What Was Your Defining SEO Career Moment?


Someone asked me yesterday about my “defining SEO moment”.  Essentially, they wanted to know how I got *here* and what decision or moment stands out in mind as being “key” to everything that has happened since. I thought about it for awhile and, in doing so, realized that there have truthfully been a lot of defining moments in this little SEO career of mine. Some moments that immediately jumped out at me?

  • Hounding & stalking Bruce Clay, Inc. for two weeks in January 2006 before they finally agreed to hire me.
  • Getting painfully threadwatch’d a few months later.
  • Getting figuratively hit by a bus after this.
  • Moving from LA to Troy, NY.
  • The moment Rhea and I decided to stop living by others’ standards and started Outspoken Media.
  • Getting weird at TEDxAlbany.
  • And so many more along the way.

Thinking about the question for myself made me want to hear from others. I asked my Twitter followers about their defining moment. What was the moment that got them here? I have to admit, I was pretty taken back by the insightfulness of many of the answers. So much so that I decided to include the responses I received here. I think you’ll agree they’re pretty kickass.

If your story isn’t here, I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments below.

What is your defining SEO career moment?

Your Comments

  • The day my very first guest blog post went live.

  • I thought of another one reading over this post – I won a ticket from Jill Whalen to attend SES Toronto in 2004. That was my first SEO conference and the whole field was still very new to me. I started adding SEO into my website business at that time – a bunch of ups and downs since then but now my business has tilted almost entirely towards SEO. Thanks Jill!

    • That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Awww…shucks! You can thank SES for that as they used to give me those passes to give away to HRA subscribers. I guess you can also thank my son who used to help me pick the names out of one of his hats! :)

      • A lot of the conferences used to do that. I don’t see that anymore. I wonder if they stopped or if people just stopped giving them out.

        • They’ve turned into cheap bastards ;)

          On another note, this post and Dana’s comment here has inspired my newsletter article this week. Unbeknownst to Lisa, she makes a cameo…look for it tomorrow (Wed!)

  • In order:

    Getting my first SEO job in 2006 from @andybeal.

    Sitting in a pitch for my old agency and realizing I didn’t know the answer to a technical SEO question. Ugh, I’d become a “suit”.

    Meeting @vanessafox at SMX West and having her offer me a job!

    The day my first post on SEL went live. :)

    • oops, wrong date on the first SEO job. It was 2002. Was it really that long ago?!

    • Having Vanessa Fox offer you a job is a pretty good defining moment. :)

      • I’m not sure she knows how much she altered the course of my life for the better, but working with her is what made me realize I wanted to be a consultant.

  • The day someone sub-titled a post on WebmasterWorld “What Would Netmeg Do?”

    • Aussiewebmaster

      The day I started using the WWND business methods

  • During my first week as a sales consultant at an SEO company that I had worked for for years, I sold a huge account. In the words of my boss at the time, “I bagged the elephant!” Unfortunately, we weren’t able to deliver the results according to the client’s expectations. I learned a valuable lesson that setting client expectations was hugely critical, and that even a hugely profitable client from a financial standpoint may not always be a good fit for the company.

  • Oh, I thought of another! Making the decision to take 2 days out of a vacation in Europe to go to Distilled’s Linklove conference in London, where I met Tom and Will and others and found out about the NYC office opening. I also met Wil Reynolds and Rand, and all of this set me on the course to where I am now. If I had never made that choice, I wouldn’t be where I am.

  • Keywords and crossed fingers (an old English habit) when we launched our first travel website in 2001. Then eating fresh fish on the beach, grilled to perfection – well deserved after an all night, all-out final push to get that first barebones site on the road.
    Best wishes,