Releasing the SEO Kraken
Before you get to the end of this post, one of two things will happen: you will curse me (most likely out loud), close this post, and likely never speak/read me again. Or, you will disagree but understand the place this comes from. I’m old enough now that giving a shit about public opinion are of bygone days. To quote one my favorite lines, “It’s not show friends, it’s show business”.
Everyone has something to say about the JCPenny situation and the most recent one at Forbes.com about “black hat SEOs”. I am not going to comment on it. What more is there to say? What I will comment on is necessary clean up of SEO.
What’s Really Best for the SEO Industry
What’s really best for SEOs is a cataclysmic self-implosion of the industry. That’s right, I said it. A full-on collapse from the inside-out. The good SEOs as well as the Pretenders will fall. We’ve put on weight, we’re out of shape hermits that feign individualism when it’s anything but. And if it keeps going this way, the collapse is imminent. Or the industry standardizes. And, no one, including myself, thinks that is a good idea. Creative solutions to incredibly complex situations cannot exist within standardization. Read David Harry’s post on Situational SEO and you’ll quickly see how standards just can’t be applied.
There’s only so much high-powered negative press an industry can handle. We’re not talking about Wired, that serves a demographic that swirls around what we do, we’re talking about the New York Times and Forbes. A lot of potential clients read those publications. A lot. And, a lot of people that have either never heard of our 3-letter profession or are vaguely familiar. Either way, what they’ve read most likely left a sour taste in their mouth, made them more gun-shy than they already were.
Why Realease the SEO Kraken?
As the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed against tyranny, so to must the Tree of SEO. Don’t believe the dime-store novel version of the industry, we weren’t spammers. In fact, I can honestly say, there is way more spam now than in the old days of KW stuffing. And, all of this before there were any guidelines anywhere! Somewhere along the way I wanted my profession to be less about gaming and more about building lasting websites that rank well because they have loaded with great, useful content. Because solidity is something to stand on. Because if everyone games, the web is a much less useful place.
And, I’m of the mindset now, that Kraken must be released by the general public. By the sheer virtue of growth of the industry, like many other industries where evil has seeped into the bloodstream through tremendous expansion, a contraction of providers is coming. Infinite expansion is an impossibility, even in the universe, in our economy, where expansion and contraction constantly happen. Why should the SEO industry be an exception to the rule? It isn’t.
Non-affiliate SEO has become, and has been, big money for a few years now. Cues to tell you that: Search and SEM conferences are sprouting left and right with premium prices. SMBs and Big Corporate are in fully in the game (whether they want it done right is another question). It’s not unheard of for SEOs to be charging lawyer-like prices for work. So it is time to let the house burn to the ground.
From the Ashes
Good people will go down. However, good people will survive too. And, I’m not foolish enough to believe that just because the house burnt down means all the turds will be wiped out. They are most certainly included in people. Probabilities suggest that a larger percentage of the turds will go underground, leave, or be crushed by the weight of the house. But, nonetheless, expunging them. This leaves a golden opportunity.
It leaves those that survive to teach, guide, and mentor those brave enough to stick their toes in the water after the collapse. And, when the situation reaches a fever-pitch again, and it will, we’ll go through this all again.
I was in error saying, “SEO began as gaming the engines[…]”. It simply isn’t the case, as Terry Van Horne pointed out to me. And, because being correct rather than foolish is always a priority, I’d like to update that section as to how it should read: