Commoditizing an Art

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Picasso was approached by a woman on the street. She asked him to create a sketch of her likeness. He agreed. Within minutes Picasso proudly handed the woman a unique but perfect likeness of herself. He then spoke, “That will be five thousand dollars please.”

“Five thousand dollars?” the woman asked. “But it only took you five minutes,” she added.

“No, it took me a lifetime.” Picasso replied.

What Picasso was driving at was that he spent his entire life perfecting his craft. Maybe search engine optimization isn’t fine art that can be hung on the wall, but Picasso’s point is relevant. Search engine optimization, done thoroughly and properly, is not a commodity and never will be. Marketers and business owners should beware. They are being overwhelmed with quick fix offers that promise top natural search engine placement at a bargain price.

The companies offering these magical solutions on the cheap are preying on the uninformed. Search marketing is hot right now. It has been a hot topic for the last three years at least. It is too easy to believe that high rankings can be bought at a discount price. The uninformed are easy prey because they just don’t understand all the jargon. Often they can be convinced by a persuasive sales person or a well done micro site offering quick fix software. They want to believe that this SEO thing doesn’t cost too much.

The key is to get informed and talk to SEO vendors at many levels before you make a decision. Get past the myths of SEO. Meta tags do not get you to the top of the search results. Software can’t optimize your site using best practices. Links from junk sites are more likely to hurt you than help.

Remember that Google, Yahoo, and MSN each only have ten natural/ organic listings on page one of their results. In most cases these days, those ten listings sit on top of another 50,000,000 pages that didn’t make the first page. This is a tough game and it takes the resources, technology, and years of knowledge from top search marketing firms to get to the top of the engines without violating best practices.

The woman would be smart to purchase the sketch from Picasso. She should consider it an investment that will grow in value over the years. SEO done right by knowledgeable professionals is the same; it is an investment that will grow over the years.

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