After living in Berlin for 2 years I have decided to change job, city and continent. During the past two years I’ve meet some of the most bright, insightful, outstanding, inspiring minds from which I have sucked as much as I could, THANKS. I also encountered some really frustrating and boring people, however they wont get the glory for much longer in my memory. Machs gut huh?
Dear SEO’s I am not giving you a great piece of content (actually I’ve been trying that in the past and failed), instead I am asking you to take 5 minutes of your time to fill in a short survey (shut up and let me fill it already).
It is for a good cause; my thesis. After doing me a big favour by filling it in I promise to reward you with a completely SEO-unrelated, unexpected. mind-blowing gift.
What I’m looking into in my thesis is the unnatural proliferation of the premature “SEO is dead” predictions which are usually triggered by an Algorithm filter or pivot towards bad or poor quality practices.
My assumption is the genuine evolution of SEO is embracing more elaborate tactics granting higher quality work. Quality work can only be achieved by dedication and dedication means time. Easy time-saving tactics are indeed over, however, that doesn’t mean the end of a growing industry.
Consolidating our profession as one of quality producers is up to us. Choosing short-cuts is a very tempting option. Those who did it for a while are now paying the price for it.
Google tries to provide the most accurate answer that solves a question. And they are working in that direction.
A glimpse of that is the comparison of the number of Google updates per year with the intensity of search of terms related with quality. On the graph below we can see how Google re-educates SEOs. It is interesting to see how poor tactics such as link exchange or link directories have lost interest over the years and how Content Marketing is taking its place.
The numbers are clear; poor quality is losing ground and content marketing is replacing it. But what the future holds for our field is uncertain.
Looking backwards now, I can recall many fancy SEO changes during this past year. Spammy-poor quality tactics were eaten by monochromatic spontaneously popping-up-dates. Those who produced fatty fast-food shaped thin content became the lowest link on the food chain and the call to arms came along: produce great content, content is the king, text is the currency of the Internet.
The inconvenient truth confusion aired. – don’t spend money on aggressive search engine optimization - Also did the rebuttal. – promotion of great content - Pretty please make sure you read both. Would you?
What became clear is the need for generating great, shareable, engaging, outstanding content. Certainly the time came for discussion of the production process for doing so.
I’m tired of the excuses. You have three kinds of equity – time, talent, and money. Time/talent do not require money when put together.
— John Doherty (@dohertyjf) December 4, 2012
I align myself with this John Doherty post – Producing great content with no budget – and I would like to hone in on one of the three types of equity; Talent.
Usually talent is related or in reference to celebrities. In the SEO context, talent means having a large dose of creativity. The production of genuinely great content is powered by creativity. And enhancing creativity is our choice. Being creative or finding creative thinking is not as hard as one might think – lets knock down the two main roadblocks that hinder ideas, creativity is not linked to intelligence and creative people are not entirely born that way.
Creativity is a learned behaviour, it’s the way you approach things, how you interact with circumstances, it’s a conjunction of points of view, it’s asking naive questions, it’s washing your eyes after each look. It’s merely actions, what you do instead of who you are.
That said lets check on 5 things you can do (oxymorononically) and that doesn’t mean taking performance-enhancing drugs:
1. Act naturally
Keep calm and act. We are used to perform automate actions without thinking, start thinking them. Use keys and open doors with a different hand, hold books with the other hand, use your phone with the other hand. Cycle to work, or walk, or run. It is about changing habits.
2. New Classic
Write it down. Start writing more and use pen and paper. Sometimes writing your comments or thoughts down would let you approach things from a different angle. Keep a pen and notebook always close to you.
3. Political Science
As SEO’s we often need to interact with other departments, clients and people. Making our point or making ourselves understandable might sometimes be difficult. Try connecting ideas to create new insights. Find a better way to explain things that everybody can easily understand.
4. Minor Crisis
Take a cat nap.
5. Modern Conservative
Rain makes everything better. Play with rain, walk under it, go for a run, look at it, rain completely shapes our common environment. (Better to do it in summer though)
Bonus: 6. Original Copy
Copy, we are all surrounded by really creative people. Observe them, how they act, how they interact, ask them and try some of the things they do.
These are just some of the few things I do on my regular basis or at least I try to do, however it is not for me to judge how creative I am. Please note it is your turn to write down which other activities you practice.
All those pessimistic souls writing about the end of the world are the same ones writing about the permanently premature SEO industry passing away. The Mayans predicted the end of the SEO world for 2013, the exact date was not provided although some archaeologists found out it might be around MozCon dates. Brace yourself.
With this dramatic scenario, I can only provide nonsense. Let’s make from our SEO world a better place where monochromatic animals are welcome. Of course none of these improvements will ever be included on Diana Urban’s HubSpot‘s slightly-way-too-frequent emails.
I hereby recommend:
Don’t shoot the messenger. Performance increase +100
Let search engines know where the link is going, they appreciate a little help. Anchor text is the perfect messenger, therefore use perfect anchor text. If afraid of penguin you are know you should penguins can’t fly, everybody knows that.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Performance increase +60
Don’t think twice, we are all still shocked on how harmful bad or weak links are, it only takes one weak link to pull you down. Why should you waste all your efforts on expensive, colourful links? Just make all them weak. A weak link on an already weak chain can only be +1.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Performance increase +60
Why do we link to other sites while we want to appear in Google? If you need to quote something or someone just link to a Google result, be Google-friendly, be Google-proof.
Every dog has its day. Performance increase +90
I have also written about outreach emails and how wrong are we doing it these days. Why are we wasting time trying so hard to find the best relationship-building email? My biggest piece of advice would be to use a template with Obama’s most successful subject line ever “Hey”:
Your site <sitename.com> is almost awesome as mine. Would you like to enhance it with a link pointing to my site?
You are welcome,
Send them all over, think big. Are you running out of fingers to count incoming links? I know. Use Google drive spreadsheet to file them.
If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. Performance increase +100
We the websmiths like to check everything, get data from everywhere, and be sure whether A or B is performing better. Leave it, stop running never-ending tests and compiling loads of data. Seriously if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. There is no reason for the perfect-converting landing page to be changed. Shut your Google Analytics account down. For Google’s sake.
Less is more. Performance increase +1000
How long does it take to create the perfect title tag including 1 or 2 keywords and 55 characters of the finest poetry? Keep it simple, less is way more, write 3 keywords, plain and simple: Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Keyword 3. Lay back and wait.
Disclaimer, no animals where injured while writing this post. Brains can be irreversibly damaged.
Have fun, Merry Christmas and Happy 2013.