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January 30, 2007

SEO Is Not Long Term or Short Term

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In her ClickZ article entitled Short- vs. Long-Term SEO, Shari Thurow argues that search engine optimization can be broken down into two forms: short term and long term.

Not surprisingly, short term search engine optimization is the reactive ambulance-chaser approach where a site waits until their rankings fall and then frantically calls their SEO to "reanalyze" the search engines algorithm to get things straightened out. The long term approach to SEO, according to Shari, is where the site owner isn’t after a quick fix, but instead after "long-term, continuous, qualified search engine traffic".

I agree with Shari that search engine optimization has different flavors, but I’m not completely comfortable calling optimization that focuses on best practices "long term", because, to me, long-term implies there’s an end. You spend two years, five years maybe, working on your site and perfecting your optimization campaign, and then you can bask in premium search rankings bliss.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Search engine optimization is neither long term nor short term. It’s not a cake, cupcake, rocket science or an Oreo cookie. SEO is ongoing. Susan’s a big fan of her garden analogy, so I’ll stick with that and amuse her. In order for your site to bloom, it needs to first be set up correctly. You need the right seeds, to decide where everything will be planted and make sure it’s set in an area that receives ample sunlight. Then, once the seeds are planted, your search campaign fragile garden needs to be lovingly cared for. It needs to be watered daily, adjusted to address the varying weather conditions, and altogether tended to. It doesn’t need this for a year or two; it requires this for its entire life. Sort of like a baby, if you stop feeding your garden or your search engine optimization campaign, it will die.

I don’t know how other SEO companies work, but when we first take on a client we like to do a full assessment of their site to help us, and them, identify their unsightly problem areas. Be it large thighs, a troublesome mid section, or flabby arms, every site has its flaw and we uncover them with the purpose of cutting the fat and creating a leaner site. We’ll report back to you what we find and together we’ll craft a search engine optimization strategy for your site that addresses your individual site’s goals, both short-term and ongoing.

We understand that all of our clients have different needs, but we believe everyone can benefit from long term optimization. This doesn’t mean that we don’t offer solutions to immediately stop the bleeding and get your site back on track, but through our client relationships and SEOToolSet training class, we emphasis the importance of establishing a well-balanced, ongoing search engine optimization campaign. It’s not about time limits; it’s about making your site an expert and keeping it that way.

We’ve been around long enough to know that taking a reactive approach to the search engines does not work. We give site and business owners the tools they need to form pro-active optimization search engine optimization strategies that address competitive keyword research, siloing, link building and usability isses. It’s not about short term or long term SEO; it’s about creating an excellent site, achieving strong rankings, and then maintaining that for the life of your site.





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