Silly Marketers: SEO is for Kids

Young woman wearing sunglasses and sticking her tongue out in a provocative way*

Many marketers just don’t get it.

Either they are ignorant, silly or worse.

Usually I’m not bashing anybody.

Yet sometimes a post makes me think that we are still in 2003.

As if social media were something completely new and nobody knew how to deal with them.

Viral content and link baits exist since 2004 and prevail or rather are already outdated in some cases for years.

So why do many marketers still commit stupid mistakes on social media?

Are You Begging for Traffic?

Many people by now sense the too obvious attempts to generate traffic.

Content asking to go viral too much is everywhere.

First off we know that traffic is not the only measurement to look at in SEO:

“At the end of the day, website traffic is primarily a vanity metric.”

Sujan Patel

I’ve been popular on all kinds of social sites and know that the numbers are not everything.

In some cases visitors just come over to witness how much of an idiot you are.

The visitors arrive to bash you in comments.

In other cases you get plenty of slightly interested “traffic” that moves on faster than you can look.

I tend to call that “drive by” traffic. It’s as useful as teh cars that pass the street by your store window.

The main problem is not only the focus on the visitors but it’s SEO on social media itself.

In conventional SEO selfishness rules: it’s often Selfish Ego Onanism.

Like in saying: “Hey, I got viral and 50.000 visitors in one day”.

I’m guilty of that myself sometimes. Well, after all Sharing, Engagement and Outreach are SEO 2!

This is How We Do Now

What’s the difference between obsolete SEO and SEO of the 2nd generation though?

It’s the mindset and thus the approach to the community.

  • In SEO you are plainly selfish – “you against the rest of the world”.
  • In SEO 2 you are social, “you with others to reach common goals”.

A SEO of the 1.0 kind won’t contribute anything useful to a community.

They will only reap fruits he hasn’t sown on social media.

Conventional SEO is still largely parasitical.

Black hat SEOs are the locusts eating up everything and destroying the plantation.

White hat SEOs just take a small part of the crop, but they still come and take away something that’s not theirs.

In SEO 2 the mindset changed. We plant the seeds we harvest.

Many conventional SEOs practicing social SEO will arrive as outsiders and not integrate well with a community.

The transition to SEO 2 is everywhere though.

On the most basic level it’s providing value to the communities you participate in.

Don’t Self-Promote on Social Sites, Be Social

Participation is the key term here. You need to genuinely engage!

SEOs of the 2 kind do not only respect the communities and contribute, they build them up.

On some niche sites marketers themselves are either the majority.

Or SEO people are a big part of power users creating value and building the community from the start.

This is no wonder with a special interest niche community.

Other more general oriented sites aimed at the main stream are not about marketing to their audiences.

I was honored to be active on more than once community and build it up with others.

I did it in Germany and globally a few times. I know how it works.

Once you’re an accepted power user you are part of the community! How to get there?

Become immune against the self promotion and “SEO is spam” mentality.

I know that many of the SEO people reading this will think something like:

“so much work for nothing” and “I don’t buy this SEO 2 crap”!

Yet you feel it already that you’re wrong. Why?

You can’t either piss in the pool or use up all of the water to irrigate your lawn.

You need to keep up the community itself and even clean up the basin regularly.

When the community thrives you do as well. That’s in a nutshell the way of SEO 2!

When you contribute in a meaningful way you become a niche authority people trust.

How Trust is Built Over Time

People on social media will also trust my judgement on SEO.

Why? I aim to be the SEO guy who was there from almost day one.

People remember who is a fundamental part of the community. Some do.

While you will be forgotten as just another outsider trying “to leverage traffic”.

On a side note: I enjoy nascent social sites like Mastodon very much to save your soul.

It’s probably the best community until know to participated in 2023.

Sometimes I get more engagement on Masto with around 70 followers than on X-Twitter with almost 7k.

Thus it’s not work at all. I joined early on when everybody in SEO was still ignoring them.

Yes, I know my account shows I joined back in 2020.

I’ve been on other Mastodon instances years prior yet failed to move my updates properly.

With the wrong mindset you won’t understand how a community works.

You need to be part of the community to get organic traffic.

Don’t try to exploit it. Then your traffic will be more than just traffic and meaningless numbers.

Real people who respect you will be the actual visitors.

You need to grow up and do not act like a kid who only takes but never contributes.

Egoism is childish.

Marketers are often just big kids who won’t assume responsibility.

It doesn’t work on social media because it consists of other adults.

Updated: April 18th, 2018: added image alternative text and a meta description.

* (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons image by Chase Elliott Clark