Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Lopico (and Google)

September 27th is the official birthday of Lopico, the site wasn't officially launched in content form until December 31, but this is the official day that Lopico was created. Between September 27 and December 31 Lopico just had a coming soon page available with a form to "make sure your business is included," you can check it out using the way back machine but most of the images have been taken out of my site directory so it's not a very strong representation. Coincidently, I noticed that Google's birthday is today according to the Google homepage (although I thought that it was the 7th and Alexa says the 15th) - so Happy Birthday Google! As much as I talk negatively about Google, I was actually going to mention that Google was the first to crawl my new homepage (every now and then it lives up its hype).

Google aside, a lot has happened in the past year. It's really been a huge learning experience for me. When I started Lopico I was only in 13 states, and the site looked very different to say the least. The concept has always been the same, but the finer points have evolved. I wasn't worried about things like site navigation or trying to figure out what my competitive advantages at this stage would be, I just wanted to have a website that I could use to build the Lopico brand into the business that I still would like to transform it into (my future plans are the one area I never really say in my blogs, and I'm still not going to). But the web is tough, especially when you live in not-exactly-tech-savvy Akron, Oh. Despite that I have made great progress.

Many things have changed in Lopico over the past year: I've added all states; I've increased the number of cities and categories on several occasions; I recently began making the site faster; I've been through a few ad networks (and have finally found one that I'm happy with for the most part); I've had multiple home page redesigns and 4 different versions of my interior pages; and most importantly I've had a lot of people add their favorite businesses. I've really become so much more knowledgeable about the web in the past year (but how could I not have), I don't think that I really even knew what a blog was last year, I'd heard of them, but had no interest in using one. I'd probabbly never even heard of SEO, FFA's or SERPs, and AJAX was just a household cleaner. Now I feel that I really am knowledgeable about the web as a business, which is really going to help me in the coming year.

I have some major changes planned in the coming year but I really cannot disclose any of them because they are proprietary information. But the first of the new changes should be coming soon.

What excites me about Lopico is that it gets better every day. Every day each new addition to the site makes it just a little better, until soon enough it's great.

Thanks to all who have added their favorites, and remember the more you add the better we get!

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