Everything Has Changed Except For Our Way Of Thinking


by Kenny Hyder

ThinkingDid you hear about the new Goo­gle update? Which one? Exactly. Any sea­so­ned SEO has his/her cata­lo­gue of sto­ries about how algo upda­tes have affec­ted ran­kings over the years for bet­ter and for worse. The lon­ger you have been in the SEO game, the more sto­ries you are bound to have about search engine algo­rithms chan­ging and mes­sing up you and your clients ran­kings. But what has chan­ged really?

Blo­wing Up

Atom Bomb

“The release of atom power has chan­ged everything except our way of thinking…the solu­tion to this pro­blem lies in the heart of man­kind. If only I had known, I should have become a watch­ma­ker.” — Albert Einstein

When Albert Eins­tein wrote a let­ter to Pre­si­dent Roo­se­velt recom­men­ding the ini­tia­tion of what even­tually became the Manhat­tan Pro­ject, he fore­ver chan­ged tech­no­logy and his­tory. Yet the crea­tion of the world’s most power­ful and devas­ta­ting bomb did nothing for world peace, go figure.

Back In the Day…

When I star­ted in SEO there was no such thing as uni­ver­sal, blen­ded, or per­so­na­li­zed search. You could get a site ran­king for a key-term, and it would stay that way for a month or two. Suf­fice to say, the lands­cape of search has chan­ged. Each new update and change brings new cha­llen­ges, new things to learn, and new opportunities.

Neces­sity is the mother of inven­tion; when in need we will create the most bri­lliant of inven­tions to solve our pro­blems. SEO’s are no excep­tion, the things I have seen friends, collea­gues, and com­pe­ti­tors alike come up with to get ran­kings in com­pe­ti­tive spa­ces are inge­nious. Pro­blem sol­ving at this capa­city is an abi­lity that is uni­quely human, and some of us are great at it. But what has it got­ten us?

A Day in the Life

The job of an SEO at it’s core is to figure out a way to beat the search engi­nes. Gran­ted, it’s not always an easy job, but it’s the core func­tion of an SEO nonethe­less. While there are many dif­fe­rent approaches and methods used by various SEO’s to accom­plish this task, every SEO is always trying to figure out the best way to inc­rease ran­kings. And over the years as the engi­nes have made their chan­ges and imple­men­ted upda­tes, the SEO is left to over­come any obs­tac­les left in the way. But besi­des the tech­no­logy, what has changed?

Think Dif­fe­rent

Albert EinsteinNear the end of his life, Albert Eins­tein said that sig­ning the let­ter to Pre­si­dent Roo­se­velt recom­men­ding the crea­tion of the atom bomb was the “one great mis­take” he made in his life. Yet he rea­li­zed that even if it hadn’t been crea­ted, it would have chan­ged nothing because our thin­king hadn’t changed.

As SEOs, as mar­ke­ters, I think it’s impor­tant to rea­lize that some­ti­mes it’s a change in thin­king that is nee­ded, rather than a change in method. As an SEO, I get asked occa­sio­nally to use and some­ti­mes even teach “blackhat” tac­tics for and to various peo­ple, inc­lu­ding clients. While I have nothing against anyone that may be a “blackhat” SEO, I simply don’t per­form those ser­vi­ces. It always ama­zes me though how peo­ple think they need to go to such extents to inc­rease their per­for­mance. Most often, clients that are wan­ting to push the most extreme edges of the enve­lope, simply just need to look at their pro­blems dif­fe­rently to be satisfied.

It’s usually our thin­king that needs to change. Most of the times where I have found myself bea­ting my head against a pro­blem trying to “solve” it, I nee­ded to think dif­fe­rently. The pro­blem with thin­king dif­fe­rently, is that often you don’t rea­lize it’s what you need. What if there is a new way to think about the pro­blems and goals you have currently?

It doesn’t always have to be a giant para­digm shift either, some­ti­mes just a slight shift in thin­king or pers­pec­tive can open huge insight. What if you star­ted rea­ding a dif­fe­rent blog, atten­ded a dif­fe­rent ses­sion at your next con­fe­rence, or atten­ded a dif­fe­rent con­fe­rence alto­gether? I cha­llenge you to not be hypoc­ri­ti­cal in your proc­la­ma­tion of open mindedness.

Photo Cre­dit: will­posh, LACP, gnu

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