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Blogging SEO Creativity SEO Discussion

How big should blog posts be to rank on Google?

 

The time when it was all about targeted keyword rich, short form content,  crank out a few hundred words, has long gone. Creating long form, well researched content is expensive, time consuming and hard work.

But what is the evidence that we should create long form content? How do we answer the question, “What size of content will help me rank in Google?”

Brian Dean

Evidence that Longform content is best

Backlinko.com recently did a massive study of 1 million Google search results, published on January 21st, 2016

It’s findings regarding size of content were:

” Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.”

Backlinko
MOZ

Steve Rayson over at Moz.com bloggged, “Content, Share and Links: Insights from analyzing 1 million articles”, you can download his 31 page pdf here

Steve Rayson
The analysis was the result of teaming up with Buzzumo.com

Deep research and opinions matter :

“There are, however, specific content types that do have a strong positive correlation of shares and links. This includes research backed content and opinion forming journalism. We found these content formats achieve both higher shares and significantly more links.”

On the length of content with regards to social sharing:

“…long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content.”

On the type of content shared

 “List posts and videos achieve much higher shares on average than other content formats. However, in terms of achieving links, list posts and why posts achieve a higher number of referring domain links than other content formats on average. While we may love to hate them, list posts remain a powerful content format.”

It seems the much hated listicle is not only getting the shares, but the links too. Gathering anecdotal evidence for this article, people would role their eyes at the idea that listicles get the most attention. This may be due to that fact that people who are in the web publishing business see more of them and are not in “reader mode”, but are in publishing mode. It may also be pure snobbery, the fact that we want people to think we are more sophisticated than we actually are.

The article goes on to say that most content receives few social shares and even fewer links. This would indicate that content is being dumped on a massive scale into a vase and empty space with no one reading, sharing or linking to it.

The research indicates that longer form content in excess of 2k is more likely to be successful. Thus time spent creating 3 x blog posts 1,000 words long could be wasted, whilst time spent creating 1 blog post 3,000 words long returns rewards.

The study goes on to look at the type of content that is being shared and linked to, analysing around 70k webpages with articles from , The Atlantic, New Republic, Nytimes.com the guardian.com and indicates that it is well researched opinion pieces that are most popular.

SERPIQ

How Important is Content Length? Why Data-Driven SEO Trumps Guru Opinions
Analysis was performed of the top 10 results in Google in 2012, using 20,000 keywords and discovered a direct correlation of long content to higher results in Google.

Serpiq

“As you can see, there is a drop in content length as we move from first to tenth position. On average, 10th position pages have 400 less words on the page than first position pages. This does point to the trend that higher ranked sites have more content, but keep in mind that this graph is not segmented in any way – this is just a graph of all of the SERPs we’ve analyzed.”

More evidence from Moz.com

In another study from Moz, by John Doherty, it “found a direct correlation between the number of back links…and the overall length of the content itself.”

Below is a chart of 500 posts on the x-axis and the number of words on the y-axis

Moz graphic

If we take the chart above and overlay with the number of links each post acquired has been recorded, we can clearly see a correlation between length of post and number of links the post gets.
John Doherty states, ” if we visualize the links that these posts have gained, there seems to be a correlation between longer content and links:”

moz graphic 2

OKSUMO and Buzzsumo research
Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us

“We’ve analyzed the social share counts of over 100 million articles in the past 8 months.”

“If you look at the chart below, the longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3000-10000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares). Not surprisingly, there was a lot more short-form content being written. How much more? There were 16 times more content with less than 1000 words than there were content with 2000+ words.”

OKdork

It is quite clear from this graph that you are more likely to have your content shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google+ if you content is over 3,000 words, rather than 1,000 words or less.

This flies in the face of common thought that we are only motivated to share, short, snacksized bits of content. It is not what the data is telling us.

“As you can see in the graph, 3000+ word articles get more social shares on Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+.”

Smartpassiveincome.com
The Backlinking Strategy That Works
Patt Flynn has also noticed a relationship between shares and content length.

smartpassive

Coschedule

5 Things That Will Change Your Mind About Long Form Content Marketing

In Garrett Moon’s research for Coschedule.com he found that content with a higher number of words ranked higher in Google.

coschedule

“Yes, it’s true. Long-form content ranks higher on average than shorter pages. In my results, the pages in the top five (1-5) averaged more than 2,000 words per page. In the bottom half (6-10), the posts only averaged 1,400 words. Long-form content was absolutely weighted to the top of the list.”

