Are You Bewitched By SEO? This tongue in cheek explanation of what SEO means to me is the result of a long conversation in my head in the middle of the night. Yes, I admit, I eat, dream and live for SEO. Don’t we all? First I want to establish my authority on the subject so you will trust me and listen to what I am trying to say. Please realize you will need to interpret everything I say with a grain of salt. What more can you expect from a Food Porn Peddler with a Domestic Goddess complex?
Here are my qualifications. I recently became a seeker of SEO in action a bit ago. As I was playing solitaire and reading my latest FB newscasts, the light on my side table sparked and went out. Wouldn’t you know nobody was available to rescue me from this dilemma so I actually had to get up and figure out where we kept the extra light bulbs. I crossed my fingers hoping somebody thought ahead to keep some on hand. To my luck and surprise I spotted those elusive wonders of technology after a good 30 minutes of searching my small home. I actually smiled! It was then, with dread, I turned to the big Google God in the cloud and searched for directions on how to change the bulb.
This is where SEO came into play. After a few tries to find the best keyword for my search I was presented with pages of articles by experts. The first few were ads offering experts in the field available for hire to complete my task. After that, the huge fortune 500 companies that make and sell those little wonders tried to bait me into opening THEIR propaganda and find an answer. Of course I was subjected to more than how to change the bulb. They took the opportunity to try and lure me into buying more of their wares. Not me! I wanted a simple fix and no more. FaceBook was calling me!
A little further down on the page I saw more of what I was looking for. Listed there were the articles by the DIY and Lifestyle bloggers! I checked the dates on the articles and chose three that were current. Like within the last 6 months. I could only assume anything older than that was way out of date and no longer significant. I can’t imagine looking at the first few words of any source more than 5-10 entries down. I found what I wanted just as my husband walked in and took over. He actually changed the bulb as I watched intently committing the procedure to my memory where it would remain for at least 5 minutes. Suddenly all was as it should be.
This gave me the brilliant idea of letting my blogging friends know how successful my experience with searching (SEO) was and how as bloggers we can use it too! But first I had to use it a second time to find a good program for writing a word document and learn how to use THAT. I hope this now proves my expertise and authority in the area of SEO. Can I say that again without being accused of Keyword Stuffing? Well, I think you get the picture.
So now to the heart of this article. That is if you are still reading. I hope you are because this is where it really gets good! I am of a certain age that means I grew up in the 60’s. I was exposed to black and white TV, violent cartoons, and realistic family life portrayed by sitcoms. Those were the good old days when TV was our babysitter and we sat “too close” to the screen so we wouldn’t have to get up and walk 6 feet to the TV set to switch the channel to one of only 5 available stations. I always took this opportunity to arrange the foil covered rabbit ears for the best reception. Those were the days of enlightenment when you could just enjoy a show and completely miss the subtle lesson and irony it portrayed. I am going to show you just how SEO works through one of my favorite programs.
There was this TV show I would watch called Bewitched. It is the story of an average single woman in the 60’s (Samantha) that stumbles upon the average guy of privilege (Darren). Long story short, they meet in a bar, fall in love at first sight and get married. Neither of them know the first thing about each other that would make for a long and happy marriage. The guy is the typical wannabe alpha male. The girl just happens to be a witch.
Darren finds out that Samantha can best him in any situation and immediately goes ballistic having no skills to handle this situation. They make a promise to each other never to allow magic to interfere in their marriage. As expected that idea fails miserably. Add into the mix, Samantha’s mother, father, cousin, an Eccentric Aunt and sensible but comical Uncle; and the world as they know it, is turned on it’s head. But here is the part related to SEO. The dizzy busy body across the street (Gladys) spends her day peeking out the curtains and catching the chaos occurring at the Stephens house. Gladys keeps trying to alert her newspaper reading husband (Abner) to witness these events. But of course it all is over when he finally takes a look.
So let’s put this in technical terms. Samantha is the blogger and Darren gives her the material she publishes. With some ups and downs she is creating some great posts. As she struggles to get the neighbors to read her stuff, Gladys enters. Gladys is our little Google Bot crawling all over Sam’s business. Google Bot Gladys picks up on the clues of what she is seeing and interprets that information using her experiences, which aren’t always valid. Then she runs all over the town telling whoever will listen everything she found. How unfair you say??? This process is hurting Samantha more than helping. The Google Gladys doesn’t understand the whole story and now Samantha is running behind her trying to fix the damage that has been done. Samantha has no time to write fresh copy and not only is she constantly fixing old posts, she has to deal with the fallout of the first mess.
Let’s look at this dysfunction for a minute. Samantha would be better off guiding Google Gladys in the right direction in the first place. She shouldn’t be chasing Gladys. Gladys should be showing the world all the wonderful things Samantha is trying to write about. Isn’t that what we all want? So we try to repair the damage by fixing all our stuff, keeping up with the never ending changes Google makes by writing new “rules”, and at the same time creating more content that is perfect. Well for this week anyway. What suits us more? Reworking old posts as we update and republish? That way we are spending our energy on posts we KNOW will be revisited instead of the one time only content that may never be seen again.
Here is another wrinkle. Where are we getting this knowledge of what needs to happen for Google Gladys to get the information right in the first place? Duh! We get it straight from Google as we search for answers to our questions. And what does Google give us? In this order. Ads, Fortune 500 Companies, websites that have established authority on the subject and depend on correct and updated information. These sources stay alive by making sure they are TEACHING us with correct procedures so we can learn and not just follow. (These are my favorites even though I read the bigger sources.) And lastly you find groups, forums, bloggers, and articles that are trying to help with the small experiences after having had a WOW moment. But those are comparing apples to oranges with your needs.
So what is a blogger to do? You can’t spend all your time, energy and money on getting it all right.
So folks, I am writing this not to educate you. I am not claiming my story of good SEO is totally on the money and up to date. Instead I want to give you a bit of confidence and to see it is ok to take baby steps. Don’t be consumed and stressed with having everything on your site 100% at all times. If you do, you will burn out, not accomplish your goals, and even may give up blogging altogether. I hope I have left you with a different view of SEO. Possibly with more questions than when you started but you are now, hopefully thinking a bit deeper. If this is the case for you I have achieved the purpose of this story. Good Luck in your journey. May we all grow in knowledge and expertise. Happy Blogging!