Archive for May 2nd, 2011


The SEO Game

I like to think of SEO as one of those exhibition chess games where one Grand Master simultaneously competes against a multitude of contestants.  Anybody who wants to play puts some money in a pot. All the competitors talk amongst themselves and sometimes share insights into the Master’s strategies—but no one never gives away too much, because the pot will be shared. At regular intervals, shares are paid out to every player who is ahead in their game.

The Grand Master plays white.  You might think that having to play against so many would but the Grand Master at a disadvantage. And it does, to a degree. Some players figure out effective strategies and manage to get ahead for a while. Some of them make more money than they put in. In some cases, maybe a lot.

Still, the biggest stack of money will always be sitting in front of the Grand Master. The Grand Master is continuously working to counter every player’s every move. The Grand Master is the smartest player in the room.

Some players lose and leave. Others quit and leave. Still others may concede or lose one game and begin another. New players arrive all the time to take the places of those who have departed. The Grand Master doesn’t really care. The Grand Master will always win.

Because the Grand Master makes and enforces the rules. And if the Grand Master doesn’t like the strategy a player has employed, the Grand Master will push that player’s pieces back—maybe one or two squares, maybe all the way back to the wall. But the Grand Master is usually fair and there are always lots of players who make enough money to keep them going.

And the ones who lose will always complain. And the ones who get penalized will always cry “unfair!”

And almost everybody will so much want to win that they will pay chess experts, former players, and anyone with a clever pitch to help them perfect their game.

How’s your game?