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After the recent Summer Olympics, I started drawing parallels between the miracles I had witnessed on the Internet versus the industry I am so deeply immersed in….. SEO.

Let me elaborate. During the Olympics we saw the likes of Usain Bolt win the Gold Medal in the Men’s 100 Meter race in just 9.63 seconds – a fraction of a second ahead of the Silver Medal winner. Pop! In Under 10 seconds it was done. “I came. I saw. I conquered!”.

Usain Bolt

Contrarily, the longest distance run in the Olympics is the fabled Marathon, which covers a distance of 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards). Wow! Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda won this race (Uganda’s only Olympic medal at the 2012 Summer Games).

Stephen Kiprotich

Whose name is on the tips of everyone’s tongue? On the most part it’s Usain Bolt’s. It is a fact of life; speed wins over endurance. People gravitate to “quick”. I am almost to my point…

In the online world, web property owners expect uber fast SEO results and will (subconsciously?) gravitate to someone who promises what he or she wants – especially if they promise fast results. They want a “Sprinter”. As a SEO Agency we see this phenomena day in and day out. Undoubtedly quick results being produced in any kind of strategic far-reaching manner is next to impossible. And we tell all of our current & potential clients that (full transparency).

Now the parallels between the Olympics & SEO:

The preparation involved to become a Marathon runner and that of a Sprinter is probably equally as difficult. However, one would never expect the likes of Usain Bolt to be able to compete in a Marathon. He has trained and is programmed to produce quick results. The same can be said for Stephen Kiprotich who would surely place last in a 100 Meter sprint!

SEO produces a similar scenario. There are those (We call them “SEO Sprinters”) who promise quick results. And they may very well produce them. But, unfortunately those results will probably be for a short duration (unless their KPIs were set against non-competitive targets). Long live the SEO Sprinters! Not.

Long term (positive) SEO results require incredible planning & focus. Why? SEO is complex inasmuch as the website owner is competing against the (usually unknown) tactics of an ever-changing landscape of competitors in their particular vertical. And to complicate things further, they are also attempting to appease the Search Engines (Google is dominant) in their quest to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This is achieved with a constantly changing plethora of algorithms that are designed to (again) “give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible”. Since the beginning of  2012, Google has introduce such inane algorithm updates that target sites using keyword stuffing, link schemes, poor page layouts, copied content. Just some examples… These improvements will only become more granular & stringent.

This all makes sense as Google (and others) have a business model that is driven by Ad revenue derived from ….wait … “giving people the most relevant answers to their queries…. as quickly as possible”.

On a closing note, the 2012 Summer Olympics (again) witnessed serious situations with respect to doping by athletes from various countries. The parallel? Black Hat SEO techniques. In short, implementing techniques that attempt to usurp the likes of Google by utilizing below board techniques. Ask anyone who has gotten caught in Google’s Panda or Penguin updates.

In SEO, everyone wants to finish first. Even second place doesn’t seem to cut it. And sometimes we witness cases where “athletes” are caught “doping”. i.e. website owners get busted for not adhering to the Search Engines’ ever-changing guidelines. The cost? Disqualification! …from the SERPs… Or at minimum, a demotion in SETP positioning.

As a SEO agency, WebFuel strives to keep up to date with the constantly changing landscape (of a very exciting if not mind numbing) industry. We study and understand what the Search engines are looking for (They actually tell you.). We are “SEO Marathoners” – in it for the long haul.

Please feel free to contact us  if you feel we can be of assistance.