 

Neil Patel
Neil Patel of Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg likes to get data driven answers in this blog post investigating the merits of long form content, Why you need to create evergreen, long form content

Neil Patel

“I took the 327 blog posts I have written on Quick Sprout and broke them down into two buckets. The first bucket contained blog posts that were fewer than 1,500 words, and the second contained posts that were greater than 1,500 words. I then analyzed how many tweets and Facebook likes each post got.

Posts that were under 1,500 words, on average received 174.6 tweets and 59.3 Facebook likes. Posts that were over 1,500 words, on average received 293.5 tweets and 72.7 Facebook likes.”

quicksprout

 

A word about causation. We are not stating that long content causes more links and higher ranking, but we are suggesting that there is a correlation between the two, it has been my belief that this has been for case for a number of years.

However, we have a number of factors at work here, the main one is the person who actually reads the content and then reacts. Something is happening to cause them to be more likely to socially share the content or link, size of the content may be a factor, but the content must be coherent and resonate with the reader. It must engage.

Semantic footprint vs the keyword

Spock and Bones

Google introduced a new algorithm called, Hummingbird in 2013. Danny Sullivan of Searchengineland.com said,

“Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.”

That Google is using the “meaning” of the whole article rather than a specific searched for keyword means that more semantically relevant content is going to help Google determine the relevance of that search term for your content.

It’s not as simple as “more is better”. It’s that more relevant, useful content is better.

If we look at it simplistically, what does a 500 word post have that a 3,000 word post does not? The answer is ease of consumption, it’s quick for the reader. But speed of reading is not the objective of the publisher, we want to produce a reaction. If a reader’s objective is to read and consume a blog post quickly, then they are quickly on to the next thing.

The problem is, most publishers see their content in isolation rather than a sequence of content from numerous other publishers.

Each piece of content consumed by the reader is battling for time in the consciousness, ready for downloading into the subconscious.

Which brand do you think is going to stick more, the brand of the content that took 2 mins to read or the brand which had the content that took two 15 minute sessions to get through?

The thing is, it’s hard to create long content. We get distracted, Netflix, Facebook, Linkedin upates, yada yada yada. And when you create something great at 1,000 words that PUBLISH button starts pulsing. Right now I’m at 809 words and I think I have something interesting for people.

But there are a few other points I want to cover on this issue, and hopefully it takes this particular piece of content from good to great, but that is your call not mine.

We now know content has to be big and thus requires more investment

Categories
SEO Creativity

Is User Interface Design the New SEO?

 

 

If the user interface on your website smells, do you think it will get links?

SEO is never about links, except when it is.

Design is even more important now, which is hard work for me as I am mediocre to terrible at design.

But it can be learned, and designing for a human being is a learned skill.

The SEO as always must adapt.

uxb

Courtesy of: Designmantic.com

Categories
SEO Creativity

Brand vs Product

It’s hardly definitive but take a look at this data for a brand search and a product search.

Brand vs product

I often have a discussion with SEO types about branding and usually it goes, “people buy things because of the thing the thing does”, when the reality is it’s more often than not about the way it makes people feel.

Brand is all about how the consumer feels, it is an emotional thing.
And it’s not even just about purchases, it’s about social media too. People share content because of how it makes it feel. People are more likely to share content from people they have met and liked that people they do not, not because the content changes, but the way the person feels about the other person changes.

You can see this if you analyse the various tribes of SEO, they tend to rewteet each other. Not because of the content, but because the concept of the tribe is being invoked.

The trick is not to get your product to connect with the customer, but to build an emotional relationship between the consumer and the brand.

This is how you rank in 2015

Categories
SEO Creativity

SEO Services UK

ukseo

A fresh list of trusted UK SEO providers that offer excellent service.

