Before OptiLink there was…

A thing I was calling OptiText.  Never heard of it?  Not surprising: I never released it because of this weird thing called “ethics”.

During late 2000 and all of 2001 I was getting serious about growing organic traffic to some sites I was running (that’s another story).  The “gold standard” of SEO analysis of the day was a little tool named GRKda.

It measured “keyword density” which was all the rage back then and “proven” over-and-over to be the best way to rank a page.

Meanwhile, I was regularly talking with Michael Campbell and he suggested that SEO Software was a hot market that I should pursue, so I started building OptiText as the GRKda-killer – since it was really clunky and tedious to use.

About six months later and a bunch of review with Michael, I had a damn fine prototype.  There was just one little problem…

It didn’t work!  Well, I mean, the software did work.  It measured keyword density.  It even did it in real-time as you typed in a WYSIWYG editor (more-or-less … it was 15 years ago!), and even ignored your customizable stop-word list.

But it didn’t “work”.  That is, keyword density in no way whatsoever correlated with ranking.  I compared my results with all the other products available and not one of them gave actionable information.  Shock and horror – they were all lying their asses off.  And they still are!!!  GRKda is – unbelievable – still for sale today.

So I had a real ethics issue! I had a product nearly ready for market.  It did what everyone expected, plus just a bit better and more friendly.  What to do?  Tell the same lies?  Somehow sidestep the question?  Figure out what it was good for other than ranking?  Micheal suggested we send it to a few Internet marketers on his list and have them make suggestions.

Brilliant!  And if not for that, I would never have heard THE ONE SENTENCE that caused me to create OptiLink…

That is the subject of tomorrow’s gripping episode.  🙂

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