Relevance: Good for SEO, Good for YOU

Growing up, I always thought of my dad as Mr. Tech, spending a Saturday afternoon fiddling to fix the vacuum cleaner or hooking up new gear for the family sound system.

I’d later hear stories of him attending a technical institute to learn the inner workings of the VCR. The punch line of the story is that he spent the last $400 in the newlyweds’ bank account to register for the class, dismantled their VCR like some eager clockmaker, and then artfully put the pieces of the VCR back together… as a trash pile.

broken clock in lots of pieces

Twenty years later and I’m his go-to girl for anything done on a computer or online. My e-mail address is his e-mail address. While on trips he asks me to look up locations with the help of my magic square (read: iPhone). And more than once he’s asked me to buy his concert tickets online because Ticketmaster has forsaken him and his brick-and-mortar brood.

He was the first guy on the block to get a laser disc player and he’ll be the last guy on earth to sign up for Netflix. How is it that a once technically adventurous man became such a technophobe?

The answer to that question has had me terrified for years. Understanding how technology dependent my business and personal worlds are today, I know I’ll be trying to keep up with the increasingly fast pace of technology for the rest of my life. In the interests of not getting left behind, I’m trying to condition myself to have the stamina required of technology in the 21st century.

So the article Your Job: How to Stay Personally Relevant … Now and in the Future by marketing and PR blogger Steve Kayser got my attention last week. Steve presents a handy little acronym to remember the elements of relevance today:

Listen & Learn.
Attitude of Gratitude.
No to Negativity.

These characteristics of the cutting edge work for both the professional and personal spheres, though Steve approaches it from a personal level while I’ll look at business applications. So let’s take a look at these element, with an eye for how these lessons help us to grow in our professional SEO lives.

Risk and Experimentation

Risk is a necessary part of search engine optimization because it goes hand in hand with experimentation. Considering that Google and the other major engines aren’t handing over their algos any time soon, testing and practical research is the foundation of all SEO knowledge. At the same time, Google tells webmasters not to do anything with the sole intention of boosting rankings.

By that definition, SEO experimentation involves an inherent but necessary risk. Be smart about the risks you take — saving radical or irreversible tests for domains safe for burning — but never stifle your sense of curiosity and hypothesizing. Gain every competitive advantage that’s available by taking a risk to experiment.

Listen & Learn and Engage

While part of any SEO’s knowledge is gained from personal experience, the recommendations of search engine representatives, the expertise of SEO authorities, and the experiments of trusted community members plays a part as well. SEOs with an interest in staying up-to-date will actively engage the community to hear and learn the latest tactics and theories for how to market a site with the resources available.

Bruce Clay, Inc.’s SEOToolSet Training course is, IMHO, one of the best opportunities for search marketing learning and community engagement. This year the standard course and advanced certification course will be presented nearly every month in Simi Valley and once a quarter in Long Island, so reserve your seat today.

Attitude of Gratitude and No to Negativity

Trying to hit a moving target can feel frustratingly futile at times, but if you actively embrace positivity and reject negativity you’ll be in a much better position to stay lithe and nimble in the search space.

Similarly, members of the community often solicit input in the form of surveys, requests for contributions, and other feedback mechanisms. If you’re gaining knowledge from the community, do your best to give back as well. Participate and use your network to spread the word as well — because we all stand to gain from a culture of openness and support.

Value and Time

I switched up the order of our acronym a bit to group these two elements together. Time is money, money is value, and there’s nothing quite as valuable as time. As Steve writes, “Time. It’s free. Yet priceless. Infinite – but there’s never enough of it.” Don’t undervalue your time and experience, and ration your time wisely, giving ample and necessary time to practical research, on-site optimization, reading, community engagement, and so on. The recipe for SEO success truly lies in keeping relevant.

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 (8)
Filed under: SEO
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO posts is better than the last!

8 Replies to “Relevance: Good for SEO, Good for YOU”

Good article. I liked the acronym for relevant! You have a good writing style and you made it interesting, thats hard to do with SEO(lol).

@Christyleh: I am not so sure I agree. Sure, there is technical jargon in every field – and SEO is admittedly complicated. But there are very big bucks at stake for a well-placed ranking on the right keyword phrase. Agreed – Promotion is needed. But with SEO, you have your leads brought right to your front door – so promotion is effectively very easy. That’s why everyone is so crazy about it.

I’ve bought my mom a cellphone about 6 months ago, and up to now she still doesn’t know how to use it. Whenever she needs to contact me through text, she would ask my niece to use it for her just so my mom could text me. I’ve asked her a bunch of times why she still doesn’t know how to use it. The only reply I get is “I’m too old to use that.” I guess some of our elderly tends to lose interest in new things, when in truth, they are actually younger than the future and can do so much more in life. Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.

Virginia Nussey

LOL :)

My internet marketing mentor tells us that SEO is such a techie term for newbies. Though an optimized site is good for business starters, the other factor of online success lies through effective promotion.

I used to fit into that category, but i’m learning and my 12 year olds are helping me… I feel like everything to do with computers in intimidating but exciting!

Love the post, enjoyed it reading.
RELEVANT is the best one SEO should think of..
Very informative.
Thanks for sharing.

HI, I’m John from in Massapequa NY. I have been designing on computers since the ad ageny business went digital in the early 90s. I handed down my Blue G3 mac to my parents in 2000. At the time they were 60 & 70 years of age. Now, at 70 & 80, Mom is shopping online and Dad is playing Hold’em. Baby steps, especially when dealing with “set in their ways” seniors.


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