Bristol
truedigital.co.uk
noisylittlemonkey.com
mediaventure.net
garethbeck.co.uk
allthingsweb.co.uk
varnmedia.co.uk

Chester
iqseo.uk

Hertfordshire, Hitchin
dimmockwebmarketing.co.uk

Leicestershire
Midasmedia

Oxfordshire
screamingfrog.co.uk
white.net
danielbianchini.co.uk
decabbit.com

Leeds
branded3.com
salt

Nottinghamshire
boom-online.co.uk

Manchester
slingshotsearch.co.uk
falkondigital.com
Polestardigital

Sunderland
f.ound.uk

Bedford
receptional.com

West Sussex
rocketmill.co.uk

Southhampton
koozai.com

London
blueglass.co.uk
caliberi.com
renderpositive.com
dannydenhard.com
distilled.net
supersizedseo.com
evokeseo.com

Edinburgh
yarddigital.com

Dundee
hitreach.co.uk

Cardiff
seooasis.co.uk
seono.co.uk

Brighton
yellowjammarketing.com
ammonjohns.com
bozboz.co.uk

Portsmouth
vertical-leap.uk

Plus, Content Services

Leeds
shellshockuk.com

Manchester
neomam.com
lakestarmccann.com

Stratford-Upon-Avon
lizwilson.me

Suffolk
montagecomms.com

Newcastle
SEO-Doctor

Wigan
justinternetsolutions.co.uk

Image source

Categories
SEO Creativity

SEO is Dead

There has been a lot of navel gazing within the SEO industry this year.

You couldn’t move without someone numpty publishing an SEO is Dead post

This is mostly because the landscape has changed. The way Google ranks its results has changed. What was working within the SEO industry was not aligned with what Google wanted.

A number of techniques that only recently worked very well to get a website ranked in Google no longer works, although it’s interesting to note that quite a number of people and seo agencies are working in an outmoded fashion.

We already know this and many bytes of blog posts have been crunched to bring us that news, again and again.

The old way of working is mostly dead

I say mostly dead as there are exceptions, the old way of doing things still works for those who have built a machine with processes that are efficient enough to dodge the Google hit squad.

We even see that dodgy widget links still work and even work for Google themselves, whilst preaching it is a sin and will send you to ranking hell. Blackhat still works, but the probability of being crushed is way to high.

The point being, that if you want to build a decent, medium to long term business that delivers an effective you need a new way of doing things.

The methodology of SEO has mostly been about busting the algo, backward engineering how the Google machine works, identifying weak spots and then drilling into those spots. It’s a methodology that requires a specific mindset, a somewhat technical ability and a super hero ability to wield Excel spreadsheets without having to wear underpants on the outside.

This mindset is still needed, it’s simply no longer the killer it used to be.

Vomiting the long tail onto your title tags not longer emits the sweet odour it once did. Even hardcore, outsourced to tropical countries, manic article creation no longer works, and also industrial guest posting is liable to send your website down the toilet.

Interesting thing is, a lot of websites still employ these tactics.

It’s interesting, because it means that those working the “new way of thinking”, are going to be those who will win.

So what is the new way of thinking?

Well it’s actually quite simple and it’s something I have been preaching for years, so it’s not like I am revealing a huge secret.

The New Way of Thinking is:

You Publish for People.

Which has actually been working for thousands of years, it’s only recently we have been formatting our communicative output for the Google robot.

And yes this does include social media an mobile, but it’s more than that, it’s about taking the news and creating fresh content around it. Google is not the only thing that likes fresh, people like it too. People like to experience content that is aligned with what is currently on their mind.

No longer should you be chasing the algo, you should be chasing people.

P.S. Apologies for the headline, I couldn’t resist.

Categories
SEO Creativity

Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise Open Ice Cream Factory in Cornwall

This is another ranking test.

The last one I did was yesterday, and strangely has not ranked.

The keyword phrase was a heavily duped phrase that has been scraped from Amazon by the affiliate addicts.

What is interesting is that the phrase “DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator”, has not been ranked at all. Not only that but the body text also has not ranking.

It also does not seem to be indexed. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for this as yet, further investigations needed.

The reason I want to make the headline above is that Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise are releasing a film this week and I want to see how topicality effects the ranking potential with relation to this blog. Obviously there are many variables at play here, but by conduction these little tests on an aged blog such as this builds knowledge about the subject.

I am not thinking that we will definitely be uncovering specific answers here to the whole ranking question, more that we want to make sure we are pointing in the right direction.

