SEO & the Art of War

“If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”  Sun Tsu, The Art of War

SEO has become a series of battles to be won.  Years ago, it was easy to be a one trick SEO pony and be successful.  Using link farms, bots, cheap overseas labor and other automation tools made SEO a robotic process.  Fast forward today and you’ll see an entirely different battlefield.  It’s not enough to run what we call “Ronco” campaigns (Set it and forget it).  Every month there seems to be a new Panda or Penguin update altering the landscape of the SERPs.  You need to know your “opposition” as well as you know your own business.  (Of course, I’m not saying Google is an enemy.  My point is that their decisions sculpt the challenges that we must overcome in our landscape.)

SEO isn’t easy.  You must optimize but not over-optimize.  You need good, healthy, fresh content, but not too thin and not too thick.  You need links, but they need to be quality and “natural”.  Use keywords but don’t overstuff them.  Try hard without appearing to try too hard.  Make people like you.  Now do all this without knowing the exact recipe or strict outline of the “perfect” result.

As a Certified Google SEM agency, we decided to jump into the Organic game just as Google began its game-changing updates.  How is it that our clients continue to “not be imperiled in a hundred battles” during the most volatile time in our industry’s history?

  1. As Sun Tsu states, “know yourself.”  We’ve done paid placement for years.  We know ourselves, and that has been our forte.  We’re damn good at it. As a proverbial tiger, I didn’t want to change our stripes or water down our talent pool.  I knew our paid search team were not organic SEO guys.  I set off to find an equally damn good SEO to either acquire or create a strategic partnership with.  I literally spent years meeting with SEO agencies, trying to find someone who wants to do it right, and who blends seamlessly with our culture.  I finally found one through my alumni network.  I don’t mix the two departments.  Our team members are all local, U.S.  based SEOs who only focus on being the best at what they do.  They’re passionate about SEO & Content Marketing.  This way our paid search team can continue to be the best at what they do.
  2. As the Art of War states, “know your enemy.”   We study google and learn everything we can about them.  In other words, we dedicate a lot of time and resources learning about Google’s goals, strategy, and mindset.  We don’t have one particular software or rigid gameplan for SEO.  We’re constantly changing and improving based on what Google wants.  It’s not the easy route but it is the best route.

Our clients have seen the benefits of this strategy.  We would love to help you navigate through the confusing and evolving organic search environment.  We aren’t the cheapest  SEO.  We don’t want to be.  We don’t use low cost, overseas labor.  We don’t care for it.  More importantly, we’ve learned that our clients don’t want “cheap” either.  As written in a great Harvard Business Review article:

Orange County SEO Company

– Michael Won
“Formerly Ungoogleable”

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