I am a long way behind on memes, in some cases a good 3 or 4 weeks, but I have the ones I am interested in bookmarked, and I will come back to them when I have time.
My First #1 Google Ranking
I was building my first serious websites back in 1996/97 though I have been online extensively since 1993, I no longer have $400 per month internet bills.
In those days search engines didn’t matter for me in the slightest, I was looking for coverage from major websites in my niche (computer games), being interviewed on websites many of which no longer exist, having my latest promotional screenshots listed, and gaining mentions on various geeky places such as the OpenGL mailing list.
It actually took 2 or 3 years to capitalise of the media attention I was gaining for various products with an extremely limited budget. Representing a team of inexperienced (but highly talented) programmers and trying to sign publisher deals was certainly an uphill struggle, and the deals we did eventually land were plagued with payment, legal and technical difficulties that certainly didn’t allow the products to be released in the manner we expected.
Some of the titles were initially slated for a 1998 release, so you can imagine the kind of reviews they received in the press in 2000/2001 when they finally received coverage as a budget release – our publisher really didn’t put any effort into promoting them.
It is highly likely that when Google launched their first search engine, that as well as product names the sites I created ranked for things like “S3 Virge OpenGL Driver” or “Matrox OpenGL Driver” because we released a lot of free OpenGL “wrappers” for various graphics cards as a way of promoting our games. It only took 24 hours to build up a mailing list of 5000 gamers, and a press mailing list of over 100 editors.
Some of those wrappers actually allowed us to get some additional paid work with graphics card manufacturers which provided some nice “small change” to feed the development coffers.
In some ways we also were the first to coin the phrase “3D Music” in regards to music mixing software that allowed you to animate the location of instruments in 3D space.
Niche Website ?
Since I started niche marketing, which is probably when I first started taking a notice of search engine rankings, I suppose my first Google #1 was niche website, although I am only #3 currently.
I don’t generally talk about #1 rankings for my niche sites, and most of those I keep under wraps.
As I gradually make improvements to the optimization of this blog, hopefully it will start to rank for a few more competitive terms, though I generally rank extremely well for product reviews for anything I decide to write about.
So what became of my old game company?
Techland went on to finally release Chrome which was well regarded despite being developed on a much lower budget than competing products, and this week they are launching Call of Juarez with Ubisoft for Xbox360 and PC internationally, including in the US. It has previously been released in Europe.
Now if I was really looking to dominate the Google SERPs for this game (which will likely be quite a hit), then what I would do is pick up my video camera, make a 2 minute phone call, and go and quickly do a 30 minute exclusive interview with the development team, including an in-depth look at their development tools which I am sure would be appreciated by a Digg audience.
I don’t have any niche websites in computer games though, mainly because I made a concious decision to move in other directions.
I wonder how much such a video would be worth as linkbait?
(I stuck an advert in for the game as I decided I needed at least one picture)
I would like to thank Kevin for tagging me on this Google #1 Ranking meme