What kind of recording artist says stuff like “my goal is to make the Billboard Top 10″? Sure, recording labels may set goals like that, but did Lou Reed ever sit down and write songs just to win a Grammy? If making money is your only goal on the web, I don’t want you as a client.
I get no kick out of promoting a piece-of-crap-boring-as-hell-cookie-cutter-turnkey-site. I got to be infatuated with a site I’m promoting. It’s got to blow me away. Simon Cowell may call you “karaoke”, “cabaret”, “cruise ship”, whatever - I only live once. I don’t have time to waste promoting mediocrity.
Udi Manber recently wrote:
[Google’s] goal is always the same: improve the user experience. This is not the main goal, it is the only goal.
Don’t even think “if you build it they won’t just come” which is just a poor excuse marketers use to swipe more of your dough. If those words don’t strike a chord in your brain somewhere, nothing I do or say will help you.
Recently, several real estate agents were up in arms about Trulia using widgets and nofollows, accusing Trulia of employing “aggressive” SEO (as if that’s somehow a bad thing). The truth is Trulia is just following the SEO rule book. The real threat is the amount of money and human resources Trulia has at its finger tips. Trulia’s technology will rapidly evolve. Meanwhile an agent is boxed in by an uninspiring “SEO-friendly” template thousands of other people are using and a limited marketing budget. There’s no competition. Taking collective action against widgets is just delaying the inevitable. Even if realtors stopped linking to Trulia, sites like businessweek.com will continue to link in. If you want to talk massive inlinks, how about nearly 4,000 dofollow links to trulia from CNN.com?
So far, one and perhaps the only edge agents have over Trulia are comprehensive, up-to-date property listings. If Trulia somehow gains access to that, what then? When will people wake up and realize SEO isn’t about worrying about SPAM (site positioned above mine) its about pushing their sites to the next level? If Microsoft didn’t bother creating the XBOX360 what would their market share look like now? If you refuse to evolve, your days are numbered on the web.
Your move. The clock is ticking.