Creating websites, with hands, that do not adhere to standards set by search engines is a folk practice.
I often ponder what my opinion of the internet would have been if in 2002, I was a teen wrangling up my website on geocities or wrestling with flash. Would I have thought of the web differently?
I feel nostalgia for a time that I did not experience. Therefore, it's not nostalgia. It's a folk tale of a web where people had homepages, filled with gifs, under construction, broken css, cries for help, webrings, districts collecting links to similar sites instead of an omnipresent search engine. Tales of the past, of a different internet.
And I'm not alone in yarning this folk life. Like younger gen-Zers that are obsessing over cottagecore and the idea of living in mid 19th century villages, they can also be found remising an internet they, we, have not experienced. A few click through neocities' global activity page is bound to land you on a webpage created by a teen that was clearly inspired by an era they only heard of.
I'm in communities where I've seen 16 year olds create websites and struggle through the hypertext paradox. Simply because they found some old site that inspired them and they are now set on creating one for themselves. Because frameworks of the current internets are restrictive to our creative minds.
The old internet is a folk tale, but it's one that we're reliving.