I also chose a unique headline. Nothing is coming up for an exact match search. And I want to make sure we at least rank for this, as I am wondering if the last ranking fail was to do with the fact it’s an Amazon product keyword string.

More on this later.

This is later, about 5 mins later

Bang! It’s already indexed and ranking for exact match “Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise Open Ice Cream Factory in Cornwall”

Also the broad match is ranking #1, Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise Open Ice Cream Factory in Cornwall.

I am using a clean browser to conduct these searches and am not logged in to G+ or searched for this term previously.

More Later (15 mins)

The page does not rank for “Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise”, but ranks on page three for “Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise open”

Which of course is interesting and gives us a little more insight into how you should be crafting headlines for the maximum effect in Google.

You must understand the power of your website in relation to its ability to rank unique terms. Adding the word “open” gets me on the third page, however that’s not going to bring any traffic as no one will search for that. However, if you added a term that is contextually correct to the narrative and may be searched for like “kissed”, affair”, “engaged etc. then this would increase the traffic,

If this blog was a celebrity blog I would pump out a few posts around this news event. Trying to find the most optimised headline which was attractive, had a worthwhile search quotient and was contextually correct.

We also learn that you don’t need to get external links to a post if on a blog that has enough link equity.

However, the previous test to this was interesting as it did not rank. Leading me to ask, what would get a keyword phrase like that to rank. Is it as simple as a few links, and who powerful should those links be?

This test raises more questions than it answers, and I invite of your thoughts on this.

Hold the boat!

I now rank at 14 for “DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator”.

Which is a very tasty bit of data.

It took 21 hours to rank.
Ranked 30 mins after this post was published, which contains a link to it.

Is this simply a ping issue and getting to the Googlebot to visit, probably. But there are a number of other factors at play which we do not know. What is the impact of a heavily duped headline, that is out of context to the blog?
Would there have been a different outcome if the headline had been contextual to the category that the blog operates in?
What is this post had also been a duped headline?
What effect has Twitter had on this outcome?

It’s impossible to know what has exactly caused these results, we can only guess based on the rather limited data. My suggestion is to do your own tests and share. The more data we get the more informed we are.

Also, using the Seomoz Google US (non-personalized), tool I rank on the 3rd page of Google.

Categories
SEO Creativity

DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator

Don’t worry, I haven’t been hacked.

This is an ranking test.

I want to see what will happen to the keyword string ” DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator” if I simply post it in the title tag and as an H1. It will also get linked to internally, by WP.

The product is an American one and this site mostly ranks in the UK.

Right now Amazon ranks for this petrol, or rather gas powered genny.

It’s a huge fit ranking for such long tail term as Amazon gets scrapped mopre than a 30 year old gorgonzola, You tend to think long tail is easy, but only if the long tail phrase is unique and gets search for enough times to make it worth while.

Of course outranking Amazon in an exact is pretty easy to do. But it’s always useful doing these tests as it gives you a fixed point of data.

Search for the phrase and see if this post turns up.

I miss those keyword contests we used to have back in the old days.

Categories
SEO Creativity

The SEO Pond is Scumming up

Something beyond the hyperbole just happened in SEO.

But you knew that right.

Pushing SEO is like pushing a giant flaming marshmellow through a cage full of marmuts, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The focus is obviously on content, but it’s not.

The focus is on people, that’s why you do this stuff for anyway isn’t it.

People to buy your stuff.

Well isn’t it?

Too much talk about content and not enough about delivering emotional experiences.

I am guilty as anyone else, “content” is short hand, it’s lazy. And we all love to be lazy.

Even you.

I have realised this for a few years, but still help a toe in the seo pond, even though it is increasingly scumming over, now there are dead fish floating on the surface it may be time to move 100% to a publishing model.

Publishing what?

Publishing “content”, duh!

It’s really just publishing though isn’t it. The content bit is redundant.

Linkbaiting is now even more important. The type of links you need are the type of links real people need.

Cool.

So, time to leave SEO and head off into the sunset.

Categories
SEO Creativity

SEO techniques – Sun Tzu and Josiah Wedgewood

What the hell has your Granny’s china collection got to do with you trying to rank for “kitchen cabinets”.

