Indiana Jones and the Age of an SEO

by Ruud Hein May 30th, 2008 

This week I watched "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and couldn't help but realize how far I've come. No, not necessarily career-wise but ...well... in pure years.

Glancing at my handsome avatar you might easily be deceived and even attempt to argue; "But no way, Ruud, you look like a young grasshopper -- and anyway, age is all in the mind, the mind man!"

OK... Well then let me tell you this.

You know you're old(er) when you know "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a sequel, the fourth (count 'm: four) movie.

laserdisc You know you're an old hand when you know that for years the only digital medium the Indiana Jones movies were available at was the LaserDisc, a medium you would want to explain by saying "it's like a DVD but the size of a record" only to realize you dug yourself a hole and now have to explain record. So let's just say that size-wise LaserDisc is to DVD what wide-screen television is to your wrist watch. It's friggin' huge.

The year "Raiders of the Lost Ark" came out, 1981, was the end of innocence as the "free love" era ended in Los Angeles with the first recognized cases of AIDS. I think I speak for all pubescent boys from that time when I quote "hey! not fair!".

Months before, the Sinclair ZX81 home computer has started selling. It comes with a whopping 1 Kilobyte of RAM but no Internet connection. Had it had one you couldn't do anything with it because Internet Service Providers didn't exist. There was no pressing need, no urgent market demand, either because there was no world wide web. Tim is plugging away at whatever and it will take at least another 8 years before he slams a document on the desk of his boss and says "let's hook the suckers up man!"

1984 sees the release of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".

The year of famine in Ethiopia, Live Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas Time?". Crack hits the street. Dell Computers start and the Mac's are sold. The longest baseball game in Major League history is held (over 8 hours played over 2 days). The UK and China sign an agreement to hand over Hong Kong to China in 1987.


It is In the year "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" comes out, 1989, that Tim kick starts the world you and I know so well, the virtual one we live and work in, with his paper "Information Management: a Proposal".

It's an astounding year, thrilling: change, world wide change, is in the air. Afghanistan is free. Hungary creates a hole in "The Wall" by tearing down miles of barbed wire along its fence. Two million people form a human chain of 600 km/370 miles long to demand freedom from Russian occupation. We watch, and in Europe we celebrate, as Germans from East and West use their bare hands to give physical reality to US President Ronald Reagan's 1987 challenge: "Tear down this wall!"


Of all people it is the human rights activist and opposition leader Václav Havel who becomes president of Czechoslovakia. Chili and Brazil hold their first free elections in decades. What started out as a small protest became well over 100,000 students peacefully demonstrating at Tiananmen Square.

GPS satellites are launched. The Guildford Four are set free. The Separate Amenities Act in South Africa is scrapped: people of every color will use the same rooms, spaces, transport...

We see it all "live", often on CNN. We see it recorded on the news. We read it in the newspaper (physical copies, often through a subscription).


And today? Today it's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" in a year that sees a barrel of oil sell for $100 for the first time ever. Smoking bans wave over the world, from Canadian and US cities to Thailand, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and other countries. A US-based mortgage crisis sends shockwaves through the financial world -- and ours. Food prices go up so high, so fast, severe riots and so-called "unrest" break out in Senegal, Pakistan, Egypt and other countries.

China and Greece are hit by the worst snow storms in 50 years. A 271 page report says global warming induced climate changes will wreak havoc on U.S. crops and forests.

Google Inc. is 10 years old and doesn't just dominate web search and the way we interact with the web; it dominates and dictates the web. It terminates an anti-Scientology Adsense account. Wants to judge which hoaxes and jokes will be punished or not. Clones sites that become too powerful or popular. Prescribes Adsense publisher to have a clearly spelled out and labelled privacy policy but fights for the right to hide its own privacy policy.

It's 2008, as the US broadbrand penetration growth drops to 17th place. "We" in North America are among the smaller Internet minorities with Asia being the largest online group.



Last year Technorati released 2006 numbers showing Japanese to be dominant blogging language with English quickly shrinking.



The era of cheap food is over. Change is ahead. Huge new markets are about to open. If, like Search Engine People, you're constantly familiarizing yourself with "the world at large" and are able to service potential clients just as easily in Arabic, Spanish, French or Dutch as you do in English, your economic outlook is amazing.

Yes we can!

The world is changing, young grasshopper. It is the right time to press ahead, brother. It is the time to shape our own futures, sister.

Do it now, now.

Yes We Can

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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21 Responses to “Indiana Jones and the Age of an SEO”

  1. Shana says:

    What an awesome post, Ruud!!

