Results Oriented Thinking & Marketing Advice for SEOs

Focus on Results & Achieve Them

Cygnus offered this quote on Rich Skrenta's blog post about PageRank:

I like all the traffic types coming in; in order to get that traffic on a couple of sources I have to jump through a few hoops. Big deal. So long as the requirements cost less than the expected revenue from ranking, I'll meet the requirements.

As long as something works and is within your personal ethical, financial, and risk boundaries then why not give it a try?

Setting Up a Baseline for Risk Tolerance

Bob Massa published a great article casting aside the hats while looking at link buying from a business objectives standpoint:

SHOULD I BUY LINKS? ... Most of the people who ask me that question are the people who least need to worry about the risk. The risk motivating the question being whether or not they may be penalized by google instead of the risk being about going broke.

Logic would dictate that anyone concerned about the risk of being penalized by Google, is actually worried about losing something they already have. In this case sales coming from targeted traffic generated from superior organic placements in the SERP’s. ...

But far more often than not, when I take a look at the site belonging to the askee, I see a site that looks like a third graders ransom note. ... Little traffic to speak of and certainly no sales to lose. There is VERY little visible investment in design, content or anything else. Yet they brag of the #3 spot they have for a keyword with over a million results like that is all they need for proof of their valuable contribution to the world of online commerce.

The biggest risk to most businesses is that they will never be found and never gain any traction. That is why I found the concept of debating the risk of buying links getting you in trouble 5 years from now a bit intellectually dishonest. If in 5 years you built no momentum and someone can just wipe you out that was not a very good business model.

Bob Massa's article is also a nice summary of why SEO client experiences are bad unless you have a strong brand and/or are selling to the right clients. If you are going to the effort to market thin affiliate sites you may as well keep the all revenue for yourself, and design to at least 4th grade standards!

Why Trust Another Business More Than Yourself?

John Andrews did a fun comparison between AdWords and doorway pages. Considering the cheating wives offers that AdWords promotes I have to agree with him that Google's moral superiority strategy is a bit thin.

In a post about domain consolidation Michael Gray wanted an opinion from Google. Marisa left this great comment:

The underlying question is, “Why are we seeking permission from Google to do webmaster things when it’s Google’s responsibility to make their search engine work according to our typical practices?”

Just because Google is the most popular SE doesn’t mean that they can now make the rules. They need to go back to coding their SE to be better than the others rather than spending so much time trying to make us code or setup sites to their specifications.

After Google bought YouTube they integrated YouTube directly into their site and their search results.

Many sites and marketers that are considered spammers by Google only use aggressive push marketing off the start to market their sites because the framework for ranking that Google set up require it. If the "spammers" were given the same head start that YouTube pages or Knol pages will get then they would not need to "spam" to rank. They would just produce the best content and watch it rise to the top of the results.

The Value of Exposure & Feedback

I recently spoke with a mentor who told me that starting about 20 years ago he lost 10 years because he was sitting around expecting everyone to figure out how brilliant he was. His tips and advice likely saved me from making that mistake on some fronts - and saved me a couple years of my life. And while he is considered a guru by many today, what more momentum would have have today if he didn't lose those 10 years? What if someone would have gave him the speech he just gave me? How much richer would he be? Would I have even been able to afford hiring him for a consult?

If I was not a push marketer a few years ago and I avoided link buying without debating the risks, would I have been able to afford that phone call that will likely save years of my life? Probably not.

Everyone starts off as a push marketer, and then moves toward pull marketing as they gain feedback and get more well known, and build a brand they do not want to risk damaging.

Published: December 17, 2007 by Aaron Wall in business


December 17, 2007 - 8:17pm

That's right. If you have a website with very little traffic is very absurd to worry about penalizations. As in life itself, if you don't take risks you will surely fail.

December 17, 2007 - 8:29pm

Most risks that I've taken have been the best decisions I've ever made...

December 17, 2007 - 10:09pm

Thank you for being the voice of reason - and the fact is many startup business DO have to buy links at first just to be found.

Matias Bulox
December 18, 2007 - 7:54am

One more time...I agree with you. There's no way you can be successful on the web if you just follow their guidelines...I mean...there are things that you may not want to do but you have to. You gotta start somewhere but the issue is that Google is always trying to get rid of that somewhere and we have to come up with other ideas and techniques to make it work.

December 18, 2007 - 3:48pm

Amen! Right now Google is the biggest search engine, but things change. Worrying about a link you bought today getting you kicked out of Googles search results in 5 years is putting the cartbefore the horse.
The goal is to make money. That comes from hits on your site. If you have to pay to get that traffic that is ok if it generates more money than it costs.
In 5 years if you are generating 100,000 hits per day because of quality content there is not much google will do to hurt you.

December 19, 2007 - 8:17am

Bobby made an excellent point. It is the traffic an dthe resulting money that matters the most. And, there are so many other ways to achieve your goal of making money apart from passively waiting for the traffic from Google. They include but not limited to:

make your website conversion worthy
Use social media to increase the traffic to your site
Improve the web copy
Use A/B and multivariate testing

In fact, the list goes on and on and on. So do not worry about Google so much,

December 20, 2007 - 11:07am

OK forgive my ignorance please explain the differences between push and pull marketing and the pros and cons sorry I am not fluent in MARCOM speak yet.

Hey there is an idea just like the SEO SEM glossary a MARCOM glossary...


December 20, 2007 - 11:17am

Push marketing is related to awareness campaigns, doing things like:

  • buying AdWords ads, AdSense ads, or other web based ads
  • buying TV commercials
  • sending emails

Pull marketing is related to benefiting from previously established market awareness, like:

  • top rankings in Google for broad generic terms
  • people searching specifically for your brand
  • traffic from links on other sites

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