One of the things we do here is Search Engine Optimization. SEO is incredibly important, and we’re pretty good at staying a step ahead of changes that Google and the other search engines implement to make SEO harder.
But we don’t sell ‘Search Engine Optimization’ at Answer Guy Central any more. We still do optimization; it’s a crucial part of Influency Marketing. SEO on its own, though, is becoming harder, more expensive, and less effective; we’ve actually taken to turning away new clients looking for “just SEO”.
A couple of days ago I realized just how right a decision that was.
This piece recently found its way onto the pages of Search Engine Watch. And … it’s basically … well … wrong. And besides that I realized that I was reading a piece by a person who still believed that a discussion of “search engine optimization” mattered.
And it gets worse from there.
This is because SEO is metrics-based, but meaningful SEO metrics are somewhere between difficult and impossible to come by. What this means is that no matter how good your SEO provider is at his job, you can’t measure the results in a way that you actually know is attributable to his work. I’d like to tell you otherwise, but marketing is more complicated than that.
I commented on the piece at Search Engine Watch, pointing out that the author had completely discounted the 90% of SEW’s visitors who were there for “the first time”, while simultaneously acknowledging people who had “cleared their cookies”. This is an inaccurate way to handle the subject she was trying to be instructive on.
My point had to do with how easy it is to make statistics lie. I had just read an example of not knowing what portion of the 90% of a sample deserved to be eliminated from that sample, and then then had been eliminated anyway. Sure, let’s build our marketing efforts on that!
This isn’t a new subject at Answer Guy Central. search us for ‘statistics lie’, and we’ll give you a reading list that will keep you busy for the rest of today. The Half-Life of An Internet Link? Oh, Please. Measuring your Internet Connection Speed Using Statistics? Good Luck.
And that doesn’t even account for what things mean changing—big time. If you can say what a computer ‘is’ with any certainty you have a future in prognostication. And want some real fun? Watch the bean counters talking to the marketing guys and geeks at your business and ask yourself how people who are supposed to be chasing the same goals can do it while speaking three different languages.
This, of course, is where Influency comes in.
Influency Marketing is finding the places where all of these things and more come together, crafting your message for your markets, and getting it in front of the people who you need to see it. I’d like to tell you that’s as simple as doing Search Engine Optimization. It isn’t. And I certainly hope you aren’t taking data and destroying it before you analyze it.
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