A History of Bruce Clay Inc.

An SEO Pioneer’s Story

Did you know the company history of Bruce Clay Inc. begins even before Google became a search engine? The career path of founder Bruce Clay parallels the growth of SEO itself. Many industry leaders (such as former editor of Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan, as cited on Wikipedia) credit Bruce with being the first to use the term “search engine optimisation.”


The timeline below starts with the first search engine, which set the stage for Bruce Clay’s journey as an SEO pioneer and the birth of a new marketing industry.


The history of Bruce Clay Inc. shows that 26+ years is enough time to turn a passion into a successful business, and a successful business into the respected search marketing company it is today.


Put our experience to work for your business! Let us be part of your search marketing journey in the making. Whether you need search engine optimisation services, SEO tools and training, pay-per-click management or content development, Bruce Clay Inc. can help. Contact us today to discuss how.

Company Timeline

  • First Search Engine
    The first search engine, Archie, short for "archives", is created by Alan Emtage at McGill University in Montreal.
  • First Websites
    The first websites are developed, most of them at colleges.
  • Search Engine Proliferation
    Yahoo is founded as a web portal for many services as well as a search engine. Search platforms such as Excite begin sorting results based on keywords.
  • Company Founding
    Bruce Clay begins testing the effect of website changes on search engine rankings, focusing on Infoseek. Bruce launches BruceClay.com and writes the first SEO diagnostic tools.
  • “Search Engine Optimization”
    Bruce starts using the phrase “search engine optimization” to describe his services. Danny Sullivan founds Search Engine Watch, a site for research and tips.
  • Emerging Leaders
    Google enters the search engine landscape using its patented PageRank algorithm. Within three months, PC Magazine calls it the search engine of choice for delivering “extremely relevant results.”
  • First SEO Training & Speaking
    Bruce Clay gives the first SEO training course and speaks at the first Search Engine Strategies conference. Microsoft launches MSN Search, later renamed Windows Live, Live Search, and Bing.
  • Search Engine Relationship Chart
    The company moves out of Bruce Clay’s home into an office in Simi Valley, California. The company publishes the first Search Engine Relationship Chart and the SEO Code of Ethics.
  • Siloing
    Bruce develops siloing, a site architecture hierarchy strategy that supports website themes.
  • SEO Newsletter & Blog
    The company publishes its first SEO Newsletter and blog post.
  • Industry Movement
    Search Engine Land is founded by Danny Sullivan after leaving Search Engine Watch. Google launches Google Maps and acquires YouTube.
  • Company Grows
    Bruce Clay Inc. makes the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. The first international Bruce Clay office opens in South Africa, followed by offices in Australia and the U.K.
  • Podcast & Sempo
    The first SEM Synergy podcast airs. Bruce Clay is elected to the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) board of directors. The Bruce Clay Japan office opens in Tokyo.
  • Conference Training & Publishing
    Bruce Clay’s “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies” is published by Wiley. Bruce Clay becomes the official SEO training provider for major search-marketing conferences SES and SMX. Bruce Clay Inc. offices open in Europe and India.
  • SEOToolSet 5
    SEOToolSet Version 5 is released. More than 1,000 people attend SEO training with Bruce Clay.
  • Partnerships
    Bruce Clay Inc. partners with Pixelsilk to integrate SEOToolSet features into its CMS.
  • Milestones
    Wiley publishes “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies,” 2nd edition. The company issues its 100th SEO Newsletter. Bruce Clay finishes his second term on the SEMPO board, serving from 2008 to 2012.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    Bruce Clay receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from The History of SEO advisory board. He co-authors the book “Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals.”
  • Top SEO Company In U.S.
    Research firm Clutch names Bruce Clay Inc. the top SEO company in the U.S., and BruceClay.com launches an expanded 20-page SEO tutorial with embedded tools.
  • More Software Tools
    The company releases SEOToolSet® 6 and launches DisavowFiles, a free crowdsourced tool for backlink intelligence. Bruce Clay authors the 3rd edition of “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies.” The Bruce Clay Middle East office opens in Dubai. BCI makes the Inc. 5000 list for the 9th straight year.
  • SEOToolSet Expansion
    SEOToolSet 6.1 is released with a lower subscription price. Bruce Clay Inc. issues its 150th SEO Newsletter.
  • International Growth
    The Bruce Clay Australia office opens in North Sydney.
  • New Products
    The new Bruce Clay SEO for WordPress plugin is released. The company launches a redesigned website.
  • Online Training
    Bruce Clay Inc. beta tests an online version of the SEO training course.
  • 25th Anniversary
    BCI celebrates 25 years as a trusted SEO agency. SEOtraining.com is launched, an interactive membership & training platform to help professionals learn SEO.

Bruce Clay Australia Pty Limited | Level 25,
100 Mount Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060.
1300 732 734