Grandpa got Google search! 

 November 29, 2016

By  Pascal Depuhl

Kind of a precursor to search (if you wanted to find a result to a simple math problem).
Decades before Google search Granddad had one of these beasts on his desk (Image: Wikipedia)

My Grandpa mastered Search Engine Optimization 75 years ago!

Gotta hand it to my Grandpa. He got Google search, before the invention of the calculator, decades ahead of the internet. My grandfather loved technology, he was an early adopter, before anyone had even coined that phrase.

Granddad – or Vati-Vati as he liked to be called, was an avid inventor and had founded his own company after in Germany after World War II.

He also had a brilliant mind for business and used SEO long before the world-wide web was born. Here’s what he would do:

How SEO worked in the 50s

In the 1950s the preferred “search engine” was a big, fat book with yellow pages in it, where businesses advertised their phone numbers to get new clients.

Every time someone would call his shop, to ask if they offered a specific service, this man’s answer was always yes, even if they didn’t. After he hung up he’d figure out how to solve the customer’s problem and once he’d gotten the solution, he would create a new listing [nextpage title=”more”]
in the yellow pages under the heading, which corresponded to the service the caller had requested.

Grandpa got Google search!

He understood how search worked and was well aware that people weren’t looking for the name of his business, when they cracked the yellow pages open, but that they were looking for the solutions his business could offer. Each new solution warranted the creation of a new keyword driven listing.

Search in the style of 1957
You can buy a piece of Search History on Ebay (Image: Ebay)

Fast forward to today’s SEO

Typing in your business name into Google and getting found, is not Search Engine Optimization. All that means is that Google has indexed your site. That’s it. People who’ve never heard about your business, by definition don’t know your business name. They are looking for a specific solution to a problem they have. My potential customers are looking for a product photographer in Miami. That’s what they need. That’s the problem I need to solve for them.

Know what people are typing into search, when they’re looking for you

And just like Grandpa, I must understand what people are searching for, when they are looking for my business. Once I understand the search terms that are relevant for my business, only then can I create content, that’s designed to get my website on the first page of Google’s search results to the solution my clients are looking for.

What are people are typing into the search bar, when they want to find your business?


Grandpa got Google. He understood how people were finding his business. Do you know what their searching for when they expect to find you?

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Pascal Depuhl

Miami product photographer, video producer, cinematographer and chief mindchanger at Photography by Depuhl I love to share the knowledge I've gained over the past two decades. Catching light in motion.