SEO Has Grown Up
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In The Beginning (In queue to see God)VinothChandar / Foter

In the beginning before search engines, back in the days of DOS when there were only but a very few GUI (Graphical User Interface) WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platforms (That “thing” that you’re using now that sees everything so you don’t have to type in commands from the command line) that played on DOS and when services like Compuserve and Prodigy were new (and AOL existed as a closed service but wasn’t part of the internet!!!) all a business needed to make money on the internet was some good directory listings and they got calls. That was because websites numbered in the thousands back then, not in the billions as they do today.

Real search engines (as we know them today) didn’t exist. Back then you had to go to a book store (those are places where publishers wrote things and they were purchased on paper) to find printed directories that were much like telephone books – and in them they listed the names of sites and you could type them in directly to get there. If you didn’t have such a printed directory you would just sit at the computer and type in words from the dictionary and see what you cold find. Many of the words didn’t have web sites yet. Imagine THAT!? I remember spending hours typing in things like car.com or dog.com, cat.com and house.com just to see what would come up – and often NOTHING came up. That was when the internet was in its infancy.

Good, bad or indifferent these businesses that were listed in directories and linked to from a few other web sites got business. That’s the way we did things, we, meaning those of us who built web sites before search engines. We had our own way of getting found and nobody told us what we could or couldn’t do. Eventually the bad and indifferent businesses were weeded out by reputation but that took time. Often lots of time. Word didn’t spread as fast back in the days of dial-up and MODEMs , and since few knew how to use the internet effectively, we policed ourselves and worked with impunity.

That was back in the late 90’s, and early and mid 90’s. Then things began to happen. Real web crawling search engines were born. It could take a month or more for them to find a newly created site, even with a sitemap submission. But keyword stuffing and link farming make it possible to gain top rank and still find lots of business just by being on page one in MSN Search, AOL Search, Yahoo! and Google. …and then things changed, and changed, and got lots more sophisticated…

And still the SEOs were playing the necessary games to fake out the search engines and gain top spots on pages one, two and three… and most preferably, if possible, positions one, two or three on page one “above the fold” in Google for every keyword search phrase possible.

But in all of that “making it to page one position one” madness as the goal for the SEO, the real goal should always have been (some realized it, others not so much) that helping improve sales is the real goal.

There are still today a few self educated “grads” with a “fake it ’til you make it” attitude. These are the fledgling SEO interns unable to fly sitting around the SEO office making big noises, repeating a few stories they’ve heard or read as if they were their own, all hoping to look and sound competent, and wishing for their first paying job. The likelihood is that most of them won’t stick around and will take other work, and within a year or two will be “reminiscing” about their days as SEOs (leaving out the intern part). Guys like that who don’t make it won’t make it because they miss the point.

The point is that value return on the SEO investment is what the SEO industry should be all about. Who cares if I get your key term up on page one position one if it doesn’t increase your sales? Obviously it’s a great feat to get your site to rank, but not such a great feat if I have to significantly change your ranking page and it no longer ranks! That’s right; I can change your page that’s ranking on top and it will change so much that it will no longer rank! Even though it will now SELL off the hook, it no longer shows up number one or even number 30! It’s (for all intents and purposes) gone from the search returns! BUMMER!

The ART and SCIENCE of SEO Marketing and the TRICK in the marriage of Analytics and MARCO (Marketing Copywriting) is to tweak and change and A/B Test your pages over and over until the exact right combination shows up on page one – SEO married to SALES. And that is the key to today’s SEO. Growing up and making the returns without having to give away free or do it half price or make outlandish promises and boasts that won’t make you a return and are impossible to support.

SEO grown up. It’s all about marketing.

PART TWO: (coming soon) What’s Important For Site Owners To Know About Internet Marketing?

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