SEO is as Easy as Raising Children

I know. Right now, you may be scratching your head and wondering how in the world SEO and raising children can be compared, and furthermore, how can either of them be considered, easy.

You’d be right in questioning the latter and I’ll get into that a little further into this post. As for the former, well, let me explain.

Search engines are nothing more than massive catalogs of information from which you receive useful (hopefully) and relevant (again, hopefully) information based upon simple keyword queries, or commands.

SEO, then, at its most basic level is the art and science of creating and manipulating Web content so that it is more useful and relevant to not only people; but also the search engines. In applying basic SEO principles to Web sites, we hope to make it easier for a search engine spider to find our content and index it accordingly in its index, or, catalog of information. Also, on a basic level, we are telling the search engines precisely how we want our pages of content to be found; for which keywords or concepts; and then indexed indexed in such a way as to make it found by people in search of what we have to offer.

So, then, how is this related to children? Well, if you have raised any children; or, if you have had any interaction with children, then you may begin to see what I mean. It can be very difficult if not frustrating to have a conversation with a child. If you want a child to behave in a certain way, you need to provide very specific information and in such a way as to not confuse the child. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want a five-year old to clean up his play area. Now, the play area is a complete mess. Toys are scattered everywhere. Available in the room, are several large bins and baskets and a large set of cabinets. If you instruct this child to put away the toys you may get lucky and see that the child correctly places the toys in the cabinets; however, you will soon see that this solution is not a good one. The toys will still be very disorganized and may not all fit in the cabinets. Besides, you will then have a bunch of bins and baskets left in the room and no place to put them.

So, you have to then instruct the child to place the largest items in the bins or baskets and possibly, tell him to group or sort for certain types of toys. You know, toy cars, trucks and other vehicles in one bin… action figures in another bin… stuffed animals in yet another bin… and so on.

If you want the child to put away the toys in a specific manner, you have to provide him with specific instructions as to how it should be done. You have to be patient and provide the instruction in short, meaningful chunks of information. If you make your command too complex, the child can’t handle it and will become frustrated. I know from experience that the frustration will more than likely be experienced, first, by you, rather than the child. To avoid this, you need to tell him or show him that the toys may be sorted by type, color, size, which ever way seems best. This can actually fun for the child and an integral part of his development; but I digress. Then, instruct the child to place these items in the proper container so that they all fit. Then, if necessary, help the child put each container in its proper place within the cabinet.SEO is like this. If you simply throw a bunch of words on a page or create content for a site without first determining how it should be organized, you will confuse the search engine spiders. Your site will not get indexed properly, if at all; and, even more importantly, people will not be able to find your site via the search engines.

You have to organize your content into a themed silo structure, a concept attributed best to Bruce Clay, one of the industry’s foremost search engine optimization strategists. In so doing, you are showing the search engines how you want the information to be gathered, indexed, and ultimately, found by searchers based upon their keyword query.

As sophisticated as the search engines have become, and continue to develop, they are not perfect by any means and still need to have proper instruction in a way that is meaningful and easy to comprehend. Make it easy for the search engines to determine how you site is organized so that it can be indexed accordingly. Structure your site in “themed silos” of related content so that it is easier for the search engines to see what the site is about. You should also create, not only a physical site map for your site to make it easier for humans; but also create an XML site map for the search engines. You should also place a link to this site map in your Robots.txt file so when your site is visited by the search engine spiders, they will find your Robots.txt file and also the link to you site map. Basically, you’re providing a guide to you sites as to how it is organized and how it should be categorized and indexed.

So, now you can see why SEO is as easy as raising children*, right?

~Matt

*to be read and understood as sarcasm 😉.

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2 Responses

  1. That is a pretty accurate analogy. Even though I don’t have experience raising kids, I see where you are coming from. A messy website won’t rank as well as a organized one.

  2. Makes sense to me!

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