I realize it’s been a while since our last rant on anything. Lucky for us, I happen to have one all ready to go. It’s been stewing for quite awhile (since last Thursday), running around in my head and gathering more fuel for the fire. To be honest, I’m glad I’ve planned the post for today – it gave me the weekend to reread, look it over, (make some changes) and clean up the cuss words. :P

But You Just Can

As the title says, today’s rant, brought to you special from Level343, is about SEO, inbound marketing in general, and critical thinking.

I Was Enjoying a Quiet Thursday Morning When…

This post came across one of my social networks: Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers. Go ahead; read it. I’ll wait.

“Let the ooh’s and ahh’s begin,” I thought. Everyone is going to flock to the G Plus Ripples to do like the man says and “connect with influencers” (eye roll). How completely fab that the world is finally catching up with our way of doing things – including Google, it seems.

HEY! Did Your Fancy New Tool Just Crap On My Industry?

I know what people are going to think. A lot of people will look at G+ Ripples and think, “Great! I won’t need an inbound marketer anymore. This fancy new tool Google just put out is the answer to all my problems!” How do I know this? It’s the public answer every time. Just for fun here is a ripple in action. Actually, it’s really a funny video, so take the time to share with your readers on G+. While you’re at it add Level343 Google + page if you want. See once again, I digress…

Most people are looking for the fast way to make a quick buck, or, in Internet terms, a fast way to get results. Every new tool that comes out is jumped on like a male dancer at a bachelorette party.

Come on, people! So you want to do things yourself. So you don’t want to strain your budget hiring someone. Okay – fine, fine. But use some common sense! These programs and products can’t provide the one thing you desperately need for any business endeavor; they can’t provide the human element!

Communication is the new currency

A program can’t do your critical thinking for you. If you’re letting programs make business decisions for you rather than taking the time to make those decisions yourself, you’re… well, I can’t think of a nice way to say it.

A little later, I came across another article that helped calm me down (just a little bit): mostly because it went along the lines of the human element. A PubCon write up by David Angotti talks about the presentation Greg Boser (SVP of Search, BlueGlass Interactive) gave. David writes:

There is an increasing amount of data that shows a shift from “traditional” SEO to social (human engagement) signals. Google recently acquired PostRank, a metric similar to PageRank for social, which indicates how important human engagement is to the Google algorithm. Part of the reason that Google is trying to do a better job of analyzing human engagement is due to people sharing links through social networks instead of blogs or sites.”

No way! Really?? SEO is shifting to human engagement signals? – And did you notice that Google is trying to do a better job? Why are they trying? Because they haven’t managed it yet! In fact, that’s why their Ripples project “is still experimental”. Yeah, I’m going to base a lot of business decisions off of an experimental tool.

I apologize for fuming. Prepare for more to come.

Pepper Is a Seasoning, Not a Method of Action

Pepper SEO… seriously?

I don’t care what you’ve been told; keywords don’t make the conversions. You think you can pepper your site with some keywords, the pearly gates will open while the angels sing the hallelujah chorus and buyers will just flock in? Sure, your numbers may reflect stronger traffic, but your conversion won’t – because your language still sucks. You didn’t think about the readers, and you have to. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who are going to buy, not the search engines.

A site peppered with keywords doesn’t look like anything other than what it is: a site peppered with keywords.

-And blogs. You think you can pepper your blog with any old content and build a readership? You can’t! I came across a blog post (from someone I’m now currently ashamed to say I follow) and the post was full of errors. I don’t mean a little spelling error or a few grammatical errors. I mean big, glaring errors where the apostrophes converted to the diamond question mark!

You know what that shows? It shows you don’t care. It shows you don’t give a crap about your business, your reputation or your readers. The people on the other side of your monitor are going to say the same thing I did. “Wow, they didn’t even take the time to edit the content before hitting the publish button!”

You know the saying that became popular after Forest Gump said it? “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” This seems to be the philosophy growing online. It’s a load of crap.

When you buy a box of chocolates, you’re going to look at the packaging first. Yeah, you know what you’re going to get. Once you open the box, you have that package cover that tells you what each piece is. There are no surprises in that box of chocolates unless you didn’t look at the package.

Your site is the package for your business, brand, products and services, people. If that package has crap content, peppered keywords and shows a lack of care, that’s not a box of chocolates I’m going to bother to buy. You don’t care, I don’t care.

I’m Taking a Deep Breath…

Talk to the hand!

Okay. As you can tell, I’m a bit irked, here. As someone who’s done all this SEO – the research, the audits, the onpage and offpage optimization, the link building, the copywriting and marketing – I know you don’t just pull these ideas out of your nether regions. We research who our client’s readers are. We listen to them talk about their business. We gain information and data before we ever lift a finger in actual implementation. If they don’t have any kind of traffic analytics, we require at least 30 days to get that tracking up and gather data.

The point is we have pride in our work. We pay attention to what we’re doing. We’re careful in the things we recommend. We take the time to think before we act. Sometimes, we miss errors, we’re only human, but we do try.

Now really – is it too much to ask that others do the same?