SEO is a lot like golf. It appears easy at first, until you start to play the game.
In golf, the concept is simple. There is a little white ball, not even moving, and you need to hit that ball straight and to the proper distance. Simple right?
The concept is simple but the implementation is much more difficult. In fact, most first time golfers cannot even hit the immobile ball their first few times. They swing, and swing again, only to strike air. The bottom line is that it takes a lot of time to master the game of golf.
Similarly, Search Engine Optimization appears easy as first. There are really just two main ideas:
- Create a well-written page using a few select keywords and ensure that the page has solid on page SEO (OPSEO) with the use of proper titles and tagging.
- Create inbound links to that page using the few select keywords as anchor text.
About as simple as hitting a little white immobile ball!
A friend of mine, David, recently had an idea for a website. He wanted to capitalize on a keyword phrase that had little competition and was used primarily by residents in England (a phrase that is not used in America). He then had a product that he would sell on the website that related to this keyword term.
I recall his excitement when he began this endeavor. He was going to make millions! ”I’ll be able to quit my day job in a few months,” he told me with the enthusiasm of an early retiree who would be able to play golf for the rest of his life. Little did he know the correlation at the time.
Early success bolstered his confidence. Sales increased every day to give him this notion of early retirement. He had a decent looking website, a popular, competition-less keyword phrase that he found on Wordtracker, and visitors were clicking and purchasing his product.
It was all so easy…just a little, white immobile ball that he was hitting. He wondered why everybody didn’t do this.
And then one day, as often happens in golf, his game disappeared and he could hit the ball no longer. His keyword term disappeared from Google and his visitors dropped to practically nothing. His dreams of retirement sank like a golf ball landing in water.
What happened, he wondered as his hopes faded…
It so happens David unknowingly committed one of SEO’s Seven Deadly Sins–too many inbound links too fast using the same anchor text.
There are countless David’s out there who have dreamed of making millions online. And there are many golfers who are wannabe Tiger Woods.
The reasons why David failed at proper SEO are the same reasons why most golfers cannot break 100.
It’s just not as easy as it seems.
PS: To automatically receive my upcoming article, The Seven Deadly Sins of SEO, signup for my website feed below.
Want a fresh, unique perspective on web technologies once a week? Subscribe to Richard Cummings now.