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Guest

SEO Run Amok

By: Guest | June 2, 2011 | 
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Brian Meeks returns! Brian has delusions of novelist, which he feeds by writing the Henry Wood Detective series (Available soon and on his blahg).

Search engine optimization is all the rage these days. In fact, if you don’t practice SEO, you obviously don’t ‘GET IT’ and might have poor personal hygiene.

There are two common reasons cited for avoiding SEO; both completely unacceptable:

1. What the hell is SEO, anyway? This is not an acceptable answer because 23 percent of all tweets and Facebook posts are related SEO, according to a number I randomly selected while typing this sentence. Therefore, everyone should know what it means by now. Plus, it was in the first sentence. So this excuse, much like Latin, is a dead issue. Let’s move on.

2. I am too lazy. This is the excuse I often use, and by often, I mean every single day of my life as I write my blog posts, without thinking about how I can drive traffic to my steaming pile of drivel. I prefer to worry about the quality of the content. This is wrong of me.

This rant was brought about when I read an article by Hampton Stevens (really? That’s his name! I am sure he takes his dry martinis shaken, not stirred, and has a license to kill), ‘The Meta, Innovative Genius of ‘Community’.

The article very interesting, but had 37 links. At some point I started to wonder if he could do any more name dropping. He worked in (All in the Family, Cheers, The Onion, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Rhoda, The Love BoatGlee, Scooby-Doo, and How I Met Your Mother) and many, many others. Afterwards, he jumped in his BMW, thwarted a plot (my plot) to take over the world, and bedded a super model scientist with karate skills. Then he ate light brunch and enjoyed a siesta on the veranda of his home in Spain.

This isn’t the worst part of the linking madness. Almost all of them go to the IMDB pages. Apparently Hampton’s nubile assistant, couldn’t be bothered to look up more interesting destinations for their linkapoluza.

Deep within my soul, a feeling of Howler Monkey Angst began to boil. I am a middle aged, balding, male with delusions of writer. I love words. I like reading a well-written article. It makes me angry when I am asked to stop reading, go to another site, read something else, then return and move on to the rest of the article. To ask me to leave and return 36 times seems rude and borders on abusive. It should be noted that a similarly optimized post entitled, “Spring Jihad Fashion Tips,” kept Osama Bin Laden from making a hasty retreat, and ultimately led to his death. So it isn’t always bad.

Hampton Stevens really got under my skin. Not only did he make me run all over the Internet, he wears a hat in his bio picture too! He is much better looking than I, writes for ESPN,  as well as The Atlantic and even Playboy. I bet he is tall! I hate him like a 16 year old girl hates the head of the cheerleading team who is wearing the same dress at the prom.

The reality is, he is right, and I am the idiot. The key to a successful blog, something of which I have no personal experience, as my blog gets maybe 100 readers per day, and 2 percent of those were responsible for my birth, is to do SEO.

There is a very good reason for including links. When people are Googling things on Bing, these links help get your post noticed. Key words are important and can help, as I proved by getting the top ranking (Google and Bing) for the phrase “Bulgarian Ratapult,” something I am very proud of indeed. In addition, the links can often be helpful in researching a specific subject. I would have been lost without the links, when I was recently researching my “101 Bushpig Casserole Recipes of the Serengeti” article, which was featured prominently in “Cooking for In-laws Monthly.”

My argument about leaving the article and then returning 36 times is a weak one too, as nobody does that. In fact, I usually follow a link and never return. Ha!

In reality practicing SEO does improve traffic to a blog. There are countless articles by people like Seth Godin (see how I did that…worked in a blogging guru…with a link). Now maybe he will love me, return my calls, and have the restraining order removed.

So if you want to have a successful blog, not a sad, unread blahg, then by all means practice SEO. If you want to join my legion of ‘bunker dwelling, bitter, ‘wants to take over the world’, rant mongers’, then visit my blahg and leave a comment on any of the posts. Please include the phrase ‘Howler Monkey Angst’ and sign up with the Feedburner thingy. (Note: Feedburner thingy is usually broken. Honey Badger Don’t Care)

In conclusion, again, because the last paragraph was supposed to be the conclusion, but I kept typing…obviously. What was I saying? Oh yes, In conclusions…III…’Revenge of the Conclusions”, I think he may have overdone it a bit with his 37 links, and his hat, and tallness, and all, but if we are scoring at home, and we are, I just put up ALL of his links plus nine of my own! FTW. I am King of the SEO Lab.

Editor’s note: Although this exceeds our normal word count, we were entertained so we didn’t edit it down. But don’t think we do this for everyone! We also deleted all 37 links; it was a bit much.

Brian Meeks has delusions of novelist, which he feeds by writing the Henry Wood Detective series (available soon and on his blahg).

