What Search Marketing Means to Me

  |  January 12, 2010   |  Comments

When search marketing is an obsession, religion, and dedication.

I feel a little bit like Caine in that old TV show, "Kung Fu."

For the last couple years, I have been an expert writing the "Link Building and Promotion" column at SearchEngineWatch.com.

That means, like a Shaolin priest, I have religiously dedicated my expertise to the in-depth study and communication of link building.

Now, just as David Carradine emerged from his temple into the big world, I have been given the large responsibility of covering the wide topic of search engine marketing here at ClickZ.

The expansiveness of this potential topic strikes me as disorienting and voluminous. That said, I will do my best to use my rigorous and disciplined link building dedication to give proper attention to the entire world of search engine marketing.

I suspect if I could write nearly 100 articles on link building alone, the amount of content I could provide here is beyond estimation.

To set the groundwork for what I hope will be years of writing for you, I thought it would be interesting to briefly discuss what search marketing means to me.

Time magazine picked Johannes Gutenberg and his movable type printing press as the most important invention of the second millennium.

Simply put, I believe that title should now go to Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web.

We are all witness to the greatest media revolution in the history of humanity.

While mass dissemination of printed material was incredibly powerful, the power given to every person who can access the Internet, of which the World Wide Web and ultimately search engines ride on, is epic.

You only need to do a search for the word "united" in Google to see the significant power of search. The video "United Breaks Guitars" that currently appears number three for that search, with over 7 million views, reminds us that today anyone can have their say for dissemination into the mass public discussion.

Search marketing is my religion. It is my dedication. It is my obsession.

The work I do in search marketing will define a significant portion of my life. I do not take that fact lightly. I feel blessed that my dedication can be toward a pursuit as important and significant to society as search.

Within that belief, I hold certain absolutes within how I act.

Most of the work that I do in search marketing is for clients. I work directly on their main corporate sites. Because of that I follow very closely the guidelines set out by the search engines.

It is an act of Kamikaze suicide to do any illicit and undesirable acts, according to the search engines, on a company's primary Web site.

Jeopardizing a client's primary Web site with borderline search tactics is irresponsible.

That said, I'm not beholden to the wishes of search engines.

In fact, I believe that search marketers who push the boundaries of what search engines deem acceptable actually make the search engines better.

Every search engines engineer knows that the game is about relevancy. The day another search engine provides more relevant results than Google is the day Google's market share begins to decline.

Because of this there is an endless pursuit by all of the search engines to continually produce better results.

Financial greed will push optimizers to continually test the algorithmic system. This is inevitable. It is one of the immutable laws of the Web.

Therefore, engineers continually must advance their algorithm to determine legitimacy and value to the search visitor.

Point blank, I would likely test more "spam" techniques if I had the time. I truly believe it makes results better in the end.

So, as we move forward, you can expect an open mind and sincere curiosity as we explore the full scope of search marketing.

I have often been told by readers that case studies are extremely interesting and useful for them. I will interject those into this column whenever I am able.

I look forward to developing a long and useful relationship with you as we explore this huge topic of search marketing.

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Sage Lewis

Sage Lewis is the president of SageRock Digital Marketing. SageRock has been a leader in Web marketing since 1999, offering search engine optimization, paid search marketing, social media marketing, and analytics.

Sage speaks nationally with SES and other prominent Web marketing organizations. He is one of the most sought after speakers and coaches in the field of Web marketing. From coast to coast, Sage has trained, coached, and consulted with some of the largest brands and conferences in the country.

Sage is also "The Web Marketing Video Guy" with nearly 500 Web marketing videos published. Sage writes as an expert for ClickZ in the "Search Engine Marketing" section. He lives in Akron, Ohio with his wife, Rocky, and son, Indiana.

His columns can be found in the Search Engine Watch archive.

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