Stop Steampunk SEO, Start Being Friendly to Your Peers

Written on November 16, 2007 – 6:02 am | by Tad Chef |

datamancer-victorian-steampunk-laptop.jpg

Steampunk laptop by Datamancer.net

Some people are hopelessly late. Are you one of them? Many people still think that

  • search engine submission
  • meta tag optimization
  • keyword stuffing
  • PageRank
  • link exchange

and similar SEO anachronisms straight out of the nineteenth century will get them website traffic and make it an authority. Wake up, you have been asleep for more than a century. Stop practicing steampunk SEO tactics and start dealing with the future or rather the current web, web 2.0

In web 2.0 we also speak of the social web. The social web is not a web of spiders anymore, it’s a web of humans. Yes, people like you and me. Webmasters, bloggers, social media users, readers, people who seemingly do not contribute anything but click.

Something radically changed. And you were asleep. You didn’t notice it while you were exchanging links in your footer, watching your pagerank bar and adding three different synonyms of the same word into your page title.

Maybe you have been on Digg, Flickr or YouTube already and you read some blogs like Boing Boing.
If you want to succeed in todays web memorize some more of these names:

  • WordPress, Drupal
  • MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog
  • StumbleUpon, Yoono
  • BlogRush, CLIQ
  • Mixx, BloggingZoom
  • Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Twitter, Pownce

Just to name some of my favorites and some sites you just can’t ignore anymore…

But it’s not just about the sites, the brands, the latest hypes.

It’s about you. But it’s not only about you. It’s also about your peers, about your neighbours, your friends or even your competitors!

While you depended on the new deity, Google, the world has moved on.

While you removed links to other sites so that you do not loose PageRank others have been linking generously. While you did not sleep at night watching your PageRank bar in anxiety others uninstalled the Google toolbar. While you were determining the ideal keyword density others were socializing with their peers. They were creating relationships, building up power profiles, connecting with their colleagues around the globe.

They rank in Google above you, as a side effect, some of them do not even have PageRank but they not only outrank you but their traffic is ten or hundred times bigger than yours. They even link their own competition as you call it. Either you do it too or you’ll be forgotten and marginalized. Start now. Read on. It’s not too late yet. Be friendly to your peers. You depend on them.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  1. 30 Responses to “Stop Steampunk SEO, Start Being Friendly to Your Peers”

  2. By Wayne Smallman on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    I’m a belt & braces kind of guy: do the SEO stuff, and the social networking thing, too.

    Get the mechanics right and the search traffic will make up for the lean times when you’re not able to put yourself around on the ‘Net…

  3. By Mike - Twenty Steps on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    You see? This is why people need to subscribe to Collective Thoughts. Great articles like this.

    It’s a shame that some folks just don’t see it. I asked the question on Digital Point if people thought they could survive without Google and nobody seems to grasp the fact that embracing social media is the way forward. They all believe that the sky will fall on their heads if Google pulled the plug on their site.

    I might just head over to DP and call them all a bunch of steam punks and see what response I get…

  4. By eshop on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Don’t you will look stupid, social media is okay, but its not the be all and end all. Its just another mechanism.

    If you are selling a boring product like fixings then facebook and all the other stuff wont be of any use.

    Its still mainly a playground for the younger demographic and thus the less sexy products will have very little impact.

  5. By Rob - Yack Yack SEO on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Nice job sir.

    Nice team too!

  6. By Jeff Quipp on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Well said! As Neil Patel said in a recent post … it not necessarily about who you know, but who they know.

  7. By Mike - Twenty Steps on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    @ eshop – Don’t worry, I wasn’t planning on actually saying anything. I couldn’t stand the subsequent flaming…

    I’m not saying social media is the only way forward. You’re right in what you say that it is another mechanism but my gut feeling is that the way we find products, services, websites or blogs is changing and we’re moving away from the “traditional” method of just using search engines.

    A recommendation by a Stumble friend is worth more to me than a #1 position in Google.

  8. By Local SEO Guide on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    I like the idea behind this but I still cringe every time a respected voice in the SEO community says it’s not about basic optimization tactics anymore. Sure you can get a ton of traffic off of social media but you can still also get a ton of traffic by rewriting your title tags.

  9. By Tad Chef on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Wayne, I’m more along the Jason Calacanis line: SEO is bullshit! ;-)
    I kind of still do it for my blog but it’s implicit. Like back in the days where you had to build each new page in a HTML editor. now you don’t. It happens below the hood. You just can quit thinking about that once you use the right software with some add ons perhaps.

    Mike, I guess Digital Point folk is not the quick minded kind. I prefer SEO Refugee if I have to use a forum.

    eshop: It’s just half the truth. Indeed the great link baiters work for the big companies selling “boring” products.

