SEO: The Movie is a documentary about the origins of search engine optimization (SEO). It was produced by Ignite Visibility, a San Diego based digital marketing agency and is directed and narrated by their CEO and co-founder John Lincoln. The movie is a look at the history of SEO, from the 90s and early 2000s, told by industry pioneers who were there at the beginning and where SEO might be headed in the future.
Who and What Is SEO: The Movie About?
The story is told in interviews by prominent SEO industry figures like Danny Sullivan, Rand Fishkin, Jill Walen, Rae Hoffman, Brett Tabke and Barry Schwartz. Matt Cutts, member of Google’s webspam team and Google’s frontman with webmasters and publishers, is also featured prominently, though he does not appear for interviews.
SEO: The Movie starts with how all the interviewees first found their ways into the emerging field of SEO and search rankings and about the pursuit of finding out how things worked. It also talks about black hat versus white hat SEO tactics, the long and ongoing tension between search engines and the SEO industry and the history of Google updates. They go into how Matt Cutts was both an authoritative voice on Google’s updates and algorithm changes, yet was also a source of tension with how much information Google wanted published by SEO consultants and webmasters. Transparency has remained a big issue, even to this day. The movie also talks about the severe repercussions of major Google updates and how they can throw businesses into chaos, scrambling to find a foothold after new algorithm changes upend ranking metrics and search results.
What the Future Holds
The latter half of the movie goes into the future of search and SEO, as predicted by veterans of the field. The effects voice and visual search will have on the industry and where SEO goes from there. How as long as people are looking for things and researching topics, there needs to be people to help others find the information they are looking for. All in all, SEO: The Movie is an enjoyable film and not too long, given how much ground it covers. Anyone interested in SEO, its history or its future should give it a watch.