Monday, March 2, 2009

SEO the Game

PackmanA while back the question came by as to what it was that I wanted to when I grew up. I just laughed and replied, I’m most likely never going to grow up, so there is no need to think about it! Going back to my first childhood though, I can recall wanting to play computer games for a living – didn’t we all? This got me thinking which, as most know, is quite a rare occurrence.

Remember those classic old arcade games? I’m talking long before anyone even knew what a CD was let alone a DVD, so PlayStation is out the equation. I’m talking about the likes of Space Invaders and Packman. These were games that never ended; you kept playing until you finally lost. The ultimate goal was to aim for a score you knew that nobody could ever beat or at least one that wouldn’t be beaten anytime soon.

I always wanted to be the guy that set those scores. I always wanted to see my name at the top so that when you started the game for the first time it would be my name that was automatically on top.

After some thought, I came to the realisation that I am now doing exactly that. I spend my days playing on the biggest game system known to man, the Internet. My job is just like those games from my youth where I tried to get the highest score that I possibly could. We all want that number one ranking. While top 10 positions are notable, places 2 and 3 out of 30,098,293 are still a good score, but that number 1 is the most coveted of prizes.

While the older titles of Packman and Space Invaders have faded away, we have now replaced them with titles such as Ask, Yahoo!, MSN and the most popular one of this generation Google. Each title has its own set of rules but the game play is very similar. Build a well structured website, build good solid content, create something unique and useful and then tell the world about it. If done right you could be climbing up that leader board. If not, nobody will even notice that you bothered to play the game.

But by now you are asking yourself, How does this help me with SEO? SEO is the game. Never forget that while you may be top today there could be someone else who’s just managed to work the system, learned the sequence just that bit quicker or better than you have. Never become complacent with a top spot, keep playing. While we will never know just how close the next player’s score is to ours, the prize of Number 1 Player is never to be taken lightly.

SEO is a game; it requires know-how, skill and a bit of luck now and then to master this art. The best tip I can give anyone however is not about linking, optimising content or working on title tags. I won’t tell you about analytics or how to set up paid ads. I won’t try to add how valuable social media can be to your business. The most valuable piece of advice I can offer is simply this, Enjoy the game! It’s that simple.

I’ve always been best at the games I’ve enjoyed the most, hasn’t everyone?


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