An incredible presentation on some of the fundamental things that have changed, especially since I started first learning the technical-side of that world.
In fact, it’s been more than 4 years since I wrote this epic blog series on SEO and most of this isn’t completely up-to-date at this point. The game has essentially changed and what used to work doesn’t anymore.
Working the technical side, point-by-point, was what worked and there were great systems in place to make sure that you could land some pretty impressive results.
Like keyword management, manipulation, and hacking. But it’s infinitely more complex now.
Now, it’s all about brand and this slide in particular hits home:
It’s not about working the “playbook” as much as writing compelling content that people need. Consistently doing that is what has always mattered and won’t really ever change.
I can remember, though, when people would ask me to help “optimize” a new site for SEO and I would, in the deep past, take those contracts and work my technical magic. I haven’t accepted anything like that in years because it just stopped working.
Or rather, it became much less effective and the ROI just wasn’t pushing the envelope. The development of early traction on a new project, blog, or site just wasn’t based on the technicalities of SEO (and gaming it) but rather something much more important.
One thing that I’ve been preaching for years is just the consistent practice of publishing content. It might not even be great content but for many that’s not really the point.
I think there’s a level of intention and intentionality that can really create the gap between a middle-of-the-road and mediocre blog and one that really takes off. But the motive will always be different for each person and sometimes (most times…?) the people that aren’t looking for the typical measurements of success actually end up finding it.
I like that. I like that model a lot. It levels the field and reminds us all that it takes guts, hard work, and perseverance to play this game well.
And a ton of practice. That’s probably all that I’ve got going for me these days. I’ve just got a lot of practice… very little else.