I must admit I am a geek, don’t mind coming out of the closet with that. I just love technology, I love the web and what it does to us as humanity connecting all the dots, breaking walls of separation, exposing the truth, giving a chance to anybody to step to the front; exposing the truth wherever it is as there is no place to hide, it is a brave new web and my new Cartesian equation for our era is ‘I am searchable therefore I am.’
You can imagine I was quite disturbed over the last couple of years as I saw my own website losing rank on all relevant key search words and fallingout of the top 3 to the non-existing realms of page 2 and 3. This was my on doing, complacency, negligence, falling asleep on watch duty, being too busy. So now I have called on my old friend a man I call an SEO pirate as he can be anywhere in the world while headlong attacking the Google mother ship ready to give a good fight.
My friend is a visionary. He runs a company that develops cutting edge strategies and technologies specifically for SEO. I have challenged him to bring me back to the top on the relevant keywords and in all relevant territories. The beauty of SEO (search engine optimizing) today is that in order to be at the top of the list you need to truly belong there. While in the past there were tricks and manipulation techniques such as link farms and hidden content libraries there to confuse Google search robots; today the algorithms are smarter and not as easy to manipulate, you can only be at the top of the list if you are at the top of your game. I like that.
I love technology; I love the pace of it; I love the start-up environment that challenges feverish minds to think harder how to make the new thing, pushing the envelope forward and humanity and the planet with it. This age of digital revolution in my opinion is by far more significant than the age of the industrial revolution. The velocity and volatility of the digital evolution is pounding as it is compounding its way forward. The Gordon Moore law predicting in 1965 that the ability to store data will double every 24 months led us from rooms filled with monstrous lame computers to the sexy real smart Smartphones. it will not stop there, if anything the pace will only accelerate . new application and services are papering daily and changing our habits instantaneously nothing can surprise us anymore, anything is possible, we are so adapt to change, it takes minutes to integrate new ground breaking technology in matter of seconds. for example look at an app called ‘waze’ – genius idea marrying gps navigation with social media. one application taking the world by a storm putting many established, players in the field of gps out of business.
Another business I have been looking at is etsy.com. Started less than a decade ago, turnover is now several hundreds of millions per year, and it’s still growing. I am intrigued by this business, by its success. How could it has done so well against entrenched online marketplaces such as eBay? And in a relatively niche area of hand made and vintage items only?
Duplicate content. It’s the bane of every website. If Google determine your content is not sufficiently different, not really worth publishing above other websites as the content is already on the net .your website will do poorly. I feel for people trying to make money selling things like electronic products online, when there are thousands of websites with the same inventory, the same manufacturer descriptions.
But Etsy? As each item is handmade, there ARE not masses of other websites selling it. The craftspeople loading their products are encouraged to write long, useful descriptions telling the story of their products. Often, there are no other websites selling their exact product as craftsperson’s rely totally on Etsy to sell their products, not even bothering with a website of their own. Websites are expensive and time consuming to manage – why bother if Etsy can manage it for you? You can even get a WordPress site, and plug your Etsy shop into it. The fees are so small, a Small time craftsperson would struggle to do it cheaper even if they had their own system.
Antiques are the same. No mass production, no manufacturer descriptions means no duplicate content penalties for Etsy.
Were they lucky picking these niches? No way. This was all very carefully planned.
How is this useful to me?
a. It shows me that running a web business requires careful planning, not luck.
b. Content. It’s not just King, it’s a dictator. Whatever your website business model, you need the best content, the most original, the most of it.
Where is your business today with its web strategy?