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Bored With Seo
Posted 10 February 2005 - 04:26 PM
I'm bored with SEO because I'm tired of either having to prove that I know full well what "SERP" stands for or spending a lot of time on executive summaries about how the search engines "work." It's like all I do is prove that I know stuff, but when I present ideas and strategies for web marketing or link building etc., no one really wants to think about it.
I don't know if anyone else has a similar experience. But I wish I had more authority to implement the plans I come up with. That's why I'm a little burnt out from trying and am starting to lose interest.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 12:16 PM
I am still relatively new the the SEO game, but have been very successful thus far. I have found that "learning SEO" is largely "learning techniques". But applying SEO, that is where the "art" comes in.
I think the reason I'm bored to tears with forums on this subject is that the questions almost alwasy center on teniques, "how do I...." or "what do I do when....". If you have done your homework, or been well trained, you will not only know what to do, you can answer the basics in your sleep.
What would really rock my world is to see more threads and discussion on the ART of SEO. Obviously SEO works in concert with so many other factors. For me, it's kind of like a symphony. If one instrument is out of tune, it throws off the the entire concert. I lke SEO because it is challenging....but not from a "technique" standpoint. The analysis is fun, trying and tweaking is fun, but never finding anything new and breathtaking in a forum is NOT.
AWESOME thread.....it inspires some passion!
Posted 11 February 2005 - 12:28 PM
I think you'll find that many of the discussions here do center around the "art" of SEO, although we do have plenty of techie discussions too.
Of all the forums on this topic though, this one is probably the most art-focused. Unfortunately, it's so hard to quantify the art part, and the programming and research types think we don't know what we're talking about if we have quantifiable evidence to back up what we're saying.
Makes no difference to me. I do what works, even if I don't always understand the math behind why it works!
Posted 11 February 2005 - 01:20 PM
Good first post and you're exactly right. The Art of SEO is part of what keeps it fun for me. Even though Jill would almost certainly stick me in the techie group.
What I don't enjoy anymore is being SEO for someone else, since most seem to love to throw roadblocks out there just because they either can or just don't get it. That's why I don't do that for hire anymore. My whole purpose in life anymore seems to revolve around removing roadblocks.
What I do in fact love a great deal is taking a germ of an idea that's been rattling around inside my head for months and months, developing it into something the average person can use to their benefit, and then going through the whole marketing process of making sure they can find me.
It's a good living if you have the drive, determination and skill to pull it off. But IMHO even the money doesn't compare to those little emails I get every day telling me how great some complete stranger finds the various things I offer. That's what keeps me going personally.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 03:14 PM
You're not bord with SEO, you're frustrated at not being able to practice it.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 05:57 PM
Just like web design. You need to know how to code, but that won't make you a web designer because web design is mostly about the art of communication, not code.
The art of search marketing is ensuring you get in front of people who are asking for what you've got. You need to know the techniques in order to do that, but if you haven't first clearly identified what you're selling, and to whom, then all the seo technique in the world won't help.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 07:02 PM
Jill, if you haven't already tested out ClickTracks, I know you'll absolutely love it. I've had the analyzer version for awhile now and have saved many $$ for my clients twice over. It's easy to use and quite versatile as you probably already know so have fun with it.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 08:11 PM
Well said, Mike.
I couldn't believe people were saying they were bored of SEO until I realized what they were really saying. They were saying they were bored of the purely mechanical aspects of positioning. Well, that's fine.
Positioning is often over-rated or misapplied anyway.
But for me, Search Engine Optimization means working to gain the optimal results from the existance (and usage) of search. That means behavioural marketing. It means understanding even complex shopping processes and buying cycles. It means getting into the mind of the searcher and understanding what they actually meant when they summarised all their desires into a two-word search phrase. It means knowing when and what proportion of searchers will refine their too-general search phrase, and comparing that against the percentage that will attempt to 'make do' with the results they got, or abandon that search entirely.
