What Did We Do Before the internet? Internet Marketing, SEO

What Did We Do Before the Internet?

By Sadie on

before the internet

Google as a search engine is getting more and more advanced trying to anticipate all of our needs and even suggesting long tail keywords that are more specific to what we may be looking for, as many people use Google and search engines as the first port of call it makes me think back to a time our children won’t understand, a time before Google, Facebook and the Internet!

Certain areas of our lives are made so much easier by Google and the Internet and in a fun post we are looking at mediums that because of Google and social media platforms, have been left behind.

Local Services – Do you rememer the Yellow Pages? This is a big yellow book most likely hidden in a cupboard now or used as a booster seat or step, but when I was young (no jokes about dinosaurs please) this was the most thumbed reference book when trying to find a local service or number. Today a simple search on your favourite search engine will bring up local services including reviews, pictures and videos and in some cases even a price comparison.

Google not phonebooks

Medical Advice – This is probably a bad thing for the majority of people but if you are showing any unusual symptoms or feeling un well it used to be that you would go to a doctor and get it checked out, or you may have some medcyclopeadia of symptoms that your Nan gave you in which you can look up things and self diagnose gout or scurvy. Today, if you are worried about your health then a search could help you diagnose your problem – warning almost 90% of all searches can be traced to cancer online, your rash could come up as leprosy or skin cancer on an online search but is more likely to be a reaction to your washing powder. It is good to have lots of advice avaiable but the internet cannot diagnose anything propoerly you still need to see a doctor, however the scary information found online can spur people on to get a doctors appointment and be treated properly even if it isn’t the worst case scenario.


Research – Research is so much easier from the Internet, using Google to find valuable sites can make homework a quicker job, or tracing your family tree can be done from the comfort of your home rather than trapsing the country to gravestones, libraries and government offices looking for birth and death certificates. Having this research online is a lot easier than going to libraries (as I had to do when at school) and you are more likely to get up to date information from reputable websites than dusty old books.

library research

Stalking – Stalking in the old days required real skill not just a facebook account! To stalk someone in my day (disclaimer I did not stalk anyone – except the boy in my class that was really cute) you would start by finding there number from the local telephone book, most peoples number where in a directory however before mobile phones you ran the risk of getting their parents, brother, sisters, nan etc. It was hard to be conspicious with stalking as you actually had to ask people what they were doing, photos weren’t just available to view and following someone is harder in real life than on Twitter and often required some form of camouflage. Today you can find out what people are up to by using facebook, Twitter, blogs or even GPS. The internet has taken stalking to a much more socially acceptable level.

stalking facebook

TV and Film – TV was watching TV in your home when the program was on, usually on the family television and films were either on videos or you would go to the pictures. Today you can watch TV anywhere, on your laptop or tablet computer, you can catch up so you don’t have to plan your life around TV. Films were seen at cinemas and you would find out about them from the trailers or iconic film posters, but today you watch the trailoers on You Tube, get spoilers, see the behind the scenes clips everything from your computer and you usually find out from social media or websites about the upcoming films in production. You can read reviews, blogs, all sorts of information before the film is being shown at the cinema and some people even illegally download the films.

film popcorn

Shopping – Shopping is still the practice of leaving the house, going to a shop and buying items you want, however, more and more people are doing there shopping online, now you can pay securely, browse, campare prices, find discount codes and have things delivered to your door, in fact you never need to leave the house again!

ecommerce shopping

Jobs – The internet has created a lot of jobs, when you were at school the careers advisor would point you into traditional jobs such as teacher, doctor, fireman, nurse, banker, plumber etc, now we have an abundance of jobs like SEO, Social Media consultant, Conversion rate expert and of course general ‘Webmaster’! All of these jobs have counterparts and peers such as link builder, programmer, content writer and you can even make a living as a professional blogger working from home. It is also a lot easier to find a job or recruit using job search sites and website searches. You can also post jobs on your own website if you are looking for help.

internet jobs


News – You used to get news delivered to your doorstep and depending on which newspaper you prefered would get that take on things. Today you can subscribe to Google news updates and get all views and opinions on a particular subject, you can get newspapers delivered to your ebook or Kindle, you can use news websites and not only view particular views on a current event but you an see arguments and comments. Using social media you can view first hand accounts of things, such as the Tweets from natural disasters, censorship is much harder now as people have been given a voice to argue, inform, comment and epiphanise.

internet news

Customer service – Customer service has changed a lot, many big companies did not need to worry about the one person complaining but today websites and social media groups have been set up to damage the reputation of companies that do not provide a good prouct or service. This has meant a lot more investment in customer services and reputation management has been needed and in many cases this has meant a better service or product has been developed.

customer service social media

These are just a few things that we thought of how the internet has changed the way we do things if you can think of more please feel free to comment.

About Sadie

Sadie is the head of online marketing and SEO. She likes the colour purple & crisps (especially monster munch).

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Comments (3)
  1. Sadie

    Thanks Justin, just read your post and some great points made, especially buying porn in a shop and remembering things, I used to know all my friends telephone numbers now I struggle to remember my own :)

  2. steve

    good read! Along with the internet came e-mail of course… When was the last time you mailed out a letter to check what someone was upto! And the almighty eBay… You can now sell all your junk to anyone in the world, not just to your neighbours at a car boot!