    Thanks Rob! Nice to hear that from an expert like you. Love your SEO blog.

    Jeff, it’s not only that. You still have to attractive enough, even for your friends. Nobody will link if you stink!

    Local SEO: I spend sometimes half hour picking a title that supposedly should match searchers demand and I still get ridiculous traffic from Google. The most popular search phrase on my own blog is “SEO 2.0″ ;-)

  10. By Keith on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    I personally think Stumble Upon is the greatest asset to anyone on the web, it is growing exponentially and when you get a good review from a fellow stumbler, others visit your blog and related site. I believe that other sites will soon start doing what SU has been doing for a couple of years now. Regards, Keith

  11. By Wayne Smallman on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    I don’t know who Jason Calacanis is, so I can’t really comment on that.

    I develop websites and web applications for a living, mostly for regular businesses, none of which would ever benefit from a social media campaign.

    So SEO really isn’t bullshit, nor is it taken for granted, either.

    It’s a lot of planning, research and implementation…

  12. By Local SEO Guide on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Point taken Tad. But I have also spent half an hour tweaking titles on a large dynamic website and just by changing one term in the title from plural to singular the traffic went from 500,000 monthly uniques to about a million. I think that was 30 minutes well spent. But if everything else isn’t going your way it can also get you zilch.

  13. By mikeb on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    I agree and enjoyed the post…

    but, I am trying to forget I ever ‘memorized’ the name BlogRush!

  14. By John Sadler on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    I absolutely agree Tad, I am constantly amazed that I get 80% of my traffic from the likes of Stumbleupon, unfortunately in a completely unpredictable way, but I am working on that. I need to get better at SEO just to try and get more balance.

  15. By Simon on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Love the post, but hey, where can you buy that steampunk laptop? Is there a mac version?

  16. By Tad Chef on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Keith: You are more than right: Other sites already do, check this list of social browisng services, Yoono and Spotback are my favs:
    http://seo2.0.onreact.com/7-social-browsing-services-that-will-kill-digg-and-seo-10

    Wayne: For the average Joe installing WordPress or Drupal and blogging will do. A CMS software optimized out of the box and much content si enough to succeed in many niches.

    Local SEO: Of course it still works and of course sites that are hopeless before will gain much. But nowadays you should take basic SEO for granted. To stand out you need advanced SEO 2.0 methods ;-)

    mikeb: I mentioned BlogRush because it is still popular but CLIQ is the better BlogRush without the pyramide scheme:
    http://seo2.0.onreact.com/7-reasons-why-cliq-is-the-better-blogrush

    The same here with my SEO 2.0 blog – 83% referer traffic (SU at #1, Sphinn at #2) 10% direct traffic and 7% search engines.

  17. By Tim Nash on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    Simon I’m with you there when I first read the article I have to say I thought I would be ridiculed as I would stay with the Steampunk just for the laptop :)

  18. By Wayne Smallman on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply

    “For the average Joe installing WordPress or Drupal and blogging will do. A CMS software optimized out of the box and much content is enough to succeed in many niches.”

    No it isn’t. Not nearly enough, in fact.

    That’s also really misleading, too. Which disappoints me.

    For the vast majority of small business, none of the above is even remotely relevant to their needs — most don’t want a ‘blog or have enough to say about their business to need a CMS…

  19. By Tad Chef on Nov 17, 2007 | Reply

    It’s not misleading. It’s based on my daily experience with clients. People who have a website based on some strange CMS I never heard of where you can’t edit the title or make the headline a h1, or a website built in Dreamweaver, all Flash sites. Websites where the content consists of 5 pages with one or two sentences corporate blah, blah. I am talking about Hotel sites, sites selling houses, software makers…

    While CMS systems like WordPress or Drupal are not limited to blogging, just look for WordPress as CMS, businesses using them automatically avoid all those pitfalls mentioned above.

    You don’t have to blog using WordPress or Drupal but if you do, the content problem is solved as you add content in the first place.

    The business owners are moreover not dependent on a programmer or the web developer who set up the site with an easy to use and popular CMS like that.

    And indeed everybody has something to say about his business or if he does not he will fail on the Net, because nobody cares that you’re there. People only care for the content you can offer them. An empty site, or a “I just sell you stuff site” is useless.

    So either you offer the people something for free, be it advice or know how or you’ll be ignored by everybody beside the people that want to buy something from you in the first place.

    With conventional SEO tactics like link exchange fading, you won’t even be able to get traffic via Google in future. So I am disappointed that you try to teach me SEO here.

  20. By Wayne Smallman on Nov 17, 2007 | Reply

    “It’s not misleading. It’s based on my daily experience with clients. People who have a website based on some strange CMS I never heard of where you can’t edit the title or make the headline a h1, or a website built in Dreamweaver, all Flash sites.”

