Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
More SEO Content
Seo & The Zen Factor
Posted 28 April 2005 - 02:34 PM
While I certainly think there is a big Zen factor to SEO, it's not about eschewing logical, formulaic reasoning. The Zen factor is about paying attention. A good SEO must consider a huge number of variables simultaneously. The Zen factor is about being open to all of this, and being open to the constantly changing situation with search. To be an SEO expert is to always simultaneously be an SEO beginner.
Zen isn't about some subjective "it just feels right". Those famous Zen koans (e.g., "Everyone knows the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one hand?") have correct and incorrect answers just like any other test. It's not subjective. Yes, the answers cannot be derived through logic. The answers come mostly from "seeing" and very little from "figuring out."
SEO isn't about what feels right, either. SEO is actually a lot more complicated than Zen Buddhism -- not the other way around. It is because SEO entails such a high level of complexity it is nearly impossible to make a coherent statement about how all the parts interact. Simplistic answers and systems just won't do. That's why one might say "it feels right", but what is really happening is pattern recognition, and it is this "seeing" that is the Zen factor.
Posted 28 April 2005 - 05:26 PM
As you see what works, you start to make those connections in your head... but not just about the formulas. Often that's the easy part! The zen part is when you see what type of content attracts links, what interactive features bring people back over and over again, and how it all works together.
If you never get past the keyword here, keyword there, link, link, link mentality, you haven't achieved your "zen".
Posted 28 April 2005 - 05:28 PM
Because they're the same thing =)
(or at least, they should be)
Posted 28 April 2005 - 09:50 PM
But Zen wasn't really the point. My point was that complicated things take lots and lots of study and doing to learn completely, but once you "master" it, you're able to use your gut instinct, and not have to rely on any specific formulas.
I think, Cline, you pretty much agree with that, based on your comments.
Posted 29 April 2005 - 06:25 AM
On the other hand, there are times when SEO becomes a major distraction to me and gets in the way of my progress. 9 times out of 10 when I mainly rely on my instincts I tend to do great. It's actually when I start poking around for formulas that I end up wasting time and doubting myself. When you are responsible for generating content for visitors and SEO, the Zenlike approach works for moving ahead and getting the job done. There is a level of certainty (I have) that a very Zenlike approach will still get me top placement. It's worked for me. Could I get even better placement by spending more time milling over KW density, word proximity within paragraphs, etc. etc. ? Well in my case the time I would spend analyzing those specific factors (to a degree) is time lost because I do better when I don't dwell on certain factors. I'm not saying it's a good idea to not research, to not have a base of knowledge regarding the search engines, or to not stay current with the trends, but there comes a point when you just know what to do (enough to get top placement at least) and anything else is counter productive for me.
Jill thanks for your article.
Great post Cline
Posted 29 April 2005 - 07:08 AM
Posted 29 April 2005 - 10:08 AM
The issue may be how things are described rather than what they are; however, "gut instinct" is a cover for those who have not mastered something. "Don't cloud your head with all that expert babble: Just go with your gut." This is not something that should be encouraged.
Beginners start with simplistic mental models of how things work. One could call this "formulaic". Simple models are easy to describe, and usually exclude interaction effects.
Once expertise is developed, one still has a mental model of how things work. And as such, it's still a "formula". The issue is that the formula is so complicated and full of interaction effects that it becomes almost impossible to verbalize. Typically it can only be discussed ad hoc. "If you change the title tag from A to B, then X, Y, and Z are also going to change in the following ways...."
Interestingly, that's one of the functions of Zen koans. Since what one has seen is too big to be described, the koan is a simple question that can only be answered on the basis of having seen the big picture.
title tags for my latest client's site. :-)
Meditation is interesting in that the object is to not think about anything. The mind, however, resists not-thinking. I often find that when I meditate that one way my mind resits is by suddenly providing me with interesting, creative solutions to problems I've been dealing with. It's quite a struggle to let go of these solutions and to redirect my attention to not thinking.
Posted 29 April 2005 - 11:01 AM
"The issue may be how things are described rather than what they are; however, "gut instinct" is a cover for those who have not mastered something. Don't cloud your head with all that expert babble: Just go with your gut. This is not something that should be encouraged."
Well in my case the "expert babble" is everywhere and almost becomes a blockade to my progress at times. There are a million ways to analyze just about any part of this very large jigsaw puzzle and if I stand around long enough I simply fall behind. I still get top placement and targeted traffic using methods from years ago (with some small variations by following some recent trends) and there is very little science to the way I approach SEO. It's mostly art to me backed by a loose mental model like you described. So maybe I land in second position when I could be getting #1 -- but guess what ? I'm not spending my time analyzing every aspect because time is VERY precious. I'm building more content for my visitors and those new pages will, in the end, draw more unique targeted visits on a larger scale than if I sit back and dwell on algorithms and always landing #1 for specific phrases. Tried and proven time and again! Well that's the ZEN I am referring to.
Once expertise is developed, one still has a mental model of how things work. And as such, it's still a "formula".
Please don't take this as we shouldn't fully analyze deeper relationships, trends, SEO methods, etc. I am talking in the context of what works for me specifically in regard to SEO. Maybe I've taken this ZEN topic way off track in regard to what you were saying.
Thanks Cline. You really got me thinking.
Edited by AlexB, 29 April 2005 - 11:07 AM.
Posted 29 April 2005 - 01:53 PM
Posted 29 April 2005 - 02:12 PM
Hey, maybe it's you who isn't taking it seriously enough!
Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:31 AM
Posted 28 May 2005 - 04:01 PM
We all start off knowing nothing about a subject and most of us knowing that we know nothing.
We then learn something about the subject, are aware that we know something about the subject but still have a lot to learn.
Some learn a great deal more about the subject and think they know everything about the field.
A select few really learn the subject matter deep down to the point that they realize that they really don't know anything at all.
I have been blessed to reach the fouth stage of knowledge on "C" programming. I really know (not just recite) that there is no one right way to solve a problem. There are many wrong ways but there is no single right way. It is also easy to spot people in the third stage. They are the ones who think the rules and processes are not for them. They are also quick to tell everyone that their way is the only way.. It is only once you get to the fourth stage that you can consciously break a rule or ignore an equation and have a better than average chance of being justified.
I am still in the second stage on SEO so won't even begin to claim that the same factors apply to SEO as they do to software development. But if they are, people might want to be careful they don't let themselves fall into the third stage trap. Professionals always use all the processes and procedures. They may decide they do not agree with what the equations tell them and do something different, but they rarely take a decision without doing the basic homework..
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users