John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?  Competitive Web & SEO

Ayyye, me fickle mistress The Google

When clients and associates talk about SEO they sounds so deterministic, causal, and definitive. They often make statements like “much of the SEO advice on the web is untrue” and “very few SEOs realy know what they are talking about”. It’s easy to get defensive but there is no reason to: the client’s are venting. They need SEO, don’t understandit, and are fearfulof engaging an SEO. That’s understandable.

It’s also understandable that they don’t “get it”. SEO is about committing a rather advanced set of attention resources to a rather fickle beast: the search engine. If there were a hard-fast set of SEO rules, don’t you think those web-based SEOs would have gotten their lists of do’s and don’ts corrected by now?

The fallacy is in the concept of SEO advice on public web pages. That simply cannot work. Andif you think through the question “How else can an SEO establish some thought leadership in the minds of potential clients, except to post athoritative-sounding SEO advice on the web?”, you will probably reach the same conclusion pro-war industrialists have reached. You simply need to feed the people those things which you are fairly certain they will believe, and avoid the things that make you (and war) look bad. For an SEO looking to market his firm to clients, give them what they want to read, and don’t give them anything to question.

So back to that fickle mistress, TheGoogle. Today is Monday. A new week has begun. And my SEO team has been continuously watching the search space through the weekend, and into this glorious Monday morning. Had they written”SEO tips” last week, they’d be updating them today. Instead, we simly adjust our sites (and our client sites) in the direction that matches Google’s mood, and keep going. It’s SEO. It works.

So why don’t I tell the world what works this Monday morning? Duh. Because this is a competitive field, and we are competing. But I will simply say this: take a close look at the SERPs and see what the mood is for yourself. Are your sites prepared to adust and maintain rank? Do you have test sites (sensors) tuned to the various signals such that you can see them changing? Do those sensors of yours autocalibrate, or do you have to re-calibrate them manually? How long will that take?

Go ahead and talk about keyword one and keyword two today and tomorrow. The anchor text doesn’t matter as much as the distance to the nearest neighbors today. Go ahead, try it for yourself. I’m not worried abut the competition, because it will be different tomorrow. This sort of mood is self-destructive, so it won’t last. I can’t say they have a switch installed these days, but it sure seems that way. Bi-Polar Google? Maybe TheGoogle forgot to take her meds the past few days. Or maybe there’s a test underway. Whatever. That’s SEO. Rank today; rank tomorrow.

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One Response to “Ayyye, me fickle mistress The Google”

  1. » Blog Archive » See what I mean? Google’s lovin’ the nearby’s Says:

    […] On Monday morning we saw signals of Google’s knobs turned too high on nearby word associations. I suggested that you : Go ahead and talk about keyword one and keyword two today and tomorrow. The anchor text doesn’t matter as much as the distance to the nearest neighbors today. […]