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Search marketing seems like it changes every minute, and it’s hard to blame anyone who is worried about falling behind. With big news such as Google Instant seemingly coming every instant, anyone might be concerned that their SEO knowledge is becoming outdated and that their search rankings will be the next thing to drop. I got a Facebook message from someone the other day in just such a predicament and I decided to share my answer to him with you all.

Changed Priorities Ahead

Image by add1sun via Flickr

Quick question. I hope you can help me. With so much change from Google in the recent months and weekly algorithm changes I am sure to come… and so much info in the blogosphere… I am wondering… what is the best way to keep up with it all? I have both your SEO books… first and second editions. If I stayed focused with all that you teach in the books and not pay attention to all the info out there… will I still be OK and ranking organically? Thanks Mike!

Well, Larry, no one can guarantee that you’ll be OK no matter what you do. But I am sure that you do not need to keep up with every algorithm change to succeed in organic search marketing.

There are some people who can follow every twist and turn of Google’s algorithm (and Bing’s too, for that matter), but if that describes you, then why are you reading my blog? No, my readers need advice that won’t change next week, which is what I give you.

The basics of search marketing don’t change:

  • You must know what searchers are looking for. Every keyword they use, every piece of content, they’ll be watching you. Or they won’t. It all depends on whether you know what they want.
  • You must have a better answer than other people do. If you’ve really got a good answer for their question—better than what almost everyone else has, then you’ll be found. If not, not.
  • You must be able to sell something related to the answer. Sometimes, that’s easy because they are searching for the exact thing that you make. But other times, they are looking for the solution to a problem, so you need to sell what solves it for them.

In many ways, search marketing is much more complicated than that. (Hey, Bill Hunt and I wrote a 600-page book on it, so it better be.) But in some ways, it is just that simple. Keep your eye on what’s important and ignore the rest. Sure, sometimes you might feel like others are gaming the system, but most of the time it works out in the long run. Best of luck to you.

I’m focusing on what’s important, too. I have been threatening to write my third book for two years but I haven’t had the time. So I am taking most of next week off to take another chunk out of that effort. I am staying off Twitter and not posting to my blog either. I’ll see you again on October 25. You, my readers, are very important to me, but when I need to focus on something, sometimes I need to take a break from social media for a while. I believe that I come back fresher, with more ideas when I do that. Thanks for understanding.

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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, Revealed Context, and SoloSegment. Mike is the author of three books on digital marketing, an instructor at Rutgers Business School and a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. He is also a Certified Speaking Professional.

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2 replies to this post
  1. As with anything Google, their algorithm is a ‘best guess’ situation. All people can do is keep doing what has been working for SEo until further notice. When it stops, try something new.

  2. I agree with your approach. I regards to SEO, I see that too many people worry too much about too many things to stay focused. I am in the process of developing my new website and read quiet a bit about site optimization, but if I start obsessing about each and everything I would never be able to focus on the bigger picture, that is, worrying about what my customer needs are.

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