A lot of my seo pals are into Sun Tzu who wrote a book called The Art of War, it’s a collection of the Chinese Generals thoughts on war and battle. It’s quite short and can be quoted on seo forums to possibly increase the perception of your knowledge and power. It’s not good for pulling chicks in coffee shops though, for that you need Hemmingway or Kerouac.

But this isn’t a blog post about picking up chicks in coffee shops so lets focus.

The Chinese military commander, born in 544BC came out with lines such as this.

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

As is quite apparent, his wisdom can successfully be applied to the implementation of not only seo but business and warfare in general. I’ve not actually read a blog post matching up his thoughts with ideas about seo tactics and strategy, it would be interesting though.

But, who I really want to talk about is the guy that enabled your Granny to have the china collection. Josiah Wedgewood.

Here is a quote from makingthemodernworld.org.uk

The founding of Wedgwood’s Etruria manufactory in 1769 saw him applying a high degree of work specialisation. Manufacturing was divided between ‘useful’ and ‘ornamental’ wares. Products passed from one specialist worker to another, each completing a small part of the overall production process. This improved quality and the dexterity of the craftsmen and also saved time.
Wedgwood divided work between design and production.

Before Wedgewood, stuff would be made by one or two craftsman from start to finished. This means the craftsmen cannot specialise, but must know all parts of the process. Wedgewood invented the modern factory line. One person, a specialist in one thing, would do that thing very well to a product and pass it along to the next specialist.

Seems a no brainer, as you then have the best talent working on all elements of the process.

He then got celebrity endorsement from the Queen for his line of China bits and pieces and made a fortune. Which is very interesting when you look at the seo tool market and how that works.

I encourage you to read up on the guy, there is lots to learn if you are interested in scaling it big and bad. Of course there is stuff that Sun Tzu can teach, but it’s a mistake to fall back on tactics everyone else is using. Best to suck in the juice from multiple sources.

So lets talk SEO.

With onpage seo you can basically get a monkey to do it. Or what in the seo business are called “interns”.

The part of seo that really matters is called “link building“. And this is where Josiah Wedgewood comes in. Because link building is not about art, it’s about the process. It’s about being able to implement a creative technique in a factory setting. In other words you need to grind it out, as fast as possible and at a consistent quality level. Being able to scale up and the flick of a mouse click when demand requires.

Having a seo production line means you can employ talent best suited to the individual task. Ensuring the best product possible is being produced and also at the required quantity.

Clever implementation of technology enables the individual to earn a crust online, but employing a team who are expert in the individual processes means you cannot only own the loaf, but also the bakery too. Leaving the lone blogger to make do with the crumbs.

The process and implementation of seo does not get talked about enough, you mostly get fluff and guesses presented as facts. Whilst you do need your technique tool box to be of the highest quality, you will be crushed if your competitor is using an army of seo factory workers to deploy his mediocre techniques.

Which is annoying, because then you have to pretend be nice to people and develop social skills. But that’s cool, because there are instruction manuals on that to.

When we talk about seo we are really talking link building

Categories
SEO Creativity

Greek Coffee Fused with SEO Twitter Streams

An SEO should always travel. Even if just to load up the Google front page and view how the foreigners search for stuff. As I sit with salt baked onto my skin whilst I sip the surprisingly good, sludgy, Greek coffee, I think about the bubbles we exist in.

How different people, who speak different languages, have different alphabets and different ways of eating, defecating, picking their nose and bribing the local official.

It’s all different.

Those who can understand the differences, both subtle and major win.

Those who don’t, stay in their bubble being big fish in an eggcup full of water.

You see that a lot in the Asperger-flicted seo space. Guys (and it invariably is guys) who like to learn a lot of over complicated, ultimately useless information who like to bamboozle noobs and spread confusion of the Twitter feeds like a drunken spider on it’s way to the taverna.

And of course those who treat “the game” like a business, rather than a private/public wank are those who tend to to step out of the bubble and discover pastures green, with trees weighed down with over ripened fruit just waiting to be plucked.

Twitter aids in our process of being able to identify those who are simply gobbing off and are full of fecal matter.

I’m as guilty of turning my twitter stream into a lumpy/liquid stream of shit as is the next man. But I do like to think I throw the odd gem in every know and again.

My favourite usage of Twitter is that of a bullshit detection tool.

