SEO Rehab & Intervention
[Okay, kids. I present you with all the craziness that occurred at the SEO Rehab session. Read it at your own risk. The session quickly ended up being less about dealing with your SEO addiction and more about talk of chocolate cake, Twitter bashing and Kevin Ryan trying to get everyone to follow him on Twitter. Take it for what you will.]
Kevin Ryan is here moderating with bad boys David Naylor (Bronco), Michael Gray (Atlas Web Service), Greg Boser (WebGuerrilla) and Andy Atkins-Kruger (WebCertain Europe Ltd.). The lights just got dim. It’s romantic now.
Kevin spends way too much time talking about rehab and other psychedelic things. He’s making me uncomfortable.
Greg says he doesn’t admit that he’s addicted to search engine optimization. Michael says he’s not addicted to Twitter. Dave Naylor is addiction-free. Kevin says we can all leave now. He’s kidding.
Kevin: When did you first realize you were addicted?
Michael says it’s more of an issue for other people. It’s not an issue for him. Hee. Kevin says he doesn’t care. He calls Michael out for having a number of addictions, especially chocolate cake. All of his Twitter updates are “why can’t they serve cake at this party?”. What does that do for you? Why can’t you bring your own cake?
Michael has no response. Neither do I
Kevin: Why are you hooked on it?
Michael says he’s bored. He’s looking for someone to talk to. He’s surrounded by children. Kevin says Twitter is the Paris Hilton of the Internet. It’s famous but what does it do?
Greg calls Twitter weird. Vanessa Fox got him addicted. He turns it off during the day so he can get work done. Michael hints that maybe he’s not on Twitter as much as people think he is. Twitter is a script. You can make it do what you want to. Like maybe update when you’re not actually there.
Andy Atkin-Kruger brings a bit of structure to this free for all and is going to give a real presentation. Oh thank, God.
Check your Addiction?
- Do you check your rankings more than once per day?
- Do you feel guilty that you haven’t twittered for over an hour?
- Can you list all your back links by URL?
If so, you need treatment. But you’ve taken the most important first step – you’re here.
Andy says that people in the search engine optimization industry sometimes lose perspective. They check their rankings every hour and obsess over it. Why?
Kevin asks how it affects business if you’re worrying about the fact you haven’t Twittered in an hour?
Andy says his problem isn’t Twitter. His problem is counting Michael’s tweets. He has other problems. Like when Google tells him he’s a robot for using Google too often. Hee.
Greg also gets banned from Google. He’s addicted to it. They have tools that collect data from Google that they need to use and they try to block him from doing that. He’s just using his own computer at his own desk and he’s getting banned for being malware. Is that a sign of an addiction?
SEO (Sanity Escaped Organically): The 12 Step Program
- Takes care choosing KPIs – Don’t rely on rankings.
- Set realistic objectives.
- Employ people who know what they’re doing.
- Build your Web site for SEO from the bottom up.
- Only work on projects which deserve to rank.
- Only work on projects where there is a market.
- Be different – ideally unique – in the market place.
- Get good training (attend SEO conferences).
- Understand the mechanics (the engines)
- Don’t try to be an expert in every SEO technique. Focus on your strengths. (Greg says being a specialist is a way of saying you suck. You need to maintain an expertise in all areas.)
- Be patient
- Enjoy your addiction. It’s a great industry to work in.
Kevin has lost control of this session.
He’s asking the speakers to STOP Twittering and actual speak into the microphone so the audience can’t hear them. Ah, this is comedy. Or it would be if I didn’t have to blog it.
Kevin: Is the industry as much fun as it was when you got into it? Do you think it’s becoming too corporate?
Greg says it was a lot of fun in the early days. He says longevity has been about being able to adapt as the industry changes and gaining satisfaction in different things. The quick fix has gone away. It’s more of a longer haul thing. You have to find new ways to keep yourself energized and excited about the business. All of a sudden Greg Boser is the sound moral compass in the room. I expect a unicorn to walk in any moment.
Michael says search is the best job in the world. He’s ADD. Twitter has given him 8,000 followers who will listen to him. Now if he only came with a mute button.
Kevin is amazed by Michael’s Follower numbers. Michael says it’s because he’s a critical person. Twitter has result in consulting money for him.
Dave Naylor has his own presentation.
He shows himself checking emails on vacation. Now he shows his desk at Bronco.
Every SEO addiction has a price to pay. He wasted thousand of hours checking PR back links and anchor text by hand. Now he uses those hours to research what he thinks the engines will do next.
PageRank does not make you any more money. The time you spend checking your PR does not make you money. Over the last 12 months, PR on his site has fluctuated up and down and yet traffic remained the same. PR3 can get far more organic traffic than a PR5. PR only changes about once per quarter, why waste time checking it daily?
Check PR like a professional.
When PR updates, check your market. Did the whole industry move? When PR matters is if everyone else when up and you went down.
But people aren’t just addicted to PR. They’re also addicted to rankings, backlinks, the number pages indexed, etc.
Rankings: Make sure the keyword combinations you are obsessed about are the ones that actually bring you money. If you are checking rankings, do you know which ones bring home the bacon? Look for overall trend discrepancies.
[Dave Naylor is rocking the comedy. Sadly, I can’t repeat most of it here. Family friendly and all. ;) ]
Focus on what matters. Every night he checks 100,000s of Web pages of changes while he sleeps. He gets to see a new big picture if he wants too. He gets an email when things changed.
Kevin Ryan, for as much as I love him, has lost his mind. He’s “editing” Dave Naylor’s PowerPoint signs with things like “Boser is scary smart”, “Gray freaks me out a little”, and other such things. And then black hat SEO gets mentioned and Kevin stops the conversation saying he doesn’t want a blogger to say that he held a black hat panel.
And with that, I slump down in my chair and close my laptop. Sigh.
3 Replies to “SEO Rehab & Intervention”
Lisa – this is a very good summary of a session that was very hard to follow. My advice when you’ve got these fine fellows in the room is to have them talk about case studies and experiments they have run that help us all better understand the opaque, fickle, and confusing Google ranking algorithm. The next session had a lot more algorithmic meat.
Frankly, Google would be well advised to share more info about the algorithm in the interest of better online standards for all, though I’m not holding my breath.