I recently posted that I thought almost any successful marketer could be defined as a spammer at some point in time. The main point was that to be successful, you have to be willing to live outside of other's boundaries, and be willing to accept arbitrary labels people will throw at you for doing so. But that is not to say that everyone will succeed ONLY by spamming. I got an email today from a guy who was down and out. I got a call yesterday from another guy who seemed to be in a similar market position. The biggest commonality I notice amongst people who seem like they want to do well but are not is that they either lack focus or passion. If you are passionate about a topic it is much easier to stay focused and avoid burnout.
WebmasterWorld recently had a thread about authority which has a number of great quotes in it.
So for most people, an authority site is built as a labor of love on the subject.
It's that "This is the site I wanted to find on the subject when I was looking for info, but couldn't" mindset.
MikeNoLastName, being a contrarian with the thread theme, stated:
So NO I do not agree that the internet is anymore (if it ever truly was) the great playing field leveler that many still believe it is. Perhaps, for a while you'll out-fox your bigger competitors by knowing more about SEO, at least until they wise up to the potential and hire a whole staff of SEOs, but in the end it will still be who is a better business organizer and who can afford to throw more marketing money in the ad buying pot, which is greatly encouraged by the likes of G & Y.
In some cases Mike is right, but Google just bought YouTube for $1.65 billion, which shows that the underdog can beat the giant. In most cases they probably do, as long as they are truly passionate about the topic. If a person lacks passion then they are typically far easier to steamroll over though. Why?
There are people spending $5K to $100K+ a day on arbitrage or spamming. If you try to compete just on numbers and are starting with a smaller chip stack you are fighting an uphill battle.
That same WMW thread linked back to an old Googleguy comment:
Of course, folks never know when we're going to adjust our scoring. It's pretty easy to spot domains that are hoarding PageRank; that can be just another factor in scoring. If you work really hard to boost your authority-like score while trying to minimize your hub-like score, that sets your site apart from most domains. Just something to bear in mind.
Let me clarify that last post a smidge. You can try all sorts of stuff to "conserve PageRank," but that's no guarantee that something will work, or that it will work in the future.
If you lack passion then you may feel you have to get something before you give anything out. If you are passionate about a topic it is much easier to become a platform.
Not only is it easier for passionate people to become topical platforms, but if you are passionate
- you are more likely to want to understand what ideas are important (and why)
- you are more likely to see what ideas are spreading
- you are more likely to see why ideas are spreading
And as a net result of those you are more likely to be able to create ideas that will spread. When you start seeing things like unrequested quality links, mentions on high quality sites, or other people saying I wish I would have thought of that it means you are on the right path.
Once you learn how ideas spread in one market it is easy to apply that line of thinking to quickly analyze another market.
So how does the passion bit relate to the spamming stuff I mentioned at the top of the post?
- The more passionate you are the easier it is to create signs of quality and the more people will trust you.
- People trusting you means you will do well even if you temporarily fall out of graces with the search engines.
- The less effort you have to put in to build your backlink profile the more likely your site is to look like a natural part of the web.
- Many authority sites started out as hubs.
- Sites with more signs of quality can get away with doing a lot more shady things (or accidentally screwing up lots of things) while still being in the realm of normalcy.
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