Monday, December 1, 2008

Organic Fishing & SEO

I took a few days off over Thanksgiving for a family get-together that involved a little fly fishing in the backwoods on the Trinity River in California with a professional guide. As a first timer to the fly fishing experience, I often found myself comparing fly fishing to organic SEO while I was on the river.

What am I talking about?  Well, the one thing that stood out to me on that river was how important it is to correctly cast your line into the right portion of the moving stream and mend the line in such a fashion that it causes a really smart Steelhead fish to think that your artificial fly is the real McCoy. 

Much in the same way that a good fisherman casts and mends his fly in an effort to look real, SEO is about strategic and carefully crafted link-votes that don’t even have a hint of spam associated with it.

As I look at some of the major players in the florist industry and some of the careless and brazen tactics they employee in an effort to artificially influence the search engines, I can’t help but think that as Google’s technology develops certain company’s existence may have an early and unexpected expiration date.

Take for instance Proflowers: What if incurred a Google penalty that was severe enough that they were removed from the Google index? Where would they be after just 30 days? The answer is that they would be finished because their business model is based on a strong web-presence. Yet they take that risk every day and brazenly defy Google’s guidelines & rules for what they think will be long term gain when in reality it is short term success. Some of the very tactics they use Google says are grounds for removal, yet they make no effort to mask their efforts.

While I was fishing on the Trinity I hooked my first fish and all kinds of excitement came over me. As I was pulling in that monster fish I kept thinking boy I fooled a Steelhead with my fly, but as my guide lifted the fish out of the water he said: “ITS A SUCKER FISH….ITS NOT A STEELHEAD.”

Suddenly it became clear to me that I was ignorant of my environment as I couldn’t tell the difference between the two fish. As for my guide, he had it pinned for a Sucker Fish within the first 5 seconds of it being on my line because he said it didn’t have half the fight that the Steelhead is known for.  

The moral of the story is that if you are going to artificially influence the search engines you need to be smart about it.

See my Christmas flowers post on one of the typical mistakes some major players make.

1 comment:

ryan said...

I think you might be over-emphasizing the reliance of ProFlowers on their search traffic.

Only 13% of ProFlowers' traffic is from Google. A large percentage of that traffic is brand terms.

Besides, Google has shown they are unwilling to really lay the smack down on a brand like QVC.