24 comments
manual forum posting
manual forum posting

I have been waiting for this kind of interesting article for long time, Good hand mate congrats.

Greg Traver
Greg Traver

There is a line, "Those who can't, teach" Now while that might work great (?) in public education and collegiate sports, it falls way too short when it comes to real life blogging and SEO. So believe me when I say I am a great teacher to be sure.

Now then, when you start popping in links all over the place you are really shooting yourself in the foot! That is unless it is a carefully orchestrated event in which everyone of those links is reciprocal. But wait now, to get a reciprocal link means that you have to do some work ( "Home Alone" face) and the biggest part of that is convincing the 'linkee' that your blog is good enough to share with thier readers (but not too good) The object is too gain link juice to help you rise in the search engine rankings. When you put out links to other web pages that don't return the favor you bleed link juice (if you have any) all over the place. That will not only ruin your new shag carpeting and peeve you Mom off but left unchecked could actually kill you!

The more links from others in the same niche/field the better you look to the Spiders. After all, they think, if these other sites that actually have traffic (and page rank) are willing to send thier traffic to this dolt, what they heck, so will we!

abarcelos
abarcelos

Gini, as you know there are certain clients, ahem...that are "obssessed" with SEO and we are doing everything we can to do right by them. In B2B, SEO is fierce and very necessary. Great post. Miss you!

byronfernandez
byronfernandez

Spectacular. Well done, Meeks. Favorite lines:

1) Honey Badger Don't Care ;-)

2) Steaming pile of drivel

3) Howler Monkey Angst

and last but certainly NOT least:

4)Bulgarian Ratapult

Brava. Magnifica. Stupennddaa

BarbYouchah
BarbYouchah

This was the most entertaining read I've had all day! Love! SEO is good, but funny is better. I'm a fan now Brian and not from finding you through the interwebs. FWIW

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

I like that 2% of your readers were responsible for your birth!! LOL! I am sorry we removed your links, and your hard work and all the scoffs. and one F bomb.

TheJackB
TheJackB

<i>The key to a successful blog</i>

What is the definition of a successful blog?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

This made me laugh so hard! I love this part the most: I read an article by Hampton Stevens (really? That’s his name! I am sure he takes his dry martinis shaken, not stirred, and has a license to kill)

KDillabough
KDillabough

Brian, you made my day with this post! LOVE your writing style...I'm a fan!

But, being Canadian, I must warn you that I now have Pinky and the Brain lined up to take you on for world domination, based on the whole Diet Dew thing. And I'd post some Howler Monkey Angst, but your livefyre won't accept my request to subscribe by email. What's up with that? Some of us like old school:-)

I am now off to engage Pinky and the Brain for my team for world domination, sir. En garde! Kaarina

NancyD68
NancyD68

Wait a minute, you can't take over the world. I am taking over the world! I do not write with SEO in mind. This makes me dumb. I also forgot to shower. *sniffs*

Be back after my shower. Later i will comment on your blahg.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

I'll read your stinking drivel any day my friend; at least it's piled and steaming.. mine's cold blobs of goo. I'd join your boycott of smarter, more successful, better looking writers, but alas.... that's the entirety of the Internets and I'd get bored. As for SEO, I know it exists and I do like to pretend I write with it in mind - (BTW nothing wrong with my hygiene, I know how to shower .. the hot water's on the left, right?) - but sadly 'please give me money so I can buy Apple products' is not hitting any keyword sweet spots. Think maybe the Binging Googs of the world are missing something. As are the editors, cutting out your 37 links; bet there were some good stuff, like what wine to serve with Bushpig casserole. FWIW.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

@Greg Traver That was a great addition to the piece, thanks so much for sharing. I didn't realize it could actually hurt one's ranking, I guess my lack of SEO linkage is looking like a brilliant, albeit lazy, strategy.

I think I will consider another strategic nap.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

@abarcelos

It should be noted that the opinions expressed are purely those of the author and are supported by almost no research what so ever; except for a brief consultation with a magic 8 ball.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

@Lisa Gerber

It is okay. In the grand scheme of things it isn't such a big deal. 3, 4 year tops, of therapy, and I will be right as rain. :-)

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@TheJackB Heh. I want to HTML something all self-promotional and spammy, just can't think of anything funny enough.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

@3HatsComm

I know! They took out my 37 links which I spent an hour putting in. I had to go to his blog, click on all of them, scoff, and then copy the link. I am sooooo crushed they are gone. It is also halirous how many people he referenced. :-(

NancyD68
NancyD68

@ginidietrich If you take over the world, then you have to hire me as your enforcer - who else can strike fear in everyone?

Shonali
Shonali

@ExtremelyAvg You took an hour putting in 37 links?! Oh, Brian. I'd have guessed 37 minutes. Didn't the tiny boxes help, or did they just sit around looking pretty? @3HatsComm

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