    Agreed, but these people represent a shrinking minority of businesses.

    I’ve dealt with such businesses, and they’re usually the ones with more money than sense, so they’re not in any way representative of the other 99% of businesses I’m talking about.

    “I am talking about Hotel sites, sites selling houses, software makers…”

    “While CMS systems like WordPress or Drupal are not limited to blogging, just look for WordPress as CMS, businesses using them automatically avoid all those pitfalls mentioned above … The business owners are moreover not dependent on a programmer or the web developer who set up the site with an easy to use and popular CMS like that.”

    I still get people coming to me who want a simple website, ‘nothing fancy’ and who balk at the idea of any kind of CMS, largely because there’s going to be no one to maintain the content.

    They look to us because they recognize that what they have to say isn’t enough. They know that keywords play a huge part in what they do, and no matter how enthusiastic they are about managing their own website, they still need the likes of you & me around to assist — thus, SEO isn’t shit.

    “And indeed everybody has something to say about his business or if he does not he will fail on the Net, because nobody cares that you’re there. People only care for the content you can offer them. An empty site, or a ‘I just sell you stuff site’ is useless.”

    Tad, just how do people find these businesses if they’re not getting the SEO stuff right? And no, WordPress and Drupal don’t qualify. They’re just receptacles for a planned on-line presence, not the end product.

    Do we use SEM? I talk SEM to a client’s marketing team and it’s just more hard work for them.

    “With conventional SEO tactics like link exchange fading, you won’t even be able to get traffic via Google in future. So I am disappointed that you try to teach me SEO here.”

    So tell me, how do I get a client of mine who sells medical devices you stick in people throats onto Digg, or StumbleUpon, or Reddit?

    Saying search is going to just vanish in a puff of smoke isn’t good enough. Why should we believe you when you say this? Where’s your evidence?

    You’ve yet to give me or anyone else one solitary example to back up your argument.

    Social Media & Social Networking is meaningless to 99% of thee businesses out there…

  21. By Mary Bowling on Nov 17, 2007 | Reply

    Marketing has never been all about any one thing – even before the advent of the internet. Good marketers have always used a variety of strategies to make sales.

    For a long time, SEO’s have effectively achieved Search Marketing success simply through he power of good rankings. Now, the world is turning again and SEM is becoming more and more about putting ALL the pieces of marketing together again, instead of simply relying on one strategy, SEO.

    SEO is just one piece of the puzzle. Social marketing is another piece. You need to arrange all of the pieces properly to clearly get the big picture.

  22. By Wayne Smallman on Nov 18, 2007 | Reply

    Mary, you’re spot on. That’s absolutely right.

    I’ve already written a two-part examination of Tad’s arguments for release next week, and as a spoiler, here’s the closer:

    “Still to this day I get small businesses approaching me who want nothing more than a simple 5 page website that will function as an electronic brochure — a worthy adjunct to their printed collateral.

    The chances of them updating their website in the first 6 months are about as likely as them getting onto the first page of Digg.

    But with an understanding of their niche, there’s still a chance I could get them on the front page of Yahoo! or Google…”

  23. By Zone from ZoneDate.com on Nov 18, 2007 | Reply

    Great post, I’m doing everything mentioned in it (other than a link exchange). My industry may not be the ideal testing ground for this approach, but we’ll see if it works.

  24. By azelinus on Apr 23, 2008 | Reply

    i dont see why steampunk is a negative thing.
    it has nothing to do with technology,it has to do with style of clothing,decoration,etc…
    not with being “asleep for a century”.

  1. 7 Trackback(s)

  2. Nov 16, 2007: SEO 2.0 | Steampunk SEO vs Social Media, Competition vs Cooperation
  3. Nov 19, 2007: Business websites: SEO versus Social Media, Part 1
  4. Nov 20, 2007: Business websites: SEO versus Social Media, Part 2
  5. Nov 23, 2007: SEO 2.0 | 10 Misconceptions Why SEO is Better than SMO Refuted
  6. Dec 26, 2007: Internet Marketing Best Blog Posts of 2007 » techipedia | tamar weinberg
  7. Dec 27, 2007: Huh? » Blog Archive » Best Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2007
  8. Jan 7, 2008: Search Engine Optimization Direct » Blog Archive » Stop Steampunk SEO, Start Being Friendly to Your Peers

Post a Comment

About Us

Welcome to the new wisdom of crowds. Each member of Collective Thoughts is here because not only are they a known or rising star in their own field, but they also have a passion and unique understanding on social media. Together, we make up Collective Thoughts. More

Want to subscribe?

 Subscribe in a reader Or, subscribe via email:
Enter your email address:  
Find entries :