    I went with my father to the first Indiana Jones movie in 1981 and he took me to the next two that followed. I can't believe that it's been more than two decades since Raiders of the Lost Ark. I'm feeling so old!! :)

  2. Nick James says:

    Love it, Ruud. A trip down memory lane there. I must admit I'm old enough to remember laser discs – though they never really took off here in the UK – and can say I had a ZX81.
    Your call to arms there at the end is rousing stuff, though I wish I could share your optimism. Maybe its the fact I've already seen one trade I spent ten years of my life in (toolmaking/engineering) decimated, but I fear for bleak times that maybe ahead.
    Great post nonetheless (sorry to sound like a harbinger of doom)

  3. Simonne says:

    It's always nice to remember old times! I still recall the day when I first saw Google and I wondered what could possibly be the use of such an empty page… and the only utility of the internet seemed to be online bridge playing with real people when your friends were too busy for a game.

  4. Ken Jones says:

    Ahh, the golden years. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Ruud.
    '81 for me was all about surviving my first year at school in Australia (as the only English kid in class) and playing clunky 3D wireframe maze games on my Dad's TRS-80 (from Radio Shack) took another 4 years to score a Commodore 64 of my very own :-)

    BTW Not that I'm suggesting your memory may be slipping with age, but Hong Kong wasn't officially handed back to the Chinese until 1997 (not '87)

  5. Awesome post (I am the "Beatles Generation" and in 1981 I was almost 40!). Now, as a translator and cross-cultural communication strategist ("The Cross-cultural Connector"), the bit I like most in the post is where Ruud says: "If, like Search Engine People, you’re constantly familiarizing yourself with "the world at large" and are able to service potential clients just as easily in Arabic, Spanish, French or Dutch as you do in English, your economic outlook is amazing." 😉

  6. Awesome post! Am 39 years of age at present, so your timeline makes good sense to me!

  7. Thats one big disc, When I saw the picture I thought it was some sort of trick photography. What I do know is that Google did come from no-were and look at them today, its amazing. I however do remember all the Indian Jones and recently saw them all in preparation. There is so much information above, I cannot believe that stats, I thought the US was the biggest user, thanks for the heads up. Tried going to the link in the graphic and the page is a 404 error,

  8. seo blog says:

    This will be the first Indiana Jones film I will be getting on DVD rather than tapes. Or should I say blue ray… I can't even remember laser discs. :)

  9. Brian Carter says:

    Killer post. Maybe "awesome" would have been more 80's. You left out "we are the world". Also, I tell people I'm going to "tape" something and there are no more tapes!

    Really dug the languages portion.

  10. Utah SEO says:

    Wow… I had no idea what a laser disc was. But not the only thing I learned here :) good post

  11. Top Rated says:

    Thanks for making me feel old too. I didn't realize the first Indy came out in 81, and I do know what a laser disc is. If I was a little richer my first year out of high school, I would have bought one. But, Japanese being the dominant blogging language, I never would have guessed. I would have thought either English or Chinese.

  12. hmmm, dad bought my first home PC just after I saw Star Wars (the one before Episode was used in the title).
    Those laser disks did not become popular until I joined the Marine Corps.
    Speaking of the Corps, I was in Africa when AIDS made the news. In Chad they just called it 'the thinning'.
    In 1984 I played games on the internet (that was not called the internet at the time). I played games on a mainframe and rewrote code to fix a bug.
    I quoted "Do They Know It's Christmas Time At All" in a blog and NOBODY understood it was a song.

    All this leads to today. I live in France and am hoping that people see that nearly 6 billion people love outside the US and they will be the consumers of tomorrow. The US in now only the 3rd in exports, behind German and China.

  13. Wii Boy says:

    Isn't it lovely how the distant memories are always "the good old days". I can totally relate to a lot of what you say though Ruud, my 40th is coming up in August …what happened to the last 20 years!

  14. it's really friggin’ huge. I learned a lot from this post, i can't imagine how large laser disc is, i mean, i hear it most of the time, but i don't expect it looks like a pizza pie. it's nice to be back to those old days, anyway, thanks for sharing it, it's a great post of yours.

  15. Ruud Hein says:

    Good to see I'm not the one who remembers this stuff. And yeah, seeing the laser disc you suddenly understand why they call the other thing the *compact* disc :)

  16. Ruud, if there's any more room in that boat I'm in.
    Thanks for the walkthrough. I still remember filling out the computer cards and walking into the room that housed the colleges computer.
    The laser disc and the beta tapes. I was sure they'd both catch on too.
    Bottom line, I'm in awe of what has gone on and look forward to what is about to happen.

  17. Nice recap of the past few years :)

    I liked the part about the hypocrisy/power of Google. Nice finds!

  18. Wii Boy says:

    I've just realised I failed to comment on the ZX81. What a great piece of kit, with it's keyboard like something you'd find for at till in a burger restaurant.

    Then came the Spectrum and it's noisey tapes. Manic Miner will never be forgotten!

  19. […] française de l’article écrit par Ruud Hein, le 30 mai […]

  20. MOin says:

    excellent reading i like the title alot and its a killer one it caught my eyes when i was looking through your popular posts and believe me that dvd is friggin huge i never tried it =S

  21. seo test says:

    thanks for this post, i'm so ashamed that i don't even know what laser disc was. lol 😀