Part I (of many) on SEO, Google, and Content

I’ve been reading up a lot lately on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing, monetizing a blog, sandboxes, traffic generation, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

From what I’ve read, what I feel in my gut, and what everything else I’ve done in life has taught me, I’ve come to a pretty simple conclusion–you gotta work for it, at least as far as content driven sites go. And just like everything else, if you put in the hard yards and take care of what you can control, the rest will take care of itself.

I’m doing a little experiment, which I’ll discuss in a seperate post, to determine how much a very targeted SEO strategy can help impact a site that is basically without content. In contrast, I also have this site (not an experiment), with I plan on providing an abundance of relavant, original content that is focused on, well, nothing in particular. As I said, more on that later.

I’m not saying it doesn’t pay to be smart about SEO and to be aware of the existence of search engines. You would be stupid not to use keywords that are relevant (the important word here is relevant) to your site, and it is probably worth your while to do some research into the most common searches that occur for your target market. But in the end, the free market will determine whether or not your site is successful, not Google. Why? Because not only is your site market driven, but Google is market driven itself!

Maybe I’m a simpleton who isn’t looking at all the angles, but here goes…

How Google’s Market Relates to Your Market

Google’s goal is to provide its customers with relevant search results. The reason Google is the top search engine, and the reason everyone wants a high Google ranking, is that it actually does a good job at achieving this goal. People’s trust in Google to give them what they are looking for was brought about by Google’s ability to sort through the junk and provide relavant results. Google’s continued dominance relies on being smart enough to know which sites deliver relevant content and which sites are simply trying to trick the user into visiting the site in hopes of selling them something they aren’t looking for. If Google fails to perform, someone else will jump in and provide this service.

That’s the beauty of the free market–if it is technologically possible, the demand will be met. In fact, the technology actually drives the demand in this case. So Google not only has to worry about providing their users with a quality product right now, but they also have to work to continue to provide a quality product in the future or risk being upended by someone with better technology who does a better job.

In other words, if Google’s search engine is dumb enough for you to trick it placing a crappy, irrelevant, get-rich-quick site high up the rankings, no one will want to use it anymore. If no one uses it anymore, what good is it for you to be ranked highly there? At that point, Google is no longer able to effectively connect you to your market.

Constitution has an in depth description of Fourth Amendment rights regarding consent to search which states that most people don’t realize that police need probable cause to search your vehicle.

I think it is interesting how certain words and phrases are used to convey a message that they don’t really state. For instace, the phrase, “mind if I search your vehicle?”, while asking a question, actually has the connotation that there isn’t a choice in the matter. It’s like asking your buddy, “mind if I have a couple of these fries?” as you reach for them. Whether he minds or not, you are going to take them, and he knows this. Of course, he’s going to say “sure”. We are conditioned to think that we are obligated to say yes to any reasonable question that starts with, “do you mind if…”

I’ve actually been in this situation a couple of times. The funniest one occurred once coming home from my job washing dishes late at night. I was pulled over for driving 31 mph in a 35. I assume the officer thought I was using some type of substance I wasn’t supposed to be using since I was out late, had chest-length dreadlocks, and was driving below the speed limit. In actuality, my speedometer was spinning in a circle, and since I couldn’t tell how fast I was going, I always drove slowly just in case. I explained this to him and also noted that he’d been behind me for over two miles so I was being extra careful to drive below the speed limit.

After checking my license, the officer asked if I’d been drinking, to which I replied, “No sir. As you can see by my driver’s license, I’m not 21 yet…it’s illegal for me to drink.”

Admittedly, I probably didn’t go very far in getting him on my good side with that comment, but whatever. I’d been doing nothing wrong. Next came the inevitable, “mind if I search your car?”

He was pretty shocked when I informed him that yes, I did mind. He had no reason to think I was committing a crime. His next move, of course, was to threaten me with bringing out a dog in order to get probable cause. I told him to be my guest. I was finished working for the night and had nowhere to go and nothing to fear. He was obviously frustrated, but after a lecture about keeping my car in working order, he handed me my license and sent me on my way.

One thing I didn’t like about the tone of the article is that it sort of implies that police are somehow cheating the system by making you think you have to submit to a search. To me, it is the responsibility of the citizen to know their rights or to at least ask about them if they are not sure. The police do a tough and dangerous job, and I can’t really blame them for using people’s ignorance to help them perform their job more easily.

A Very Sad Day

Just got news that a co-worker was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident this morning on Alcoa Highway. This hasn’t been confirmed by a news source yet, and a name has not been released.

It is quite a shock to us here, and horrible news. He was a really great guy, and I’m not just saying that. Always smiling, always friendly, always cracking jokes and making our job more enjoyable. In addition to working with him, I was lucky enough to get to share a few meals and laughs with him. I can honestly say I’ve never heard one negative thing about him from anyone. He will be sorely missed here.

It is sad when anyone passes, but it is even worse when that person is young and full of life.

Condolences to his family.


News sources aren’t reporting it, but it has been announced at work. A truly sad day.

Possible Sunshine Law Violations in Knox County

Why freedom of the press works.

Basically, the Knoxville News Sentinel is sueing the Knox County Commission over the (aleged) backroom deals that occurred during the appointment of several replacements for term-limited commissioners.

The proposed agreement will force the Commission to hold the meeting again.  All appointments would be void and have to be repeated.

With the outcry against what happened here causing the commotion it did, the results should be very interesting.  Stay tuned!