Get to Know Bruce Clay — Lifetime Achievement Award Illuminates a Long History in Tech

“Today’s thought leaders were influenced by him,” Mark Knowles said about The History of SEO advisory board’s criteria when looking for a major SEO influencer and leader. The clear choice was Internet marketing veteran Bruce Clay.

Fondly known to the search marketing industry as a founding father of SEO, Bruce received the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence in Vision, Execution and Market Influence in the Practice of Search Marketing. As founder and president of Bruce Clay, Inc., a global Internet marketing agency founded in 1996, he accepted the honor earlier this month at the annual digital marketing conference Bend WebCAM in Bend, Oregon.

Everyone who works with Bruce knows a man whose passion for the business of SEO runs the full spectrum. Bruce gets a thrill from the technical workings of algorithms and the science of gaining rankings. Bruce has a knack for listening to the stories of business owners and matching their needs to creative solutions. Bruce is a people person energized by the larger-than-life personalities that fill industry gatherings — his own to be counted among them. And every person who has ever worked at Bruce Clay, Inc. knows that Bruce cares for employees like family and takes a deep and genuine interest in supporting their personal and professional success.

Bruce Clay SEO Milestones

1996 – Started his Internet marketing agency, Bruce Clay, Inc. out of his house
1998 – Welcomes Google to the search party
1999 – He was a speaker at the very first Search Engine Strategies
2000 – Company moved out of his house and started first SEO training classes
2001 – Developed the first SEO Code of Ethics
2002 – Introduced and invented siloing, a website architecture hierarchy
2004 – Published first company blog and SEO newsletter
2007 – Opened offices in South Africa, Australia and the UK
2008 – Makes the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing company in the U.S.
2009 – Bruce Clay, Inc. opened an office in India and became the official SEO training course for several national and international Internet marketing conferences
2010 – SEOToolSet version 5 released, more than 1000 people received training from Bruce Clay, Inc.
2011 – Opened an office in Brazil
2012 – Inc 5000 lists Bruce Clay, Inc. for the sixth year in a row
2013 – Bruce Clay is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Search Marketing from the History of SEO advisory board

Impressive Accomplishments Before and Since SEO

If you ask Bruce Clay, SEO is not a job, it’s a way of life. But before the World Wide Web and Internet marketing, you could find Clay at the intersection of computer science, networking and operating systems, even implementing the first touchscreen networks into the restaurant industry. Today he is known as the CEO of SEO and travels the world training C-suite executives and search marketing professionals on SEO best practices.

Mark Knowles, chair of the History of SEO advisory board that selected Clay, revealed that selecting Clay was an “easy decision,” calling him a “legendary pioneer.” When determining the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, the advisory board looks for someone who has impacted the SEO industry from the start, Knowles said, and that Clay has contributed significantly to the SEO industry’s growth and development.

“Today’s thought leaders were influenced by him,” Knowles said.

Bruce Clay receives lifetime achievement award
Bruce Clay is recognized for his contribution to the SEO industry’s growth and development with a lifetime achievement award from the History of SEO advisory board. Photo by Timothy Park

Clay called this award a “major event in the history of Bruce Clay, Inc.” and said “It is definitely an honor to receive any award for service to the industry. I have always tried to contribute either through the website, training, event speaking, and frequent free advice. Being available, approachable and involved is clearly appreciated by colleagues, and it is really nice that my efforts have been broadly appreciated. I am truly excited that I have joined the few that have already received this prestigious award.”

Past recipients of this award include Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land editor-in-chief, and John Audette, senior vice president of the Internet marketing company Rimm-Kaufman Group (formerly AudetteMedia).

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (3)
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3 Replies to “Get to Know Bruce Clay — Lifetime Achievement Award Illuminates a Long History in Tech”

Great personality and a great mind. He proves that age is only a number, not a limit, and this is really encouraging.

Really great to see Bruce Clay recognized for his achievements. Huge asset to the internet marketing world. Thanks Bruce for your contributions!

From one old-timer to another, congratulations Bruce!

As Jill Whalen exits the scene ( it’s nice to see you’re still going as strong as ever.


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