Marketers vs. Google

It’s not a joke, it’s a rope, Tuco. Now I want you to get up there and put your head in that noose.-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

You aren’t going to beat them at their own game.  You aren’t.  And this isn’t me being negative.  It is just the truth. And even if you do, it won’t last long enough for you build enough capital to turn it into a business.

What I am talking about is manipulating search in your favor to rank for a garden variety of “money” keywords.  It won’t last because the rules constantly change.  If you are an SEO getting paid by working for a company with a budget, that’s one thing. But if you are the garden variety mom and pop start up that is doing it all yourself and hinging your hopes on search catapulting your business into the stratosphere, just be aware, you won’t beat them at this game.

Prime example- the recent de-indexing of blog networks that were getting paid by marketers to add links that would help them rank.  This seemed like a cost effective solution.  After all, getting non-paid links is hard.

You need to build a community or, in the very least, be a part of one.

You need to be somewhat social (at least social enough to pick up the phone or write an email to engage.)

You need to be an expert (or expert enough for the thought leaders of the niche to feel comfortable that you know what you are talking about).

Instead, the easier solution is to pay someone else the opportunity to create your own links.  And these links go nowhere, are seen by no one, and are meant to help you rank for things like acid reflux help. It worked for awhile.  And now it doesn’t.

And this is what happens…

And sometimes even when you do everything you think is right, you may still have have a problem….

Perhaps the biggest losers here are those who bought into the organic search is all that matters philosophy.  Businesses don’t live and die off of one ad medium, not the successful ones anyway.  And certainly not from an ad medium that is as flaky as search is.  And the fact that ranking is such a slow process and that link building for SEO has no measurable benefit in terms of ROI, makes those that chase algorithms look kind of silly and amateurish.  Especially now, in this day and age.

The biggest irony to this article is that most SEO’s who link build this way are going to simply move on to the next big thing. They are going to find the easiest solution that doesn’t require them to actually know their market or the market’s community and gorge on it while it works until it stops working.  And then repeat the process over and over again.

Build a business up.  Watch it get torn down again. Repeat ad infinitum.

SEO is important if you want to eventually rank.  And links are important as well.  But there is a framework that you need to follow if you are hoping to build a long term business.

The sort of link building advice out there for smallish one man start ups is terrible.  Advice like what the majority of marketers give is a short term solution.  They are basically setting you up to chase algorithms.

Search rankings should be the icing, not the cake.  Most mom and pop link builders view the business of search as the end all.  That’s the problem.  And until they change their mindset, they are most likely not going to go anywhere for long.  You aren’t going to beat them.

Image Attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/edalorzo/2345219908/