, but not the text used).  OptiLink was the first tool to provide a means to spider the backlink results for a URL; locate the anchor text used; and report in a manner that led to anctionable decisions to dramatically improve rank – usually in the next “dance”.

Sidebar:  You remember the Google dance?  The batch update that happened every 4-6 weeks?  Yeah, Google was not always realtime.  :-)

I never told the “behind the scenes” story of OptiLink – the person that gave me the idea, the secret that was “hidden in the open” that no one else saw, the crazy 6 months building the first release, the phone call from Google (that’s a priceless story), the affiliates that got banned, the one forum post that got them all restored, why I ultimately stopped selling it, and the two other gems I found along the way.

Maybe it is time for the OptiLink memoir.



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