You can find more pictures of me here.
I was born in 1966 in Denmark. Both my parents were school teachers. It was great hippie-happy times in the 60’s and 70’s and I enjoyed it in full growing up in the suburbs of Copenhagen.
From a very early age I was attracted to creative arts. I formed my first band when I was 5, made my own cloth, acted and developed an interest in photography. Music, though, probably remained my strongest passion – and still is.
After elementary school I started an education in serigraphy printing. Realized this was not right for me and then took job as an assisting photographer. At age 18 I opened up my first recording studio with a good friend. Over the next 13 years this became a very successful facility with many international productions, Grammy awards etc.
Later I founded an independent record label and music publishing company, then took job for Virgin Records doing talent development and production before I finally left the pro music business in the late 90s. I’ve had enough. Not of music – I will always love music and music production, but I had enough of the music business. It was going down hill. And at the same time the Internet was booming. So I thought it was time for a change of career.
It turned out not to be that big of a shift, really. Both music production and Internet is a distributed mass media where you have very little control over how your end product is consumed. When you mix a music album it has to sound good on all systems. The same is true for web productions.
I think the distributed form of the media did – and still do – confuse a lot of “old school” people. Most of these product owners and marketing people want to have full control over how end users see and consume their product. They are used to that from print and TV. It just doesn’t work very well with the web to try and enforce that.
And the Internet trade was (and still is), similar to the music business, largely populated with strange, funny, outright crazy, adventurous and entrepreneurial people. I instantly felt like “home”.
When I started out with Internet I did programming. That was back when you could call yourself a programmer just because you knew a little bit of HTML – and you could get a well paid job with it! However, I quickly realized that I was not going to pursue a career as a programmer. There are other people that do, and will always do, that much better than me. I leave it respectfully to them.
And then I found search engines! Like so many others I wondered: Who does my site not turn up in search results? But unlike most others I decided to find out why.
Back then – in the mid/late 90’s there was hardly anyone that knew anything about search engines – and what came to be known as “Search Engine Optimization” – or just SEO. And there was no paid search of any kind yet.
I thought to myself: At some point companies must be ready to pay for the search users attention. This could potentially become a real business … It may sound strange today but back in the late 90’s it was almost impossible to sell SEO services.
That was the time when large advertising agencies stood up at large conferences and said: “Off-line marketing drives online business!”. Off course they where dead wrong and most of those agencies and their clients are gone now – put out of business because they did not understand the true nature of The Web.
It actually took some years before SEO really started becoming a real business. In 1999 I released my first SEO book. It was aimed at web-designers – not so much business managers and marketing executives. Around the same time the first SEO conferences began. The first ones were mainly attended by web-designers and -developers. I presented there too.
It still took a few years before the mainstream business owners and marketing executives “saw the light” and realized just how important and valuable search engine marketing is.
Anyway, back to how I became a well-known expert in the search marketing business …
As I said – back when I started, there was only very little information available. In Denmark, where I live and grew up, there was none. The only good things available on the web were Danny Sullivan’s Search Engine Watch and Jim Wilson’s Search Engine Forums. As we where relatively few – on a global level, that really took SEO serious I quickly became a moderator at Search Engine Forums and started speaking at the first conferences when Danny Sullivan started them.
With my programming skills and a technical background in music production it became natural for me to focus on the more technical aspects of SEO.
As the search engine marketing business grew I just kind of grew along with it. Most of the time I was running my own consulting business – but at other times I (also) worked for search technology companies and was at one point the General Manager of the largest Scandinavian search engine (at the time), in Denmark. So I have been fortunate to see a lot of different sides of the whole search industry.
Today I still work a lot with search engine marketing but I also invest in other new online ventures and products.
The educational system has never been my cup of tea – it’s a way too slow way for me to learn things. I have always studied and taught myself whatever I need to know to do what I want to do.
I met my wife Pernille – and now the mother of my two wonderful children: Oona and Hampus, in 1994. In 1997 we got married. We are still one happy family living in the beautiful country side of Denmark in our great house. We have lots of room to play around. I love my family more than anything in the world. They are my true gold.
Startups and investments
- Co-founder of Joblr.net
A brand new and better way to benchmark search visibility. US Patent Pending technology.
- Invester in Min-Mave.dk
Biggest Danish community website for pregnant women
- Co-founder of Redpitt
Hosted webshop solution with a strong focus on: Marketing, sales and retention
- Founder of deMib.com
Search engine marketing agency with a focus on local (Scandinavian) clients and advanced technical issues.
- Co-founder of RedZoneGlobal
Founder of the RedZoneGlobal organization with partners, search engine specialists, sales people and offices in 11 countries. including Japan, USA, Europe Israel and Australia.
- Co-founder of Headroom Records & Music Publishing
Sign a few local acts. Distribute Paul Young in Denmark. Get a Danish Grammy for a local artist.
- Founder of JoyZone Recordings
Professional digital recording studio. Productions for Virgin records and various TV-shows.
- Co-founder of Teen Town Studios
Professional recording studio. Produced more than 100 CD/Album releases with various local and international artists including: Vanessa Williams, Queen, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Queen LaTifah, Fu-Schnickens and House of Pain. Productions received a number of Danish Grammy Awards, more local Grammy nominations, two US Grammy Nominations, Danish gold records as well as one US Platinum Record for more than 1 million albums sold.
- VP of Search Technologies, Marketleap, San Francisco
Consulting and product development at one of the worlds leading search engine marketing companies at the time.
- VP Product Development, Ankiro
Managing product development of advanced communication products based on natural human language parsing. Products include web search engines (technology provider for the biggest Danish search engine at the time, Jubii.dk), intranet search engines, and web-based communication robots for chat, entertainment and business.
- General Manager, Kvasir/SOL in Denmark
Kvasir was the biggest Scandinavian search engine. Number of visitors and page views doubled over 6 months and costs reduced substantially.
- Key Account Manager, Itera A/S
Focus on large proprietary content management system. Achieve best sales result in sales group several months in a row.
- Web developer at Snabel & Co
Programming web pages in the early years of the web.
- A&R and producer for Virgin Records
Talent development, contract negotiations and music production