Jill Whalen

“There were no articles, books or classes” Jill said, so she had to learn by trial and error. Eventually Jill stumbled upon the iSales and iSearch forums. She also remembers receiving Danny Sullivan’s first newsletter. Before she knew it, the website was ranking very well. In 2007, Home PC magazine named Jill’s Parentsroom website one of the top 500 websites on the Internet.

In 2000, Jill attended her first search conference, SES Dallas. She recalls sitting next to Bruce Clay and speaking with him. That same year Jill launched the High Rankings website that we all know her by. Jill said, “It was nice to have multiple search engines that were more equal in popularity because if you weren’t doing well you had other options.” Today, Jill concentrates her efforts on Google because the other search engines don’t bring her clients very much traffic.

Jill has always approached search engine optimization with a holistic mindset. She believes that we wouldn’t have a problem with links today if people would think about why linking was important originally. Before Google ever became popular, Jill was building links for her clients. “Links bring traffic”, Jill says pointedly.

Jill’s company now employs two people. Currently her time is consumed with work, management, writing and conferences/speaking. Jill said, “Search becomes a priority during economic down turn.” She has been keeping quite busy with new work and her conference/speaking schedule. Jill is also offering classes every month.

Even though the more things change, the more they stay the same, Jill says, “It’s trickier now.” There is more competition and you have to be different to stand out in the crowd. “The internet is becoming like the real world” said Jill. Jill believes that there are many different ways to skin an SEO cat. But if she had to recommend a path for the SEO newbie, she says, read and take classes and experiment. Just jumping into conferences could be a little overwhelming, according to Jill.

Through hard work and dedication, Jill has been able to build an authority status for herself in the SEO community. She is a living example of how the combination of curiosity and necessity can produce great things.