Those who tweet all day may not be doing it because they are crapola at “the game”, but because the stream of digital communication provides a warm electronic blanket they can wrap around themselves to fill the gaps in their souls.

Those who leave week long gaps in their stream are not doing it because they overdosed on plain chocolate McVities Digestives and Vimto and have nothing to say. But because they are getting on with business, building their empire.

An Empire not built on the sand of Facebook, as I talked about recently, but on a solid foundation of a list of prospective punters – on blogs and websites which they own. Not owned by some twatty American corporation that has delusions that it more important than a tub of Chunky Monkey.

Own it, don’t rent it.

Categories
SEO Creativity

General Baron Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord said

General Baron Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord said

“I divide officers into four classes — the clever, the lazy, the stupid and the industrious. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the high staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fit for the very highest commands. He has the temperament and the requisite nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be removed immediately.”

If you are lazy you look for the short cut, you break the rules and you work damn hard to get that short cut.

When found, you then relax.

Thus is the nature of those who use Search Engines to their advantage.

Categories
SEO Creativity

If I hired a guy to submit all my web pages to all social bookmarking sites would it help my SEO?

No.

Categories
SEO Creativity

Creativity

Have you ever had a blog post idea knocking around your head for weeks and you just can’t get the chance or motivation to write about it?

I have mentioned creativity in seo before, unfortunately it’s something I rarely see talked about as an important part of seo.

Consider this:

“The birth of an idea may be preceded and followed by modes of attention that are much more focused, purposeful and intellectual”

from pp14 The Creative Thinking Plan by Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas

“Modes of attention”, interesting that it’s in the plural, as if we have to spend a lot of time thinking about a thing when we are in different mental states. Attacking the issue from different parts of our mind.

I no longer call myself an SEO and have not done for a long time, (if I ever was one) and I now the pursue the path of viral content creator, or online buzz marketer or what is commonly known in the business as linkbaiting. This requires a truck full of creativity each day, but creativity takes time.

It takes time to be creative, it’s probably the most important think I teach my linkbaiting students over at linkbaitcoaching.com, a good piece of linkbait will take up to ten days. Most of that is spent thinking and throwing away ideas. The ability to spot a bad idea is as important as coming up with the idea in the first place.

You need that time because the mind has to go through it’s different modes to come up with that idea. Now I know people who have taken 15 minutes to create a piece of linkbait and it’s a great success. But, you will probably find that the idea has been at the back of their minds fermenting and going through the editing process whilst snug in the sub-consciousness.

The true test is to be presented with a subject you are unfamiliar with and you have to start cold. It can involve a lot of walking, thinking and looking into the distance. It involves getting your brain to perform different modes of attention whilst thinking of the problem.

The same is with SEO, getting creative with SEO and not simply copying what others are doing can give you the edge. Most techniques when they hit the public are over. It’s those people who can see things in different ways and challenge the perceived wisdom. Usually the perceived wisdom is wrong as it follows what worked yesterday. To be a creative SEO you need to be thinking about what can work tomorrow.

I’m a natural contrarian, I believe will live in cycles and if someone says “don’t do that, it no longer works”, time to look at it closely. What I find also is that some things that are talked about in the SEO blogosphere are complete crap. A lot of the time you read something and you know it works because you are doing it and yet it goes hot on Sphinn, people are commenting and saying “good point”. Best thing is just to keep quiet and let them get on with it.

But when you start doing the opposite of what the masses do, strange things happen. You stumble across things which work and which no one else is doing. When that happens, you have struck SEO gold and you keep quiet about it (unless it can bump you up a couple of pay grades but that’s another matter), you then notice people saying it used to work a few years ago but not anymore.

To achieve real success in this business, you have to get creative. Which was what I was doing with my spoof news linkbait stories. It was a technique that has been used successfully by a number of people for years, no wonder they wanted to keep it quiet.

In the end, getting creative might lead you off the garden path and into the sharp toothed man traps Matt Cutts has laid for you, or you may get lynched by the foaming at the mouth blogosphere. No matter, you are in this business for results not some hippy-geek-ethos. You find what works and then you do what works.

Note:
I completely went off my target for this post, I wanted to talk and discuss creativity more. Ah well, stream of consciousness it will have to be