I had a friend recently write asking why Google wasn’t more into his stuff even after he performed a slew of SEO tricks, and so I did a little thinking. I concluded that SEO is dead. He shouldn’t be worried about getting Google interested in his stuff. Google is just trying to reflect the opinion of the masses. He should be trying to get people interested in his content. Start with people you know, then expand to others.
That’s when I decided that SEO is so Web 1.0. In it’s place is a new form of optimization I like to call Content Optimization. That’s Web 2.0. It’s about taking your content (in any media) and optimizing it so it reaches the largest audience of any type, whether it’s bloggers, the press, normal people, or even search engines.
Here’s three rules for Content Optimization on the web:
- People still buy paper-based books
But why? The paper-based book has to be one of the least optimized forms of content. It has no markup. It’s not accesible no matter what browser you use, and you even have to go out of your way to a specialized store to pick it up. The answer is simple. People buy books because the content is worthwhile. They’re interested in it enought to out and get it. So, that’s the first place to start. Look at the content you’re producing. Make it better. Try to match it up with people who may be interested. Start with family and friends. You can pressure them more easily.
- Markup like a Texas cowboy, quick and to the point
The less the better, but like vegetables you need a good variety of the right stuff: H1, H2, H3, STRONG, EM, A, P, UL, OL, and so forth. Markup should help describe your content and as quickly as possible. These tags do. Avoid TABLE, TR, TD, tags. Those are used for raw tabular data. Think Geology and Calculus. Think sleeping students. Think boring your visitors away.
- Cut out the fat
Take a look at your website and try to find anything that could not be there. Now get rid of it. Anything that might serve a purpose probably doesn’t. The less, the better. The less, the more important the things that stay are. Everyone strives for an impressive website. Think about this, the more your website impresses, the less time your audience has to see your content. Would you rather your audience read about your engagement or stare at floating circle navigation buttons and a spinning logo/header? There’s a reason whey so many big sites look like shit, because it doesn’t matter and may even be better. Do more people shop at that fancy boutique down the street or Wal-mart?
So, Eric, don’t worry about Google. It’s like the popular kids at school who go where everyone else is going. Instead engage people like me into a conversation and get them to look at your site and link to it. Hey, everyone, check out Eric Veren’s website. He wants to know what you think. Did you know that he got engaged? He’s also a big Auburn Footbal fan. See that’s easy.