SEO Football

American football is a frankly brutish game mirroring in a general sense the foreign policy most of our presidents project — but I digress — it also has something to teach us about SEO, which I’ll try to confine myself to for the rest of this post.

I do not follow this game, or any game where I am mere spectator, but an upbringing in “the states” leads unavoidably to some amount of exposure to the sport and there is one really common football metaphor used in business that describes SEO as well.

There are essentially two ways to take the ball down field — running and passing. In regards passing there are two variants, the short distance (screen) pass and “the long bomb”.

The long bomb is the quintessential “silver bullet” — in one play you move dozens of yards, and in the perfect scenario, pitch it straight into the end-zone for a score. Almost everyone in the Internet Marketing space is looking for the long bomb … and to mix metaphors … that’s what they usually get: a bomb!

Because the long bomb is a hard thing to get right. It takes protecting the quarterback longer than it seems should be possible, a receiver that is not completely covered by a defender, exquisite aim and a perfect catch. If you miss, you have gained nothing and lost a “down” or worse still you could be intercepted and find yourself now playing defense. Not a happy set of alternatives

The running game by contrast is slow, hard, dirty work. The expression used is “four yards and a cloud of dust” — a reference to the yardage you have to gain to be awarded the privilege of doing it all over again. Oh joy! Yet another beating and more AstroTurf burns.

The ground game is ugly and brutal and will kill you if you do it enough but it is far more certain than passing. Where the bomb is one of finesse, the running game is one of brute force against force. You just “grind it out”. Nobody in the IM space is interested in grinding it out … but the bald truth of the matter is this: grinding it out is really the ONLY game in SEO. The long bomb is just a bomb.

Football players get paid millions of dollars a year to do a job that, despite the surface celebrity appeal, is an ugly, painful job. Their pay first reflects the willingness and ability to do what most people would not consider doing and second the enormous entertainment marketplace that they serve. What football players do is “create content”.

Just as sure as your content on the web attracts search traffic to your offers, the drama of football attracts eyeballs to TV screens. So anytime you find yourself complaining about building more content, make a picture of a running back getting his knee injected with Cortizone so he can finish the game. Writing seems suddenly much less painful.

Grind it out. Every 4 yards is one down closer to goal and all you have to do to win is to keep playing the game.

Extortion SEO – Take 2

Do a search for cydcor.  This is a company that employs a large face-to-face sales force so it naturally gets a high profile in the public because of contact with potential customers and employees alike so sure enough there are complaints.  But look closely.  They are from 2002 and 2004!

And yet, these old, unverifiable complaints from a site with no discernible editorial policy outranks:

A Cydcor Client Story at Reuters
Cydcor Opportunity Page at Monster
Cydcor Company Overview at Hoover’s
Cydcor’s LinkedIn Profile
Cydcor News at eMediaWire
More Cydcor News at PRWeb
Cydcor Investment Overview at BusinessWeek

How?  A variation of the Google Bomb!  But instead of the company website, it is the search result page itself that gets hijacked.  With just 25,000 results for Cydcor, it takes only a very few negative comments in these large complaint sites to rank right along side the company name for these navigational queries.

Welcome to the tyranny that is lawless democracy.

Extortion SEO

It was just a matter of time until the so-called "democratic nature of the web" developed precisely the same problems that caused our founding fathers to eliminate democracy as a viable form of government for these United States.  Specifically, the tyranny of majority.

What they knew, and we have forgotten, is that the majority never need protection, even from oppressive government.  It is the minority that law protects.

How does this relate to SEO you may ask?  The "wisdom of the crowds" gone terribly wrong.

Imagine a site where people can complain about companies anonymously in an environment with no editorial review.  Since complainers generally have lots of free time on their hands, such a site will rapidly grow to enormous size and naturally rank for most company names with little or no effort.

Welcome to ripoffreport.  Examples next.

Brave New World

Quoting MSNBC’s Countdown, the 1936 Socialist Party platform is now, 60 years later, the law of the land. Hmmm, progress?
Not hardly. Take a look at the 2000 and (brand new) 2004 red/blue presidential election map and notice:

  1. the country is predominately "conservative" — whatever the hell that has come to mean; and
  2. the conservative/liberal split is uniformally a division of urban and non-urban populations.

What we are witnessing is the crest in a multi-generational wave of social "reform" that dates to a time prior to the so-called new deal. The near future will be characterized by later historians as a time of slowing down and rolling back programs that embody the socialist doctrines and returning instead to the classical solutions that created these States united in America.