|SEO is more than just optimising web, it's feeding your brain|
SEO is an absolute nightmare. No just joking. However, to be into SEO, you need to be full of compulsion for compulsive things.
Compulsive things: chocolate, books, reading (naturally), spirits (rum and pimms is nice). Compulsive things=SEO (Writing x obsessive= More SEO) .What more do you need? Lots of it. SEO is unpredictable. Would you have predicted Wacko Jacko going out the way he did? Or the nonsensical conspiracy rumours surrounding Diana Spencer's death? Not really. You can't really predict what Google is going to do with its algorithm either. What you can do is have a bloody good time doing it.
SEO is like being stuck in a desert with a bottle of water - the more you drink the least you'll survive the longer you stumble through the dunes attempting to find a way out. The desert is the search engine; the way out is your link juice; the water is your customer. Find the way out, and you survive. Keep drinking the water and you'll die. Make sense? Probably not.
The point is, how well your website depends not only on what you do but HOW you do it.
I've been in this game since 2007 - working on content and e-commerce, lead-gen sites. The focus has shifted many times. Back in 2008, we used to be big on content (don't bore me with that content is king phrase, it's been about for years), then it was SEM and PPC, then it was display ads. Then Google Panda came along. Bang. Websites went down - people got made redundant.
I got into SEO big in 2010. It took me a whole year to work things out properly until the penny dropped. The principals of information retrieval (ever see Brazil?) and management I learned working in a library for 4 years, helped me understand some fundamentals about search engines, websites and SEO. That you need these characteristics in abundance:
5. Attention to detail
6. Grammatical pedantry
|What's going on here? SEO Madness|
You also need to be able to look at data and spot trends or causes (be careful, correlation doesn't always imply causation). Being an absolute dick when it comes to grammatical pedantry will actually make your boss or CEO very happy long-term but your colleagues perplexed short-term.
|Mozart | Obsessive bastard?|
Leads, e-commerce, ROI; it's the name of the game. You don't need to have a PhD in computer science nor mathematics, to be good at SEO; you learn much along the way (but you DO need patience with idiotic developers who claim to know about SEO and actually know nothing). Was Mozart born playing the piano? No, he was forced to practice 15 hours per day by his tyrannical father. But you do need something that Mozart did possess: compulsion, and obsession.
What has all this got to do with semiotics? Everything.
Semiotics leads to paranoia, paranoia leads to obsession, obsession leads to SEO.
Working out what search engines are all about is an exercise in semiotics. It means searching for something 'hidden' beneath the 'obvious' leading to insight and epiphany. Do you see now why you need to be paranoid about everything? I'm paranoid Matt Cutts never tells me the truth, better to err on the side of caution than believe everything he says on behalf of his paymasters.