Optimizing the benefits and opportunities brought to a site by the existance and use of search engines. Noone in their right mind can be bored with that topic because in the ten years I've been in this business now, we've still barely ever scratched the surface.
Maybe we're just differing over our meaning of SEO. I think that's the case.
Sure, for some folks SEO has always been a purely mechanical numbers game that's about as interesting as the rules of hopscotch. Those were the folks who talked only in terms of hits in the mid Nineties. Who talk about rankings rather than conversion rates. Who talk about SERP positions instead of market positions.
But that isn't all SEO is or was. I don't think we should let them cheapen the term, even if we do all prefer to call ourselves SEMs these days. SEO *is* SEM without the PPC management. SEM was an alternate phrase Danny pushed for because SEO (he felt) made it sound like we did something to make search engines work better. But a good SEO then is the same as a good SEM now. No difference in meaning, only in marketing our job.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 08:58 PM
That's an interesting question/observation. I started thinking wondering that myself - and it's been about 6 months.
I think it is because of all the changes, because of the plethora of "SEO" information out there that are all the same and offer no real insight. I think it's because some actually realize that without blackhat SEO you can never really get that far. Ultimately, I think the changes that are happening is funneling the industry towards a mature service.
Years ago if you knew a little about HTML, you could set yourself up as a web designer and charge a pretty penny to do web work. In retrospect, many of those sites were crap.
I think the same thing is beginning to emerge from this industry. That the mentality is no longer SEO, but SEM. And contrary to what many both in and out of the industry has labeled SEM, SEM cannot be only about paid search advertising. That is SEA - search engine advertising.
SEM encompasses everything about search engine marketing: industry and competitor analysis; research; sound analysis and recommendations, creating linking architecture, marketing communication design, and the list can go on and on.
I think it's showing that you can no longer be just SEO, because that isnt enough. A lot of ecommerce research shows that you dont get buyers just cause you're at the top of the search rankings. Buyers need information and then they need customer service.
If you look at the folks who are "SEOs" how many of them have such a background to offer to clients? I think it's asking a lot for 1 person, but an agency can definitely handle that.
And if you look at what clients really are asking SEOs to do - they are asking for top rankings to drive more traffic to increase sales. That is the stated objective, but there is an inherit assumption that the website is optimized for conversion. We should all know that is not true. I've worked on clients' sites that I optimized, but were definitely not optimized for conversion.
I can see how all of those factors about can build up into losing interest for SEO. Because if you only got into SEO because you thought you could beat the SEs, and suddenly all of that stuff you did to get results are now seen as good, but not enough, then you are more likely to lose interest, because you've reached your threshold.
I think we are already seeing this, as interactive agencies are being consummed to form larger agencies.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 09:18 PM
I find the mechanics of SEO dull in the same way I find the mechanics of CSS, HTML, CGI, SQL, PHP, ram, motherboards, network cards, ernie balls, E34 output tubes, hammers, nails, screwdrivers and timber dull.
It is what you do with them that's interesting.
Edited by peter_d, 11 February 2005 - 09:31 PM.
Posted 11 February 2005 - 11:17 PM
Wouldn't be the first time, eh Ammon?
Posted 12 February 2005 - 06:36 AM
I agree 100%, Ammon.
That is not the same thing as saying, "A SEO is the same as a SEM". Unfortunately in the ears of many of your listeners, whether they be some potential clients or those working in the search engine companies, the term SEO has picked up a lot of unfortunate baggage. SEM is win/win for all concerned. So that's why we should all be emphasizing the M while not losing whatever may be good in the O.
Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:14 AM
I am learning, however, how the two fit together and how we can use the results from one to work with the other. That is also very fascinating.
Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:10 PM
Posted 13 February 2005 - 07:13 AM
Search engines can be a link in that chain. However each search engine has its own audience and searchers may use it in a particular way. Search Engine Optimization can be applied to any given Search Engine to optimize organic rankings for that Search Engine. But it's really only sub-optimization.
You need to look at the bigger picture to maximize sales results through the Internet.
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