Monday, October 6, 2008

"Conversation Domination" and SEO - Flaws and Failures

Why would you ever want to use "Conversation Domination" for SEO if you knew its flaws and failures?

Here's the first one:

1. Marketing is based on conversation. Conversation is - by definition - a turn-about process. "Dominating" a conversation means you control it completely.

Now - what does a person do with a conversation that is completely controlled by one person?

Leave - find somewhere else to converse.

Next:

2. Search engines evolve according to human needs and wants. Spammers find themselves isolated eventually, kicked off all search engines. Why? Spam is unwanted communication. A one-way flow. Old-style marketing tactics.

And:

3. When someone "dominates" search engines by taking several or all of the top spots for a given keyword, it means no one else can participate in that conversation. So, ultimately, this means that such techniques will eventually be labeled spam and search engines will move elsewhere.

But:

4. Original, great content is king - always has been. That's what the Internet was created for. So people could find information (content) they were looking for. Spamming your way to the consistent top of the search engines doesn't mean you have the best content - you've just figured out how to make the search engines think you do. And search engines ultimately penalize all spammers - drastically.

Also:

5. Marketing (ClueTrain Manifesto) means conversations - real conversations. I give, you take. You give, I take. No shortcuts. No "Igiveyoutake. Igiveyoutake. Igiveyoutake..." Doesn't work - except in extraordinary circumstances (jails, prisons, visiting in-laws). Usually temporary until situations are resolved.

Finally:

6. "Conversation Domination" (or anything touted as "domination") is a dead-end street - and it has "SPAM" graffitied on that back wall when you reach it.

7. But setting up a bunch of remote blogs under aliases to comment on your own stuff in order to raise its search engine ranking - just more spam. You've already got tons of backlinks coming in from all these tools above. Squidoo pages are fine - but if they are only about you, then they are just more old-style marketing, aren't they? Converse, don't pontificate or posture.

Why is OnlyWire fallen by the wayside, less important than it was originally - because people were spamming with it. Simple. Spamming isn't a conversation - it's old-style marketing. Social Media handles it by shunning and voting you off the island.

8. The real purpose of Marketing and Commerce is to provide something of value so people can improve their lives with it. That's how you earn word of mouth and client loyalty. No other way.

When you block other people's content by artificially and constantly grabbing the spotlight... Those actions just can't last.

- - - -
Real, timeless, practical approaches:

A. This doesn't mean you don't optimize your pages so search engines can read them easily. Doesn't mean you don't theme your pages so they make sense to the readers and the search engines at the same time. (Most people still don't do this - and there is no way to educate them to do this, so this is a completely valid solution.)

B. This doesn't mean you don't tell directories about your site. Still works.

C. Doesn't mean you don't submit (or auto-submit) your content changes to RSS directories.

D. It does mean you interact with people leaving comments on your site. It does mean that you track people commenting on your content and leave comments on their site - as well as linking to them.

E. It does mean to re-purpose your content in many ways, so lots of people can find it in a format they like. Articles, press releases, podcasts, slideshares, videos - and whatever else comes down this pike.

- - - -

If you do the first 1-7 above - I hope you sleep really well at night for all the "long-tail niche keywords" you've just "dominated". And while you're at it, don't forget to tape up that corner of the bigger-than-life poster of you on your bedroom door. And don't forget - you're sleeping alone most nights...

If you do A-E, welcome to the real world.

Keep your search engine optimization work honest and always a real contribution - and then you'll succeed way beyond your wildest hopes.

Because you are helping everyone win, helping them find the content they need to improve their lives.

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