EQ Matters For SEO
If you are involved with ‘The Web’ for the purposes of making a living you could not fail to be aware of the huge topic of ‘SEO’.
Search Engine Optimization has emerged as a discrete body of specialized knowledge, everywhere you look online there are ‘list posts’ describing in prescriptive bullet points each step you should take to ensure the search engine ‘spiders’ are able to crawl your content and deem it relevant to searches.
A large industry has emerged underpinning the idea that you can optimize your web properties, that you can gain an advantage over your competitors in online searches, and this can translate into a lot of money. There have been distinct stages in the development of this industry, as the technology and behavior of online users has changed over time.
In earlier times, from 1999–2005, it was relatively easy to gain this advantage, and people who were technically aware could deliberately build multiple links to all kinds of other web properties, it did not really matter what kind, and Google would respond by promoting that web property and regard it as being more relevant to a search. This was not assured, but it was certainly more possible to ‘game’ the system.
There were a whole raft of methods being used, and SEO as a service type was one of the covert options available to the web-savvy business owner. It was during these times that SEO gained a rather seedy, ‘blackhat’ reputation — one that is persistent to this day, despite massive changes in the whole nature of the industry — in fact there are a lot of people who still believe in the mythology of ‘Blackhat’ SEO. Private blog networks still are being used, but in different ways. Now it is not large networks of external sites but single domains, web 2.0 properties and all manner of high quality link enhancing ways and means. But really this activity is almost indistinguishable from general internet activity, so it is viable.
But this little article is not about all of the technical details, I am not providing yet another bullet pointed map of how to gain an advantage, or a technical summary of the history of search engine algorithms.
I am interested in the present conditions of the internet, and how these are now forcing us to attend to the the whole point of online content — while the commercial lust for profit still drives much of the web, as it drives much of all human life, there is a more egalitarian spirit emerging.
It is always the case that changes in the online world, while rapid to the active players, actually take a while to be acknowledged and understood by the vast numbers of people who have less awareness — this ‘inertia’ is what drives a lot of online commerce — education and training is a massive industry and fabled marketers all seek to promote their recondite methods to their tribes of fans, envious associates and people desperate to liberate themselves from the grip of 9–5 commuter hell.
The big changes from 2007, with Google becoming more sophisticated in the ways it ranks web properties, actually had a massive effect, changing the entire complexion of online business. The echo and reverberation of this are still being felt.
There is always a lot that is not shared, or widely promoted online, covert groups of ‘masterminds’ meet to discuss and share valuable strategies; these have been a part of online commerce since the early days — it is kind of interesting and would make a brilliant topic for a future documentary “The Rise Of Internet Masters”…or something.
These mastermind groups are not overtly declared, their participants are very quiet about their activity because a lot depends on them being covert, plus people simply do not take much notice, it is difficult enough to actually let people know the basics of online income generation when it is authentically presented to them — the default attitude is one of disbelief.
In these times more people have more opportunities to participate, and this brings us to the idea of being able to present good stuff to the right people. To me SEO represents ALL that you do to present your offering to the digital community-the way you write, the way in which your site or media is built and loaded online. It all matters.
This is where ‘EQ’ comes into it. The online world is very much less favorable to the clinical, cynical and cold hearted, and it is now possible to publish a successful venture based on the quality of your offering, not how many H1 and Alt tags you have placed in your pages.
Of course these matters still ‘matter’, you can indeed optimize your content, I am not saying SEO no longer applies, we have not entered the fairy glade just yet-but there is a distinct change of direction.
The recent development of structured micro data and the ‘semantic’ nature of how the web integrates text information has combined to change the nature of how the web is experienced.
So what am I getting at here? I am attempting to articulate something almost intangible about how the internet is changing in essential nature, in previous times it seems the more technically endowed were favored, to actually gain success and visibility required either recondite skills, or access to services requiring substantial investment — that is if you were even aware of the existence of these services.
Now it is a little different, a more egalitarian spirit has emerged and an ‘ordinary person’ can realistically participate in this developing digital economy, which is what the internet was touted as being to begin with, but was not really because of the level of skills needed to effectively participate.
So yes, emotional intelligence, the facility to understand people and provide meaningful products and services is definitely an advantage, the ability to ‘trick’ the search engines is very much reduced in scope, so if you are creating good quality ‘stuff’ you will not be out competed by someone who is presenting rubbish but has a better understanding of search engine optimization. Not as easily anyway.
There is still a need for skills, and understanding, the inertia of online developments and the awareness of these by the ‘masses’ is still an unbalanced equation. There is now a broader awareness of what is taking place, and a huge desire to join in — the recent statistic from Bloomberg concerning ‘Clicks beating Bricks’ on Black Friday is a strong indicator of this.
Online sales out competed high street sales for the first time in 2015, and a good percentage of those clicks were for private online store owners, not just Amazon, eBay and the other larger eCommerce sites.
EQ is as much a part of being online as IQ, and we are witnessing a major change in the online world, this year should be very interesting as it unfolds for people interested in the ways in which the internet continues to ‘disrupt’ our global society.