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 Boat, Glee, 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.