The year was 1996 and DVDs just came out in Japan, Internet Explorer 3.0 was launched, Ebay started their auction and shopping website and Dolly the sheep was the first mammal to successfully be cloned.
In a time with such rapid technological change and where the US stock markets were gaining at an incredible pace, Chris Genge started playing around with his own websites to figure out what it took to get them ranked. The term “SEO” had only been coined the year before and the SEO industry was very much green. Google didn’t even exist and early Search Engines included AltaVista, HotBot, Lycos, Yahoo, among others.
At that time you could make one small change on your website, hit refresh, and immediately see results (for better or worse). It was using this method that Chris started to reverse engineer the Search Engines to figure out what boosted rankings and what hurt rankings. Still working full time as an Engineer Chris started to see the serious potential to turn this new hobby into a profitable business.
As he felt more and more confident that he knew what it took to properly rank websites and keep them ranked, Chris completed all the paperwork and in January 1997 1st on the List Promotion Inc. was officially founded.
Essentially 1st on the List grew out of a one-man operation where Chris oversaw and did everything himself. Over the next few years our SEO Company grew rapidly and Chris had to hire several new staff and train them to provide top notch SEO as well. In time, they outgrew their small basement office and leased an office in Abbotsford, BC.
In the fall of 2004, three staff traveled to Simi Valley, California to complete the Bruce Clay, Inc. SEOToolSet? Certification. At the start of 2005 1st on the List became the first SEO Company to attain the SEOToolSet? Certification designation.
As a pioneering firm in the industry 1st on the List has developed deep capabilities over the years to analyze a website and identify underlying site design and server configuration issues. Even though making changes isn’t as instantaneous as hitting refresh like it was in the early days our clients experience long term improvement and growth in their website. In fact, our oldest client started working with us in 1999. That’s longer than many SEO companies have even been in business!
Over the years we’ve introduced new service offerings in order to keep up with our client’s needs and Search Engine requirements. In the early 2010’s we identified a major service gap with many web developers and designers who could create beautiful websites but failed to integrate crucial Search Engine Friendly components. We had too many business owners come to us with a brand new website that looked great but because of limitations in the platform or how it was set up, it never had a chance of ranking well. Soon after we launched a web design department and we now develop great looking, Search Engine friendly websites.
If there is one thing for certain in our industry it is that SEO is constantly evolving at a rapid rate. It is paramount that we help our clients keep up with best practises because it’s impossible for them to do on their own.
1st on the List is now a full-service search engine optimization company committed to using only ethical, industry accepted search engine optimization and search engine marketing best practices. Despite a number of things changing about our business and industry as we’ve grown up over the years the one thing we haven’t compromised on is our stance on ethical best practices. We protect the integrity of all our clients’ websites by following industry accepted strategies and Google Webmaster guidelines, as well as anticipate how their guidelines and search requirements will change in the future.
To this day Chris still continues to oversee all projects. Together with his entire team he stays current with SEO technologies and is always pushing his highly skilled staff of SEO Professionals to stay ahead on what is coming, so that clients are always prepared for shifts in the SEO Industry. All SEO project leads have over 12 years of experience in SEO. We are driven by helping clients increase their website visibility and online branding. When we help meet their goals, we all celebrate.
Now that we’ve shared how we got to where we are today we’d love to hear your story too, whether you’re discovering us for the first time, have been referred by a colleague or perhaps seen us featured on websites like Top SEO’s.