Oh no – not another guy trying to create another marketing acronym!

Well, I care less about the acronym and the ‘coolness’ of labeling something, as I do the real principal behind what it is.  As an SEO who came up with it for 10 years, I’ve realized I’ve taken a different path than many.  I don’t get excited by the algorithm manipulations anymore.  I don’t really get involved in the forum arguments on SEO minutia.

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I started my professional life as a marketing guy, in love with the art of thought and context, and somehow deviated into web and graphic design.  SEO was a chance to connect it all together.  Now I think I’ve changed in the same direction that search engines changed (or will continue to change).  It’s not about “original content” as much as it’s about “original, valid, creative, editorial content with a purpose.”

Algorithms are headed in the direction of trust, reputation, and influence.  Google wants to rank pages based on the way people would rank them if asked.  Of course, there’s no way every human to assist Google on the billion of pages, so Google’s algorithms will have to grow.  And based on the progress (and patented algorithms) we’ve seen in the last year or two, it’s really likely that they’ll get closer to achieving that goal.  Is SEO dead?  The odds of it dying are as likely as search dying – nada.  It will just change, even if it means another acronym.

Searchable Content Optimization = Marketing

If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all.  Don’t create noise.  There’s enough of that.  But if you have a passion and a purpose, sing it from the rooftops.  Defend it like it’s your child.  Specialize in your vertical, and be an authority.  Care less about the algorithm and more about your niche and the people you can connect with.  Make the content easily available.  Make it readable and crawlable (= searchable), and groom it to be your voice.  Then, market the hell out of that content.  Set it to the top of your hierarchy and speak to it from your other pages, other venues, other channels.

For me, SEO is art.  And for me, in 2010, it is more art than science.  The split is now flattening in my opinion.  And if I had to pick an area to focus solely on, this would be it.

Bill Sebald
Bill Sebald
Follow me on Twitter - @billsebald

I've been doing SEO since 1996. Blogger, speaker, and teacher at Philadelphia University. I started Greenlane in 2005 to help clients leverage search marketing to hit business goals. I love this stuff.

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