Philosophical Wisdom for the SEO

(Philosophia Sapiens pro Fautor Quaero)
Author: Jason Green

Of the Art of Search Optimization I - The Divide:
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The practical application of SEO is concerned with the manipulation of search engine results, this is universal. The underlying motivations are not. The Blackhat SEO (Fautor-Quaero Petasus-Pullus) seeks to manipulate search results without regard for the effects on the quality of the World Wide Web. Detrimental effects resulting from such campaigns are the Negative By-Product of that campaign. The Whitehat SEO (Fautor-Quaero Petasus-Albus) seeks to manipulate search results while remaining mindful of the possible negative effects and maintaining respect for the quality of the World Wide Web. Attempting to create a web resource of sufficient relevance and importance to be regarded highly by the search engine. The SEO is qualified to identify his methods as being either white or black if he/she possesses a functional knowledge of core search engine technologies. Many SEO's are like blind men (and women) with guns shooting into a crowded room until they hear someone cry out; they know only the sound of a "hit", remaining unaware of the damage caused by trying to get it. They are unable to see or accept accountability for profound effects they have on a world that is hidden to them. The scope and nature of the SEO's methodologies determine the amount of negative by-product generated by the campaign.

Of the Nature of Search:
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The ultimate goal of the Search Engine is to be the custodians of man's knowledge. Ideally, they strive to become a vast pool of data from which specific, meaningful, relevant information can be easily selected and extracted in a fashion that is devoid of any inherent negative-bias. A search query is a specific action of trying to satisfy an informational need. The probability of returned search results effectively satisfying that need (SERPS Strength) is dependent upon the quality and scope of the search engine as well as the coherency and precision of the query.

Search Engines expend incredible effort and resources attempting to insulate themselves from anything which actively tries to influence the search engine or impair the engine's ability to remain unbiased. The search engine cannot afford to attempt to make a distinction between whitehat and blackhat SEO practitioners and is therefore adversarial (hostilisabunde) to all who practice the art. This adversarial relationship is essential to the continued evolution of both.

Of the Art of Search Optimization II - Task and Character:
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The adept SEO is actively engaged in a constant learning process that protects him/her from skill-stasis (Fautor-Quaero-Sterilis). Effective SEO's generally fit into 1 or more of the following skill types: 1. Intuitive - Where a natural agreement exists between the SEO and the Search Engine in regards to quality and relevance. Intuitive SEO is an effortless product of the practitioner's natural inclinations. 2. Learned - Where optimization is practiced with a deep knowledge of search engine technologies. 3. Adaptive - Where effective optimization strategies are progressively developed from long, ongoing, trial and error observations. The task of the SEO is to obtain targeted visibility for specific audiences (defined by targeted search phrases) for the purpose of motivating that audience towards an action. Here visibility is the result of prominent rankings for targeted search queries. Using a greatly simplified model: prominent rankings are the product of importance and relevance. Importance is a product of both popular opinion ( in the form of citations, a.k.a. non-local importance) and document/domain quality (local importance). Relevance is a product of both external content (such as nearby pages on the local domain or even inbound anchor text from external domains ) and document content. The effective SEO methodology will address all factors involved with improving both importance and relevance, while also taking into account the potential negative by-product of any techniques.

Of the Art of Search Optimization III - Importance:
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In all aspects of the SEO campaign a "path of least resistance" approach is ideal as this will minimize the negative by-product of the campaign. The task of improving importance without disrupting the quality of the Internet Link Graph can be very challenging. However, respect for the quality of the Internet is of greater importance and must be maintained. Link Fulcrums: Link fulcrums are points of access that permit maximum importance to be generated without disturbing the topical integrity of the Internet. For example highly regarded directories and subject-specific content repositories.

VLP: Viral launch points are trusted points of informational distribution with exceptional reach and targeted delivery. For example subject-specific news resources and quality press release services. Link-Baiting is the ideal method of generating importance as it motivates organic citation growth and therefore enhances the Internet link graph.

Of the Art of Search Optimization IV -Relevance:

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Improving document relevance requires a document optimization process which represents a careful synthesis of technical knowledge (of search engine and Internet/WWW technologies as well as information architecture), aesthetic appreciation, high-level authorship and a sound understanding of the subjectmatter. The final product must appeal to the audience while also satisfying search engine relevancy criterion for targeted search phrases (Perscribo-Perfectus). The ongoing campaign must include the consistent improvement of the overall website. For example adding new features, content, etc.

Of the Art of Search Optimization V -Business Approach:

The SEO must hold sacred his reputation and strive to preserve and strengthen it through client success. Every campaign is a unique partnership in which the SEO has a large stake in the client's success. By formulating campaign strategies that are: 1. 1.Client-interactive 2. 2.Exploratory 3. 3.Flexible The SEO invests in the long-term success of his/her business.

Of the Nature of the Digital Universe:
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The World Wide Web is a digital reflection of man's socio-informational existence. The dynamic and volatile landscape of the web is a living model of human communication. It is through the mastery of the binary cipher that man has ensured the immortality of his knowledge. The duality that fuels both life and communication has been represented in many ways throughout history; yin/yang, push/pull, positive/negative, and now in this age as 0 and 1.