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Old 11-16-2004   #1
NFFC
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David Beckham and SEO

"He knew that the injury meant he would not be able to play in the next, relatively easy, England game. That is when he had an inspiration. He had a yellow card against him for a foul in a previous match. If he committed another foul he would get another yellow card and be banned from the next game. But after that one-match ban his slate would be wiped clean. That is the Beckham Rule: rules affect behaviour."

A sit up and take notice piece from James Bartholomew of http://www.timesonline.co.uk . It is really aimed at making a political point and as such has no place here but the general principal is worthy of deeper thought.

Rules Affect Behaviour

Its one of the great things about being an SEO, you can just throw your hands in the air, roll your eyes and say "I don't make the rules". I think that is a false assumption and runs contrary to the great "game" that is SEO.

I believe that SEO's are almost unique in their ability to shape, even control, the web, with that power must also come responsibility. It is in our own self interest to try and ensure that the www is a good place for people to visit, that they find what they are looking for and that what they find is "satisfying " to their needs. It really doesn't matter what we are promoting the principal must remain the same, deliver relevent content to users who are looking for it.

Now lets be honest, sometimes the search engines just get in the way of that process. Its not really all their fault, after all they are pitting what is in essence dumb software against a human [in some cases only part human ] brain. No contest.

SEO and the Beckham Rule

Its all about thinking ahead, looking beyond the various SE's guidelines [that may change tomorrow] and trying to see what they are trying to achieve with the latest algo twist. The Beckham Rule advantadge comes into play when we take this information and try and anticipate how this will change the behaviour of other SEO's/Webmasters and to go a move further, how the SE's will react to this.

Let me give you a real life example, I've been saying for some time [amongst others] that recip linking is DEADER THAN DISCO. It follows the classic line of smart idea [links are good!] to webmaster reaction [get links, get more links] to SE reaction [hey these guys are getting links].

The point

The point is this..if you want to be a good SEO, a good net citizen then look further forward that the SE's want you too, don't accept that resticted view. Decide what YOU think is right and execute.

"Don't stand by the water and long for fish; go home and weave a net"
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Old 11-17-2004   #2
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This is quite wonderful, NFFC.
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Old 11-17-2004   #3
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On the subject of thinking beyond the SE, there are a couple of fantasitc articles out there that have caught my eye over the last 24hrs:I think search marketers need to start thinking not only beyond the SE, but beyond the constraints of the WWW as we've become used to viewing it. Thinking beyond the SE, and anticipating where your traffic will be coming from in the future, whether or not SE's have a major part to play in it has to be a sound move.

There are still people out there in seo forum land talking about meta tags and worrying themselves to death about such nonsensical concerns as:
  • PageRank
  • Triangular linking / Recip Linking
  • Sitewide footer links
While these folks are all busy messing around with the past i'd like to think i'll be messing around with what will be happening as well as what is happening in the areas of content delivery, user aquisition and multi-platform standards compliance.
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Old 11-17-2004   #4
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Old 11-17-2004   #5
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I think we have a future columnist here, you may want to take up writing in your next occupation NFFC.
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Old 11-17-2004   #6
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Too true NFFC, assume they will be looking for ways to freak you over, assume it all. I am surprised more people dont think that way. Take Hilltop for example and the cries of "they dont use that I have proved it with tests". Yes they dont use it, but that does not mean that they will not use it in the future. Safeguard yourself for the future.

Assume the worse case scenario.
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Old 11-17-2004   #7
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Good posts, NFFC and Nick W - I read the articles, then spent a while thinking about the future of the internet, while reading some CNet news articles.

Frankly, the whole future scares me - at the moment general search creates low hanging fruit, but I just don't see them lasting through the way that I envisage the net diversifying and specialising over the next 5-10 years.
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Old 11-17-2004   #8
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>> Frankly, the whole future scares me

Im quite the opposite Brian, i dont think there has been a more exciting time in Search since i've been interested in it (which is admittedly not that long compared to some..).

For those that can adapt and move with speed it will be a time of opportunity as Search and Internet enter the next phase of growth.

wow, that sounded really grown up huh? - It's gonna be cool, trust me
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Old 11-18-2004   #9
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Indeed, it's more the scale and diversity that seems a little overwhelming. Plugging my head into the many possibilities.

How the markets will inevitably shift and change and specialise is something that never impacted so much before - but I think this is something that NFFC was really trying to point out.

I definitely don't have time to be complacent with anything I achieve today.
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Old 11-19-2004   #10
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long time no discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by NFFC
Let me give you a real life example, I've been saying for some time [amongst others] that recip linking is DEADER THAN DISCO. It follows the classic line of smart idea [links are good!] to webmaster reaction [get links, get more links] to SE reaction [hey these guys are getting links].

The point

The point is this..if you want to be a good SEO, a good net citizen then look further forward that the SE's want you too, don't accept that resticted view. Decide what YOU think is right and execute.

"Don't stand by the water and long for fish; go home and weave a net"
Excellent points NFFC. I am of the camp that thinks that Recip linking is not dead like disco, but may need some rebranding. Links will continue to be important, IMO.

What is your idea for the fishing net, I wonder?

From the article by Bartholomew (very insightful): "Ten thousand people a year have been dying prematurely of cancer because British healthcare is so far below the European average. Is it really because it is “starved of resources”? One in five adults in Britain is “functionally illiterate”, unable even to read a poster advertising a pop concert..."

I believe more than one in five SEO prospects is potentially "dying" from not being ranked. However, there is no "body" of SEO companies than can be considered far below average. How can we make prospects more literate when we cannot even agree on the value of reciprocal linking?
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Old 11-19-2004   #11
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>Links will continue to be important, IMO.

I agree 169%, the "current" recip link thing has had its day though, imho of course. Let me ask you this, when was the last time you got one of those recip link emails and went "wow, what a great site, I would love to link to that"?

"If you can see a bandwagon, it's too late."

I think there are much more productive and rewarding things that can be done than another lame recip link campaign.

>How can we make prospects more literate

You are assuming we all want to, thats not the case.

>One in five adults in Britain is “functionally illiterate”

Maybe why we rule the mispeeling SERP's
[US has a greater level of “functionally illiterate” people though so maybe we just overachieve]
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Old 11-21-2004   #12
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What really blows my head off is imagining how internet TV will affect search, engines, and the internet in general. I originally posted after just reading about the Microsoft + SBC software deal for internet TV, which was later superceded by the reports on Yahoo! also getting in on the company.

Internet TV seems to have a massive potential future, so seeing how both that and the internet develop together is going to be an interesting experience to say the least.

At first the big corps will be running the internet TV channels. However, no doubt over time pretty much anyone could create their own internet TV station. Can you imagine that? And how will that affect the processing of information on the net?

How would search deal with broadcast content? Would it be able to? How is the use of internet TV going to affect the nodes on the internet right now?

Forget blogs - Danny's SEW News update every morning at 10...
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Old 11-22-2004   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFFC
"If you can see a bandwagon, it's too late."
Once again NFFC I can be sure of you speaking what you honestly believe. That is great! Anyway, the bandwagon in this case is still in very early stages of development. There are some still very valuable wagons to jump onto, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NFFC
"You are assuming we all want to, that’s not the case.
I think that is where we differ the most. I would love for more people that I meet with to have a fundemental knowledge of SEO/SEM. As IBrian correctly predicts, Internet TV will have a great influence on education of the masses. I kind of like the Danny Sullivan update every morning idea...

Once clients and prospects become smarter, the "collective knowledge" grows. This will help to facilitate the employment of "The Beckham Rule."
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