The Power of The People

From what I understand, optimizing a website for search engines can be broken into two main categories:

1) Onsite Optimization
2) Offsite Optimization

Now onsite optimization is the part that you control. The primary goal of onsite optimization is to create web pages/sites/tools that inspire, entertain, service, and/or educate your readers. If you create a website that is appreciated by other people, than it is highly likely that over time you will be loved by the search engines. Of course there are also a number of technical best practices that you can do to make your website “search engine friendly”, however, the power of all of these tricks are dwarfed by the power of the people.

The power of the people is based on the reality that offsite optimization is more influential in search engine rankings than onsite optimization. Better yet, offsite optimization is only very loosely within your control, and is largely in the hands of other people, which makes it challenging to influence at best. A simplification of offsite optimization, is that your goal is to get the most links, particularly from other websites that have content that is related to your websites content. Each link that is made to a website, is like a vote, and so the more people (ie other websites) that vote for your website, the more you will be loved by the search engines.

Sounds great in theory, but what everyone wants to know, is what can I do about this?

Well, you can start by creating the most brilliantly creative website that you can. Next, you can go out asking your friends with websites to vote for you, and you can certainly try to go out on the Internet and ask strangers to vote for you. However, since onsite optimization is the only thing you really control, than I believe the old adage that if you build it (and it’s interesting) they will come, and where the people go, the search engines will follow.

What does this have to do with the “greatest real estate agent in the world”? Nothing, except that the folks over at REW decided to create an seo contest for this keyphrase, and I have decided to use the contest as an opportunity to learn about SEO, and I’ve found that one of the most effective ways to learn about something is try to share what I’ve learned with the rest of the world.


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