The Wild West of SEO at An End?

ML Jul 27, 2006

Today, a blogger commented that perhaps we (a PR firm) were in over our heads getting into the wild, wacky world of SEO. He even implied that perhaps we were a little intimidated, grasping at our repositioning of the service based on our discoveries from the beta testers as evidence. I’ve got to smile. The truth is quite the opposite. It’s now time for the natural search side of marketing to get ready for a major maturation of the industry now that Connors is preparing to take it on as its own internal client.

Sound big?

Recently, my boss pointed out that we’ve (Connors Communications) has done it for other clients. So, we should be able to do it here. What precisely has Connors done? Well, being the PR firm, our accomplishments are often gleaned by looking at our client’s accomplishments over the years.

1. Create the world’s largest bookseller, and laying the foundation for global outsourced eTailing infrastructure able to change the very shape of business.

2. Invent the very paid search industry and turn the whole field of marketing upside down, and TEACH Google what their own business model should be, thereby creating the 7-billion dollar paid search industry.

3. Turn the fixed price model on its heels by letting buyers name their price for airline tickets and other purchases.

4. Establish the new low-price of long-distance calling services, thereby forever changing the Telecommunications industry, and helping to give rise to the Net Neutrality movement.

There’s more, but you’ll just have to wait and see how Connors clients are fixing the world’s email spam problem, and doing for shipping what Expedia and Orbitz did for travel. Oh, the list goes on, and we’re always looking for emerging technology category killers positioned to take the world by storm.

Natural search is one such emerging technology. It’s the elephant in the corner of the room in every online marketing discussion. It’s the piece that marketers know they desperately need in order to stay competitive, but have the most difficulty in mastering. There are many reasons for this, spanning from the technical to the political. Natural search is just not as clear a deal as paid search. Paid search is modeled after the familiar classified ad business; essentially a media-buy of column inches, but with a bidding twist.

Natural search in comparison may take a complete reworking of the website publishing technology infrastructure. It may be doable with light touches, or it may require a gutting. You may be able to keep the old website in place exactly as-is, and spin out a new search-friendly version that serves only to drop you into the old site. Even many SEO firms are not familiar with the options of inserting a new website presentation layer based on XSL transformations.

In a full-fledged SEO engagement, Connors brings some very unique tools to the table. We are a PR agency with the technical capabilities of tying into your business systems and content management systems, exporting the same data that’s currently not working to drive traffic, and to slice & dice it into the most optimized format possible according to the search engine formulas du jour. This is advanced stuff, akin to the way Quigo FeedPoint will reconstruct an existing website into XML feeds, and send it to Yahoo Paid Inclusion as a shortcut to getting sites that only exist on the “Invisible Web” included. Only instead of sending it to paid inclusion, we transform the XML feeds into fully naturally optimized websites that sometimes end up supplanting the original version because they are so good.

Many companies have huge storehouses of Web content assets that are going un-leveraged or underutilized. These are often our favorite sort of clients, because with only a light touch, we can activate and maximize these assets. It’s often like opening the floodgate on a damn.

The XML transformations are when we take out the big guns. It’s not a traditional approach to SEO, and not for everyone.

But we do “traditional” SEO audits and recommendation documents. But wait, we don’t stop at the documents. If the client’s organization really needs the help, we send in the programmers. That’s right. On some deployments, Connors employees work side-by-side with the client’s programmers, educating them on modern and flexible methodologies for keeping pace with the change in the search engine landscape. We discuss issues such as retargeting and remixing content for optimal device display capabilities and keyword intersection matrix diversity. We’ll work through the impact of Java, .NET or Ajax frameworks on search presence. We’ll even modify content management systems, or write them from scratch.

Sound like a PR firm?

Our accomplishments in the realm of pure public relations are rivaled only by the unique technical capabilities of the team we put together to revolutionize the natural search industry. When we look out at the Wild West of SEO, we see not a formidable and challenging landscape to horse-drawn covered wagons. Instead, we envision our transcontinental railway system (HitTail), knowing there’s a continental divide out there that that needs some blasting–the mental block preventing every marketer on the planet from realizing the importance of natural search, and how achievable it actually is.

And who better than a New York PR company with Silicon Valley-caliber tech savvy?

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