Eagle SEO

One of Bruce’s maxims just took on a life of its own thanks to Twitter. Former Bruce Clay, Inc. blogger (and forever BCI fave) Lisa Barone wrote:

tweet by @lisabarone

It’s a succinct and colorful portrait of the aspirations of SEO. In the Internet marketing industry it’s not uncommon to hear of snakeoil salesmen. The saying goes a long way to explain how comprehensive search engine optimization is a holistic approach to improving the server performance, site architecture, on-page code, text and interactive content, Web relationships, online reputation (… I could go on…) of a site.

Claims of easy fixes (All you need are a few keywords!) and overnight ranking schemes (Rank #1 in two weeks!) abound. The illustration of foundational improvement is an important one. And flying pigs and eagles — it’s sticky, a real crowd pleaser.

A few Internet marketers have suggestions for what their proverbial pig/eagle hybrid might look like.

1. Up first, the skeptic:

tweet by @oilman

I think the goals of Internet marketing go further than this. Isn’t this proposal like the first half of the saying — the putting wings on part? Maybe he’s suggesting that it looks like an eagle to search engines. I like to think it looks like an eagle to people too. ;)

2. There’s also the tell-’em-it’s-an-eagle approach:

tweet by @thekenjones

There is a lot of value attributed to links and link anchor text, but they should be considered in their SEO hierarchy. Google’s done a lot to decrease the power of spam-like Google bombs, but a link-focused approach to SEO is very popular. Consider the place of links in the larger SEO puzzle.

3. Much more often Internet marketers end up taking a baby-steps approach:

tweet by @portentint

It can be difficult to get a potential client to commit to a campaign to fully optimize a site. A lack of understanding, buy-in or budget leads to SEOs trying to stretch limited resources. At that point, it can be a struggle to do even the most fundamental SEO tasks.

Most search engine optimizers are hoping to make a real difference with their campaigns, in line with Bruce’s original saying. And if that’s not an option due to restrictions or limited resources, sometimes marketers do their best with a pin-the-tail-on-the-pig or a pig in eagle’s clothing.

But I think there’s an exciting goal of SEO highlighted here.

It’s about making a site better from the inside out. Not putting lipstick on the pig, as with bachelor #1. Or dressing the pig in the emperor’s new clothes, like bachelor #2. If all else fails, we can take bachelor #3’s approach and improve the site as much as we can with the resources and knowledge at our disposal. [Ian’s approach is something of a Charlotte’s Web approach. Not making the site a new creature but polishing up what’s there as best you can. –Susan]

If the choice is yours to make, create a site that’s good for search engines and good for users. Because, in the end, that will be what’s good for the health of the business.

Note: All analogies made with love. Thank you, Todd Friesen, Ken Jones and Ian Lurie, for allowing me to make an exaggerated point with your help! :)

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (6)
Filed under: SEO
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO posts is better than the last!
Bruce Clay on May 8, 2024
The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist
Bruce Clay on April 4, 2024
What Makes an SEO Program Successful?
Bruce Clay on April 3, 2024
How Can I Improve My Website Rankings Through SEO?

6 Replies to “Eagle SEO”

Glad I could help make the point!

Wouldn’t the end goal be to have the eagle flying high and keeping it there?

OK, I’m on analogy overload…

I agree and Love this Tweet: – @grayworlf The goal of SEO is not to put wings on a pig,but to genetically reengineer the pig into an eagle…

If you 301 redirect a pig to an eagle, do you end up with an Ostrich?

I figure that most SEO is about putting lipstick on the pig, as opposed to any fancy genetic mutating process. If it oinks, it’s a pig!
How about some more accountability in SEO for SEO vendors? And how about responsibility for clients to put up a site deserving of being a top result– not just because they hired someone to do technical magic?

David Cato

I have to agree with the point you’re making here.

It seems like a lot of people tend to split up SEO, SEM, SMM, Analytics, etc. into different goals. That to me seems like just trying to put wings on a pig. Sure, maybe you rank for some keywords, but do you convert? Have you improved the user experience? Branding?

When you put all the goals together, the pig really isn’t a pig anymore. Basically what we’re trying to do is make websites better. Quite holistic really.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Serving North America based in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Bruce Clay, Inc. | PO Box 1338 | Moorpark CA, 93020
Voice: 1-805-517-1900 | Toll Free: 1-866-517-1900 | Fax: 1-805-517-1919