One of the things that turns people off most from motorsport as fans and followers is that the performance and sporting prowess of their heroes or the protagonists, is that their achievements are largely dependent on the car. Sure, a vastly developed and highly talented driver like Fernando Alonso or a rider like Valentino Rossi might find the extra tenths per lap in a qualifying session or an entire race. But let’s face it, give them dud equipment like the Renault R28 or the Ducati Desmosedici, and the motorsport athletes are nowhere.
I contend the same with organic search specialists no matter how good they think they are. The consultant is only as good as the people they work with, the sites they work with, the power of the brand and the amount of public relations coverage they have to work with also. No specialist can work miracles despite their or others’ claims to the contrary.
There is no way the organic search specialist can advise on what content works or knows better than the marketing specialist that has done the research identifying what demographic and pyschographic groups are engaging and buying the products and services a company offers.
There is no way the specialist know what content is likely to work better than a journalist let alone a senior editorial journalist with specific meaningful experience for the cliient’s sector in question. Keyword discovery tools spew out meaningless numbers for keywords but these have no classification of brand awareness, conversion, engagement or more importantly topics.
There is also no way the SEO can quantify how much links pass value when looking at a data set of competitor or client links. The link research data and the tools that provide them say nothing about audiences and all attempt to emulate PageRank in a very poor manner.
Much like an F1 car (suspension geometries, chassis aerodynamics, tyre gases, exhaust configurations, air tunnel switches, engine mappings etc), there is much more that goes into a website’s performance that is beyond the SEO’s control and contribution to the site’s search performance. Businesses and more importantly Brands do stuff that makes SEO’s performance look better and far greater than the SEO’s individual contribution.
The consultant or in house SEO is the final link in the chain (no pun intended), their job is merely to link up all the resources be it coverage earned by brands through PR campaigns, competitions they run, whitepapers written, advertising videos, press releases, TV and Radio interviews, events hosted and attended, all of which probably generate links naturally.
SEO just isn’t what is used to be as the main driver of performance, where you could buy a few links and hey presto it was all down to the Rockstar SEO who happened to be there at the right place at the right time, following a few of the best practices with some accidental happy result. There is joke where of the performance is good, the SEO claims the credit. If the results are bad, then the market is seasonal. If they blame site changes recommendations haven’t been made, then that is one plausible defence but it’s shaky at best unless unless the site actually has been “optimised”!
So my invitation to SEOs that think they can use their promiscuous link building network, their social media network to fake likes and shares give their agency customers, their marketing bosses and direct clients a break. You’re not as important as you may think you are, and there is lot more going on that contributes to your performance and the SEO exercise as whole than you may think. You may be in the driving seat and you may be better than you contemporaries in terms of relative performance – but let us not forget the brand is what makes you go fast.