There aren't many people out there that can say they have been in the SEO industry and optimizing sites for search engines since 1999. But there are probably a hundred or so people who can say that. Personally, I joined the "SEO industry" in 2002 (been in the internet industry since 1995), what is known as the second wave of personalities who joined the industry. Danny Sullivan, Chris Sherman, Daron Babin, Greg Boser (I better stop naming names before I insult people) were part of the first wave - people who were in the industry before it may have been known as SEO.
That being said, a YouMoz post named SEO Since 1999 takes you through the history of one quiet SEO, who was optimizing sites for ten plus years. Can you imagine? In any event, this write up should interest anyone who loves the industry.
Here is the introductory paragraph:
Monday, April 20th, 2009: Today I celebrate the completion of my first decade in search. I have been waiting for this day with some trepidation for the past 6 months or so. I am not really sure why or even what this anniversary really means. Does it mean that I am some sort of expert? Well, anything is possible. Or does it mean that I have wasted the past decade with little to show in an industry that my friends and family can hardly even understand? Hmm, I hope not. In truth, it means I not only have a job that I like, but a career that I love.
Forum discussion at Sphinn.