by Dana Detrick-Clark
Ever play, “A Whale is Blue”? When I was a kid, I was in the ‘gifted’ program (whatever that means. Aren’t we all special snowflakes?). We would sometimes play this game. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, one person starts out saying, “A whale is blue.” The next says something like, “The sky is blue,” or “A whale is big”, and the next takes the lead from one of those topics and so forth until you’ve gone off on a complete tangent, OR work back to “A whale is blue”.
It’s just a creative thinking exercise, but it’s also a big representation of how we as people can easily veer away from the task at hand.
This is how I think SEO was born, or at least the SEO “industry”. Because seriously, folks, why would we need to “optimize” anything about our websites if we just stayed on topic? Over and over again you’re told by the pros that if you have all the right tags in your code and “keyword rich” content (aka stay on topic and mention what your focus is on a regular basis, common sense stuff), your website will be easily found and ranked high in search engines, which OMG EVERYONE HAS TO HAVE.
So, logically, when SEO became more important I figured I was doing a bunch of stuff wrong and that’s why I wasn’t getting the web visitors I needed to convert minions…I mean, visitors into sales…so I read lots of free reports and spent hours creating metatags and keywords and sacrificing that Morningstar Farms fake chicken to the gods of Dynamic HTML so I could have the Best. Web Hits. Ever. Logical!
And I hated it all and it didn’t help and it was time wasted.
What? No recipe for success? But these people know their shit, right? They’re not just spouting off what they want you to hear so you’d subscribe to their services, read their blogs and make them viral, or hire them to do this boring crap for you?
Jaded, I started writing about stuff on my website that I did, updating it on a regular basis with new stuff we had going on, and advertising it places like Facebook where people that I thought would hire me or buy things hung out online. Illogical, I know. Just being…human. Unscripted. Unplanned. As it happened.
And the visitors started to come. And the rankings got…pretty damned good. I don’t look at statistics a lot, because it doesn’t matter really (another illogical stance, that two people who give a damn are worth more than 20 who don’t), but there’s definitely a change.
But the SEO business is still big. Just like a whale is big. Just like…yeah.
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