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This week, I wanted to introduce you to a new Internet Marketing article which was written by Mr. Bob Walton who has generously shared a few thoughts from down North Carolina way.

Best wishes,
John Alexander
PS: I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did.

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Is SEO Dead? Why Don’t We Just Test.
by Bob Walton

Yep, every time a new search algorithm update is introduced, heated debates between the doomsayers and the SEO evangelists follow.

Controversy draws attention, contention creates buzz, and impassioned arguments fuel engagement. Which, by the way, are all compelling key metrics, that gasp…, improve the SERP results of well constructed relevant articles and posts.

Call me old fashioned, but my early training in engineering was rooted in the study of math, physics, and the scientific method.

Here’s a quick summary for those of us who may have forgotten:

-Ask Your Question
-Do Background Research
-Construct a Hypothesis
-Test Your Hypothesis thru Experimentation
-Analyze Your Data & Draw a Conclusion
-Communicate Your Results

No, it’s not rocket science, but since SEO can be so difficult to assess, as Rand Fishkin of SEO Moz astutely addresses in, “How Do I Successfully Run SEO Tests On My Website – Whiteboard Friday”.

He recommends patient, measured and methodical approaches that are well thought through to achieve desired results.

I know we all love quick fixes, and it’s much easier just to turn a favorite SEO Guru for guidance and direction. Nevertheless, space abhors a vacuum; well-meaning, and often well reasoned, hypotheses are rushed out, with band-aid countermeasures proposed. However, without the test of time, snap suppositions, with trendy knee-jerk remedies, often prove themselves wrong.

What’s the correct reaction?

Previous work in safety matters drilled into me, when encountering an emergency, the first and best response is, “Don’t panic!”

Assess the situation (was your site immediately impacted) Ensure your own safety, aka, sheltering (wait several weeks to assess the actual damage) Lockdown (hide and remain silent; that is, don’t enact reactive site/policy changes)

Response/recovery (after the dust settles, assess what are the ‘real authorities’ recommending?)

You may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but who are the “real authorities” in search related matters? I’m happy to name a few of my personal favorites, but it’s a far cry from being complete, or comprehensive. I can suggest several, Rand Fishkin, previously mentioned,  Michael Marshall (Search Engine Academy North Carolina) Mark Traphagan (Google+), Matt Cutts (Google spam), Michael Gray (SEO envelope pusher), and Bill Slawski (SEO patent researcher).

Lastly, pulling from productions’, good manufacturing practices (GMP), quality assessment, and specifically, statistical process control (SPC), we can derive other helpful guidance.

Objective analysis of variation (limit the boundaries of your tests over an appropriate timeframe)

Emphasis on early detection (assess your competitive environment, monitor your site metrics/user flow, and respond accordingly)

Increasing rate of production (add, build and grow your content, user engagement, and value to you customers)

Is SEO dead? We’ve endured the animal kingdom of search algorithm updates thus far. So, why not adopt the mindset of Aristotle, who’s credited as being a foundational contributor to the history of biology; see, Aristotle’s Biology. Observe, reflect and hypothesize before experimentation is a trustworthy method for unearthing the truth; let’s test first before drawing conclusions.

Bob Walton is an Internet Marketer & Owner / Consultant at
Net Marketer Secrets and SEO for High Ranking