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On May 22, 2002, at 2PM Pacific time, Michael Campbell (website no longer active) announced OptiLink to his newsletter subscribers.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.

OptiLink-wayback

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.

 

 

Please Vote for My Friends’ Kids :)

Please help. Darrin, my tax attorney, consulting client and long time good friend has kids – who knew – with the entrepreneurial spirit we love in humans both large and small and it is the small ones that need the most help and encouragement. Please take a couple minutes and support a fun kid’s project. It costs you about 30 seconds, it adds unknown wonders for a couple kids and is a positive Karma move for you! The worse case is you help a big company justify planting some trees at a school – how could that ever be bad?

Here’s the unedited email from Darrin – jump to the end for the links and please like’em and vote’em. The vote link is below the video and the super video you should vote for is labeled “Ryan M”.

Leslie,

Can you help with this?

Some of you may know that I have been blessed with two wonderful children, Ryan (10) and Rachel (8). They are very entrepreneurial. A couple years ago when Ryan decided that he wanted to win first place in the popcorn selling contest to raise money for Cub Scouts, he sold over $2500 worth the hard way….mostly in face to face, door to door sales. He did that thru hard work with encouragement and support from me and my truly amazing wife, Heather.

Today I am excited to announce that Ryan and Rachel have been selected as finalists in a NATIONAL video contest put forth by Scottie’s Facial Tissue. The name of the contest is Trees Rock. Their assignment was to make a three minute video demonstrating what trees mean to them and to their school. We worked on this assignment as a family brainstorming on a road trip to Tennessee. We came up with the concept and shot the video in LaGrange, GA at Nana’s house. There were ups and downs during the preparation and shooting phase of the video. I’m pretty sure I made my baby girl cry. (BAD DADDY)

Ryan did ALL OF THE EDITING ON THE VIDEO. I did nothing but help him get it rendered and uploaded to the contest site at the end. He has a love for technology and an enthusiasm for learning that I learn from every day.

The video came out great. Still…..I wasn’t sure that they had done well enough. At the beginning of December we got the call! Scottie’s loved Ryan & Rachel’s video! They were to be among the 12 finalists in the whole country! They have already won their school, Veteran’s Elementary $1000 but the Grand Prize lies ahead for my little industrious kidlets, $10,000 for their school to plant trees and make a shaded luncheon and instructional area.

This leads me to how you can help. The Grand Prize winner will be selected solely by the largest number of votes made from January 15, 2013 to February 15, 2013. You can vote once PER DAY during this time frame. You can see their winning video below and make sure to opt in to our reminder email list. The kids have also made short tree jokes videos, one per day, to remind you to vote for them every day. Please, please like their Facebook Page at Trees Rock Tampa at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trees-Rock-Tampa/353155531449091?fref=ts and share their tree joke videos every day. If this can go viral, I have no doubt that they will win that money for their school.

Let’s show kids that you don’t win by doing nothing. You don’t win by sitting on the couch playing video games. You win in life by taking massive action. They have taken massive action by doing what average people won’t do. I have no doubt that, with your help, we can propel them and their school to winning the Grand Prize.

You can see the winning video at: http://treesrocktampa.com/the-winning-video/

Darrin Mish

Jack Nicholson – The Sales Manager (Humor break)

This came up in conversation a few week’s back so I dug it up to share with everybody. It is a spoof of the court interrogation of Colonel Nathan Jessip in A Few Good Men wherein “the accused” is a sales manager … catch the heinous charge at the end!
http://leslierohde.com/wp-content/uploads/Jack-Nicholson-the-Sales-Manager.mp3
There are multiple versions of this floating around but this one is by far the best. The origin of it is unknown — my daughter got it from her sales manager in a previous job.
Enjoy.

Skiing Antarctica

In Warren Miller’s continuing quest to ski every flake of snow the world over, here is this clip of skiing on or at least near the Antarctic continent:
Skiing Antarctica

This is something of a dear subject for me as I spent a year there myself, though what little skiing I got to do was on some really ancient cross-country skis and on “snow” that would barely take crampons let alone an edge, but enough whining. Cool footage of water and ice and blue sky above.

For some of my own pictures (I really need to get ’round to posting more), see My Year in Antarctica.

An Aussie Having Me On

Katy (killerbunny600) is regaling me with tales of Drop Bears and Hoop Snakes, dangerous animals of the Australian Bush.

Drop bears have these really sharp fangs and hang around in trees to drop on top of your head when you walk underneath. Hoop Snakes don’t seem quite so bad as the worse thing with them is they bite their own tail, forming a hoop, so they can be rolled around for hours of entertainment.

Oh, okay, I get it. Turns out that in point of fact these beasts are actually of the mythical variety — danger averted.

In other local news… voting in this (otherwise) fine country is actually required and you will be fined if you do not. Wow. We now return you to your regularly scheduled SEO content.

Married 24 Years

24 year anniversary dinner at Benihana (2008)Who knew such a thing was even possible — let alone enjoyable!  Wife and son at Benihana following the usual engorging this entails.  Missing is our daughter. 
In two dozen years you end up with a lot of pictures like this.  Scanners and large disk drives are my current cure for Alzheimer’s.  😐  In each successive picture, my son is larger and larger.  At 3 inches taller than me and 22 years to do it, I think he now fills as much of the frame as we can expect.

Awe Does Not Survive Arrival

An obtuse title to be sure — I just love doing that :-) — but this really is about SEO and Internet Marketing. I was once in awe of Michael Campbell, Stephen Mahaney, Marlon Sanders, John Reese, etc. They were all somehow larger than life.

Earlier today, yesterday by the time you see this, I sent out the personal story of my association with the person who is now "the most famous OptiLink customer", and for good reason, given the amount of money he makes and the stir he has caused! You might be in awe of Brad, as I was once in awe of others.

So now let me tell you "the story before the story".

Before you get to be a "guru", gurus appear to be cast in marble and somehow slightly taller and better looking than anyone else. That’s all PhotoShop. Once you get to be one, and that notice arrives some considerable time after you actually become a guru, you suddenly notice that they (my God, you!) are not marble after all and sadly :-( are not all that great looking either!

It’s not that gurus are not gurus. That’s not how "awe" dies. It is that all gurus were first people, did a few ultimately simple but not easy things that anyone can do, and yet still remained after the fact more-or-less the unchanged pre-guru people they were.

You might be wondering what the whole point of being guru is in the first damn place. As it turns out, not much!

Ultimately, awe is fully and simply the result of not having done it yet. Once you yourself have done it, is it still awesome? Enjoyable? Yes. Worth doing again? You bet. But is there awe? No, there’s identity, understanding and comradeship. The bond that exists between, more-or-less, peers that have all had to overcome very similar challenges.

Rejoice, as I have, in the death of awe! Embrace in its place gratitute for your teachers; your connections to others of like mind; and your new found opportunity to guide others on that path you have followed. All of it way better than awe.

Oh yeah, and about Brad: he’s just this guy! But… he is a guy who has actually "done it". So unless you’ve already done what Brad has done; or are getting the straight scoop from someone else who has; you might consider trying to hook up!