I often feel like a social misfit in the SEO community. Strange, especially for an industry that relies so heavily on being social (both in marketing our clients and achieving credibility). I would not say I’m normally a social misfit, but I don’t socialize easily. This makes my job gaining friends in the SEO community that much more difficult.

Aaron Pratt has noticed the same thing. He complains about the circular linking patterns of the SEO elites. To some the post will come off as someone whining about not getting “their due credit” in the community. But I don’t think Aaron’s whining. I think he’s just simply pointing out something that appears to be true.

But are links all that important? Aaron associates being welcomed in the community with the number of links from other blogs. Is that a fair assessment? Should links be the defining factor in one’s insider or outsider status? In a world where links equal citations of value, it certainly means a lot.

But Aaron does have a point. When a community becomes so tight that they rarely ever link outside of their own circle, they simply become redundant echoes of each other. Honestly, if I link to another SEOs blog more than ten times, there is a good chance that my readers are already reading that blog as well? And if not, there are probably a handful of other SEOs linking to them.

We all like to add our own $0.02 cents worth when we link to another blog, but that two cents become devalued when everybody else offers their own two cents. I've seen it already, show me something new! And I think that was Aaron's point... go find something that your readers don't know about and link to that. Find something new that nobody else is covering and point your readers to something different altogether. That's what I'm doing now!

But there are many things more important than insider (or outsider) status: success and happiness. If you’re happy with who you are and successful at what you do, then who cares what the mob masses of elites think? We're not all that important anyway!

February 13, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Achieving “Outsider” Status