ProSEO London: The Untold Session

Posted by gfiorelli1

The ultimate SEO factor: the human factor.

I was lucky to attend the ProSEO Training Days by Distilled/SEOmoz in London on the 25th/26th of October. It was a wonderful occasion to see so many things recapped, that I have read in blogs, forum and chats; to learn some new things about SEO and to finally meet the people I talk with (too much?) online.

When Jen asked in a tweet if anybody was going to write a YOUmoz post about the event, I literally felt her eyes looking at me: being one of the biggest contributors to the long tail of SEOmoz maybe it was my obligation to write something about the London event.

So here I am. BUT I won’t write anything about the sessions themselves (all interesting for one reason or another). Therefore, if you are looking to read something about what Rand said regarding the Overcoming Twitter cannibalization of the Link Graph, or the Will’s tips about Sexing up your reports, better you skip this post and go elsewhere (you have just to Google "ProSEO Distilled").

Nope, I am going to write about what I firmly believe it was the biggest – even not officially affirmed – best rule for us SEOs preached at ProSEO: be human.

The Human Factor – 1: None is an Island

Wiep Knol reminded us how networking is one of three keys for obtaining links. And networking essentially means, “act like a human being”.

John Donne said once that none is an island, therefore none is unreachable and Webmasters and Influencers are human like you, which means that for sure there is something you both like and are enthusiast about.

Human factor – 2: Be enthusiastically genuine

Again, the human factor came out in the session by Caitlin Krumdieck (“Lessons from Sales”). One of her slides was urging us to be genuine, to be good listeners and passionate. Isn’t this again a call to be human? Be yourself with your clients and make them passionate about your ideas, make them believe yours ideas, as they were theirs; pick up the phone and talk to them.

And do the same with all the people who work with you: the web designers, because they can make beautiful art and be SEO respectful at the same, and the devs, because SEO can be the perfect excuse to experiment with the most interesting trends in programming (as said by Leonie Wharton and Andy Davies in “Top 10 tips Design for SEO”).

Human factor – 3: Be Overly Curious

“Humanity” as an essential factor for SEO was then evident in many of the speakers.

Let’s take Ben Hendrickson. What can make someone wanting to understand how the search engines work the way Ben does want? Human curiosity. The same curiosity that makes kids breaking things to see how they are done and – after – try to rebuild them. The same curiosity that made Newton asking why that apple fall on his head and Einstein wondering why a person sitting on a running train is perceiving things differently than another man looking at him from the station.

Curiosity killed the cat, someone between you is maybe thinking, but is curiosity what made us advance in knowledge. I know that I don’t know, Socrates said: this is the reason why we struggle to understand and to experiment, as Richard Baxter with his keyword tool (still in beta) or Martin MacDonald with his experiment about the Mayday Update.

Be human and let your curiosity free, this way you will be better SEOs and offer better solutions to you clients (or to your boss).

Human factor – 4: Creativity

You can Create demand (Rand Fishkin).

This phrase Rand said almost in a rush during his turn in the face-off against Will Chrichlow touched a sensible chord in me, and made me understand that what we were finally talking about for two days was essentially the Human Factor.

The ability to create things is probably what really distinguishes us as Humans, and to stand out in marketing it is what makes a product dominate over all the others .

And to stand out is essentially an art, in the sense of creation of beautiful or significant things. Aren’t beautiful or significant things what we as SEO call content? Content that will be the base of our inbound marketing?

The conclusion: SEO is not about Search Engines, SEO is about human beings.

Yes! It may seem a contraddiction to say that SEO is all about humans; but it is not.

In order to be better SEOs we must be able to copernically revert the way we think. When we do SEO, actually we work on how people search, wander, desire, and learn on the Internet. And that can also explain why the trend is now over the Social Signs.

Only if we SEOs will be able to think out of the box and to be outstanding, then we will be able to be those Linchpins businesses are looking for.

And this is the most important lesson I’ve learnt at ProSEO.

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October 29, 2010  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing

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