Exerting Influence & Moving Markets

Apr 6th

There are two basic ways to do SEO. One is to look for the criteria you think the search engine wants to see, and then work to slowly build it day after day, chipping away doing great keyword research and picking up one good links one at a time here or there. If you understand what the search engines are looking for this is still readily possible in most markets, but with each passing day this gets harder.

The other way to do SEO is to move markets. When I interviewed Bob Massa, his words search engines follow people stuck in my head. So what does it mean to move markets? People are using the word linkarati. It wasn't a word until recently. Rand made it up. As that word spreads his brand equity, market position, and link authority all improve. Does that make Rand an SEO expert or a person good with words? Probably both, as far as engines and the public are concerned.

I have seen friends get free homepage links from businesses that are making 10s of millions of dollars profit per year. I have had fortune 500 companies contact me with free co-branding offers for new sites. I have came up with content ideas that naturally made it to the #1 position on Netscape and stuck there for 20+ hours straight. I still fail often and have a lot to learn, but I do know this: If you are the featured content on most of the sites in your field then YOU are relevant, and search engines will pick up on it unless their algorithms are broke.

When I was new to SEO I did much more block and tackle SEO. I had to because I had limited knowledge, no trust, no leverage, no money, and was a bad writer. The little things mattered a lot. They had to. As I learned more about the web I have tried to transition into the second mode of marketing. Neither method is right or wrong, each works better for different people at different stages, but as more people come online I think the second path is easier, safer, more stable, more profitable, and more rewarding.

If you are empathetic towards a market and have interests aligned with a market you do not need to understand exactly how search engines work. Search engines follow people.

It is still worth doing the little things right so that when the big things hit you are as efficient as possible, but if you can mix research, active marketing, and reactive marketing into your site strategy you will be more successful than you would be if you ignored one of them.

Published: April 6, 2007

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Comments

April 6, 2007 - 11:23am

Great post. You are writing some killer stuff lately Aaron!

April 6, 2007 - 12:22pm

It's so true ! Today people would like to forget that this is product invention acts on the web not marketing insight.

April 6, 2007 - 1:47pm

I think people often overlook the obvious when consider the Internet as a revenue generator.

I know I did. We look for everything but what is right in from of us, personal interest, hobbies, etc.

Good article.

jay
April 7, 2007 - 10:07am

While I was spending 50% of my time to get my onsite SEO factors perfect on some of my first sites I spend only 5% on this now and the other 45% on improving the user experience.

Anyway to get the first big site out is the hardest part and as soon as this happens one can build upon this. My experience is if you are on your own the idea and the timing matters way more than the features of the first big one.

April 8, 2007 - 4:17am

Hey Aaron,

Like others have said, you're on a roll this week on the blog postings. By the way, I heard that your coming to the San Francisco Bay Area? Is that still the case or did you already stop by?

Let me know!

Cheers,

Daniel

April 8, 2007 - 8:29am

Hi Daniel
I live here now, and have for months. :)

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