This year a new decade has dawned. For many people and businesses, this brings the opportunity to reflect on where they came from and where they’re going. But the year 2020 is particularly meaningful for us at Web Team Management. This new decade feels even more special because it was exactly a decade ago that we’ve started our business. In 2010, Allen Anidjar, who is still our Director of Operations, founded Web Team Management in New York City. His goal was to provide fast and cost-effective marketing services to businesses in the Big Apple. Now, ten years may be nothing compared to the advertising titans of the last century. Still, things change so rapidly in the digital marketing sphere that it’s hard not to be amazed when looking back.

New York City breeds early adopters and innovative businesses, which was one of the reasons Allen opened the business here. At that point, in 2010, internet search was already close to what it is now — 74.2% of the US population was active on the internet compared to 88.7% in 2019. There had already been major changes in SEO from Google, and there would be many more to come. But even in New York, a highly technological city with hyper-connected residents, it wasn’t always obvious to business owners that search engine marketing matters. So, in those days, a lot of our work focused on creating websites for our clients who weren’t searchable online.

As the number of businesses online increased, we felt we should focus on optimizing already existing websites for Google rankings. It became undeniable that businesses must have an online presence. The years following the 2007 launch of Apple’s iPhone, a flood of new smartphones happened and internet connectivity increased. In 2010, mobile traffic only accounted for 2.9% of total internet traffic in the US. In 2019, it was 52.6%. The implications of mobile device usage were anything but trivial. It shaped our daily lives and brought about new concerns. For example, Google would start penalizing non-mobile-friendly websites. We had to find new ways for our clients to be at the top of the SEO game.

Then there was this other thing called social media. By 2010, everyone was already well aware of their importance. But it was throughout the 2010s that it became crucial to SEO — and therefore to businesses. In 2010, Instagram was founded; in 2012, Facebook bought it. The year before that, in 2011, Google started indexing tweets. Around the same time, SEO went local, meaning that Google would prioritize search results based on geographical relevance. YouTube was undergoing massive growth, and video SEO became a novelty savvy businesses could take advantage of. The changes to SEO and digital marketing were endless. We loved it, though, and kept learning as a result.

Now, if one thing became more important than any other during the last years spent working in digital marketing in SEO, it was the importance of reputation management. In a way, Web Team Management has grown into a reputation management agency. Everything we do, from creating websites to optimizing web and social media content, has to do with reputation. The internet has become omnipotent; it’s everyone’s first source of information. And with social media, it has become more personal. But for all the advantages, there are a few downfalls. It’s extremely easy to run into the wrong content when looking for a person or a business. This can be extremely costly at a personal and economic level. So now, we work on SEO and digital marketing from a reputation management perspective.

Ten years later, Web Team Management is still thriving — though it looks much different than what it was in the beginning. This, however, may be due to the nature of the sphere. No digital marketing business can afford not to follow the trends and reinvent itself as the wind blows. Web Team Management has been the adventure of our lives, and we’ve grown both professionally and personally. There’s something uncanny about knowing that the fate of your business lies in the hands of large technology companies and brilliant young entrepreneurs who change the world overnight.

But there’s something incredibly thrilling and reinvigorating about it as well. There’s exponentially more to come this decade than there was the last one — artificial intelligence alone will make this true. But we’ll still be here in ten years, with another article looking back at a crazy decade. Leandre Larouche