Someone recently asked me if there are any similarities between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and poetry. At first it seemed like a forced question—a half-hearted attempt to connect two unrelated pursuits in order to make sense of a narrative that appears otherwise pretty jagged. That narrative being, of course, my life—as I’ve recently made the sharp and odd detour from freelance poet to SEO Coordinator in an ad agency. But I’ll tell you what I’ve found so far: poetry and SEO share more than you might expect at first glance. “The right words in the right order” This is Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous definition of poetry, praising a tasteful economy of language. But think about it—is there a better description of SEO? A great title tag requires a hailstorm of googling for search volume and competition: consider all possible synonyms, with plurals, singulars, and mix the words around in every conceivable order until you hit that magic balance where the most highly-searched, relevant words and phrases that other companies aren’t using enough are perfectly placed in the right spot in the tag. Working within Constraints A few areas of SEO thrive on some pretty hard and fast limitations. Particularly in Meta Data, where Best Practices require Title Tags under 60 characters and Meta Descriptions under 155 characters. That means you better come up with something pretty compelling, ideally with choice keywords, in under the length of a Tweet. Poetry likewise has a long history of limitations, from the constraints of formal poetry (where there are strict rules on rhythm, rhyme, number of lines, and in some cases even subject), to the bizarre experiments of Dada (the great Dada writer Georges Perec penned a whole novel completely excluding the letter “e”). Works on Multiple Levels Good SEO satisfies two very disparate crowds: real live searchers and search engine crawlers. It takes great skill to speak the language of the people while playing by the complex rules of the search engines. In a similar way, memorable poetry is satisfying on the surface level while rewarding those who reread for another level of deeper meanings. Although, as far as I know at this point, search engines don’t seek out the same things that lovers of poetry do—but I wouldn’t put it past Google to incorporate a taste for verse in its SERP algorithms.
BUZZ WORD #1 ' LINK JUICE Lil' Wayne's juice gets him 'crunk,'? which means that after Lil' Wayne drinks his juice, he is able to perform to the masses at an optimal level. Lil' Wayne has been at the top of his game for the past 5 years, and maintaining the quality of his juice will be an integral element for future success. SEO Translation- Get your Website Performing at an Optimal Level: Paid links from 'spammy'? link directories are a thing of the past. Websites now rely on authoritative and highly relevant links from various respected sources. High quality, shareable website content, combined with active engagement and promotion is a key element in obtaining these natural links. The power of these links, which is known as 'link juice,'? is a key element in getting your website stronger visibility across the web. BUZZ WORD #2 ' PANDA UPDATE In 1983, the food court staple known as Panda Express changed the way Americans looked at 'Chinese Food'? forever. Their inexpensive and mostly unhealthy meals have helped contribute to high obesity levels in the United States. SEO Translation - Google doesn't want you eating Panda Express everyday: In 2011, Google rolled out their 'panda'? updates, which consisted of algorithm changes designed to penalize websites that offer low quality content. These updates specifically target content that provides little or no value to a user. In the past, Google users were force fed irrelevant search results from websites that pushed out low quality content in order to achieve higher search visibility. The game has changed. Just as we are seeing healthier food options in food courts across America, we are also seeing higher quality, relevant search results for our everyday queries. BUZZ WORD #3 ' SOCIAL SHARING We all have generous friends and cheap friends. This behavior becomes evident when you gather at a bar for drinks. There is always one guy that is never around when it's time to buy more drinks. Nobody likes this guy, and he is often ridiculed incessantly as the crew gets drunker. SEO Translation - Invest in good content and share it with the masses With search engines increasingly incorporating social media excerpts into search results, it's becoming more important to develop frequently updated, high quality content that people actually want to share through a variety of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Plus. This search engine optimized content can be in the form of articles, videos, photos, infographics, and even social feeds. Web users will appreciate your site as a valuable source of information, while search engines will reward you for your high quality content sharing efforts. Search engines don't reward websites that fail to offer valuable content, just like non-giving people aren't rewarded with valuable friendships. BUZZ WORD #4 ' SPIDER ACCESSIBILITY The girl pictured above saved all her hard earned cash to buy her ideal Smartphone. Unfortunately that same day, her significant other made her go on a camping trip in the woods of Maine, where cell phone service is not only non-existent, but also frowned upon! Her brand new phone was completely useless to her at that moment. SEO Translation - Your expensive website might not be functional for search These days, many companies wish to have an attention grabbing website full of images, Flash, and animation components. While the website might look cool to a user, search engines aren't able to interpret any of the content that lives within these elements. It is important to make sure that websites are built with abundant textual components in order for search engines to be able to spider and index the site effectively. Much like the girl who couldn't use her Smartphone, there's no point in having a 'cool'? website if it isn't visible in search engines. BUZZ WORD #5 ' CANONICAL TAGS Remember when you could say that Matt LeBlanc was famous? I know it's hard to remember, but there was actually a time when he was on a level playing field with Jennifer Aniston. Since starring in Friends, Matt LeBlanc's 'illustrious'? credits include Ed, Lost in Space, and Joey- a Friends spinoff that spun off the air immediately. SEO Translation - Matt needs people to focus on his only role that ever mattered Canonical Tags are used with sites that house the same or similar content. In order to avoid a duplicate content penalty from Google, a canonical tag can be put in place to tell Google what the preferred version of the site should be. These tags are especially useful for commerce websites that feature similar product descriptions on multiple pages. They can also be used for websites that have different domains for multiple regions. For example, a business might have 3 separate domains for the United States, England, and Australia. All of the content on these 3 websites is in English, and it is very similar, with only slight regional variations. In order for Google to not penalize this business for duplicate content, the business might place a canonical tag on the United States domain, as they feel the domain in their home country is the most important. If Matt LeBlanc decided to start multiple 'Friends'? fan sites across the world, he would surely place a canonical tag on whichever site featured the largest picture of him with Jennifer Aniston. With this tag, he would be essentially telling Google, 'Since my acting career has been mostly disastrous, I want you to focus on a time when Jennifer Aniston acknowledged my existence.'?
China is getting ready to take on SEO in a major way and is ready to invest major dollars towards a fast growing industry according to the latest report released by Nasdaq. Baidu, the biggest search engine in China which holds a massive 84% market share is reportedly investing as much as $470 million dollars now through the end of 2015 into search engine optimization (SEO). Baidu plans to develop an industry which will train as many as 100,000 new search engine specialists as part of the game plan. The ultimate goal is to help both small and larger companies expand and grow their businesses through adaptation of SEO. With 485 million users in China, there is a huge opportunity for growth in an emerging market and Baidu (www.baidu.com) expects that by planning the adaptation of SEO, it will help raise awareness and increase usage for its online paid advertising services. This news is certainly quite interesting. It's pretty amazing how much the SEO industry has evolved over the years versus what it used to be at the very early stages. What used to be an underground, rarely talked about approach to simply making websites rank higher in Google, has transformed to a whole new level of mainstream. The demand for SEO in the United States has been growing fast, as competition keeps growing and getting tougher. Search engine marketing is a crucial element in 2011 and will continue to become even more important throughout the years, no matter what type of business you operate. Baidu is recognizing the need and wants to set the standard in China. And with such an enormous market share, I have no doubt they will accomplish what they intend, while creating thousands of new jobs in the industry.