Back in 2010, a little group of SEO professionals decided to create a local trade group for an early developing industry: search engine optimization. The name of the group: Seattle SEO Network. The founders: Carl Larson, Alex Kline, Gabriel Gervelis, Wendy Williams, Cindy Lavoie, Jeff Sliger and myself started what may some day be the default local trade group for this budding industry.
We had hopes it could help all the small businesses in the local area have more trust for SEO’s locally. We had big dreams in promoting the industry since it was a fledgling one at the time and still is to a considerable extent.
Here’s a picture of us in an office Gabe let us use in one of the earlier meetings. I’m in the back in the blue track suit looking down.
At the time of the founding, I bought the domain seattleseonetwork.org because it was available. While brain storming ideas and domains for the organization, I found that seattleseonetwork.org and .com were available. After the success of our website/company garnering #1 positions for both “seattle seo” and “seo seattle,” I knew if we pooled together our resources and talents, the organization could easily overtake my company and any other local SEO if we wanted to with the domain. I had to make a call: do I share the news or do I hold onto it myself? Also, do I hand it over to the organization or can they trust me that I would simply keep it live for the organization.
I decided to share the news and also open the discussion for the organization taking over the domain. Instead of just talking about it and creating the option of me simply managing the domains from my domain account, one of our founders – Carl Larson objected to me owning the domain and more importantly, refused to let me hold onto the management of the domain. He said that it was impossible for me to hold onto it. Despite my promise and agreement to even sign any legal documentation, he wouldn’t let me have the option. Before being guilted into giving over the domain, I decided already I was going to to do what was best for the group. Nevertheless, it felt a bit “funny” (to say the least) in being threatened to give it over.
Today, I looked at the search and my prediction came true 3+ years later.
I even verified it with Rank Checker to prove that the search results page was consistent whereever you were:
It’s funny because I had a conversation with a few others mentioning how right I would be later in the future. Moreover, I felt it was a bit unfair that being threatened to give over a domain I purchased to the group’s welfare would only benefit me – which frankly, it didn’t one iota.
The good news for Carl is that I’m not vindictive. The other good news is that I let “by gone’s be by gone’s”, but I also have a very unforgetful memory. Carl went on to do some other “interesting” things that other clients have reported to me in confidentiality that supported this relatively irrational threat. He always seemed to be somewhat “off” at times, but I do give him credit for his persistence. Without it, the group may have not kept going and without his adamant belief in the things he truly is passionate about, I guess some things would have never happened. I do wish he would of been a little more trusting of me and also didn’t make as big of a deal of it at the time.
Nevertheless, I see the group still has some wonderful people like Alex who I introduced to the others and Jeff Sliger, one of my favorite, if not my favorite guys in the entire SEO industry. Jeff was nominated by Rand Fishkin, Seomoz’s CEO as one of the top 5 SEO’s in the Seattle area. At first, I didn’t know why, but after getting to know this gentleman of a guy, I think he’s possibly one of the top 5 guys in the Seattle area beyond just being an SEO.
Anyway, I’m not one to usually say “I told you so,” but after looking at what is today the truth. I just have to say it.
The good news is though that despite temporarily (for now) placing our business on hold while I help the future of China become prepped for the world, our Seattle Organic SEO still ranks high for a more important phrase: “SEO Seattle.”