A Bit of History
Around 1999 Keith and I started designing and developing websites for people and companies in the days when the standard screen size was 800 x 600 pixels, dial up modems were the norm and putting just a few images on the website would seriously impact page loading time.
Global internet users numbered around 280 million, increasing to 500 million by 2001, the 1 billion mark in 2005 and doubling that by 2010.
The Netscape browser was running version 4.5, Opera 3.6 and IE had released version 5 in March.
Safari was not due until 2003, Firefox the following year and Chrome in 2008.
It seemed to us that a lot of the small to medium companies only got a website because their immediate competitors had got one and as for adopting a company email address that featured on their letterheads, well ..... you simply didn't do business that way.
We were pretty good at SEO, well, very good in fact and got good rankings for our clients, lots of key terms on page 1 of Google, who at that time were still pretty new in the market.
Google was the new pretender and MSN (supported by search results from Inktomi and a search advertising platform from Looksmart)
There was the Yahoo! free search, but you really wanted to be in the paid directory where your submission was checked by a real human being. Inktomi at the time was offering early versions of what would later become Pay Per Click.