This weekend, I decided to engage in some research that never fails to get my blood boiling. What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than by crawling the web making notes on how to boss Google’s search rankings?
SEO is to Finch, what the slaughterhouse is to cows.
It’s where I go when I feel like throwing my business plans before the judge and pleading for a stay of execution. “Dear Google, please take pity upon thee.”
So I loaded up on Victoria Sandwich, pointed my browser at Yahoo Site Explorer, and prepared mentally for the skullbreakingly arduous task of analysing my competitors’ backlink structures.
As it so happens, Yahoo Site Explorer is now defunct. My childhood sweetheart, the only SEO tool I ever truly loved, has been married by Bing and shepherded away – presumably to be shagged and ruined in some Microsoft developer’s basement. This has driven yet another wedge in my already unstable relationship with SEO.
Backlink research is touted as a ‘must’ before venturing in to new niches. Nobody wants to build a potentially lucrative website only to find that Joe Marketer has already pummeled Xrumer and assembled his gajillions of links to maintain search engine dominance through 2017. But there’s the paradox. Even though I make the effort to do backlink research, it rarely ever affects my decision to go ahead with a project.
“Wow, the competition has 3,990,374 backlinks. That’s pretty impressive. But I don’t like his choice of stock photos. I’ll build my site anyway.”
Ego often impedes the voice of SEO reasoning in my head. I hate the idea that success hinges on some bullshit measurement of who has the best/most backlinks. That’s why you’ll find me feeding buckets of fish laced with steroids to Google’s Panda in the middle of the night, then running away like a little girl as the ‘SEO Professionals’ come charging in disgust.
The whore charade makes me wonder if offline business ever used to be this way. If you took the regional equivalent of today’s Google, let’s say a local business directory, would it have been ranked and prioritised in the same manner? Are you telling me that to get my business spotlighted on a good page, I would have to cruise every last dark corner of the neighbourhood posting my business card through abandoned letterboxes?
Because that’s essentially what backlink building is. It’s handing your business card to anybody who will accept it, in the faint hope that a chief regulator, aka Mr. Google, notices the card in abundance and is mathematically satisfied that you’re worth half a shit.
No doubt this analogy would provoke an uproar from the local directory ranking experts. They would tell me quite bluntly that I’m wasting my time whoring business cards in the ghettos. They’d insist, “No, no. You need to get your business card adorning the windows of the palaces and castles!”
So, I’d work hard and mingle in those upper class circles. I’d send letters and scratch backs. My culture vulture would be well and truly on. But invariably, I’d discover that the owners of the palaces and castles aren’t interested in my business cards. Their interest extends only as far as their own financial gain.
Believe it or not, these Princes and Kings don’t classify what you promise to be “relevant content for their kingdoms” as fitting for their cause. Cruelly, they would rather engage in a furious 24/7 circle jerk behind closed doors than deal with the ignominy of your fresh arse on the block. So, what are you to do? You get on your bike, retreat to the neighbourhood, and blast your business card through 3,990,374 derelict letterboxes instead. Fan-tastic.
My conclusion? The backlink building game is fundamentally shagged. Don’t waste your time building backlinks. Just build a reputation for awesomeness instead.
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