Maurice Evans asked:


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method businesses use to attempt to rise to the top of the results listings in Search Engines (SERPs). This has been a practice since search engines were invented for the Internet. Search engines encourage website owners to make their pages easier to understand by their robot spiders. When Search Engines send out their robot spider across the internet, it tries to “read” the page. Optimized pages are easier to read, and subsequently rank properly in the SERPs. For almost a Decade SEO was the way sharp business owners dominated their industries and crushed their competition. During this time up to 85% of websites were found for the first time due to a search in an engine like Google or Yahoo! Since 2/3rds of all searchers rarely clicked on links beyond the first page, it only made sense to try to get your site ranked within the top 10 search results.


SEO began to get abused in 1997 when 3rd party software and companies began to spring up with the sole purpose of “gaming” the engines. Such practices are frowned upon by the search engines and they penalize any website attempting to violate their best practices. A famous upgrade to the code in Google was the “Britney Spears” update. Pornographic Websites began stuffing the keyword “Britney Spears”, who was the most searched term at the time, into their Keyword Meta Tags. Even though their site was totally unrelated to the pop singer, their sites showed up first in SERPs. This is why by 1999 Search engines had stopped factoring the meta tag “description” and “keywords” in their ranking algorithms. This abuse of site code is no longer possible, and search engines continue to combat any attempts of similar foul play. A consequence of such attempts caused the engines to get smarter faster and start to penalize and even ban websites that used any unapproved methods to “optimize” their sites.


Somehow, the people who (still) sell traditional SEO manage to convince people the purpose of SEO is to get your site ranked higher for specific search terms (keywords.) Many of today’s contemporary agencies used to sell it too. The better ones have realized they would rather produce long term results for their customers than short term bragging rights. If you SELL SEO, gloating about being in the top 10 of Google may be the point of YOUR business, but ONLY if SEO is your only service line! Often such top 10 rankings by outdated SEO firms are for search terms no “customer” actually types into the search engines anyway. Such companies do not realize business owners are not in it for bragging rights.

As if you as an owner would be proud to say “HA! I am in first position for ‘Cantonese basket weaving jokes!'” Yes, they guarantee you will be in the “top positions”, but not necessarily for a good search term. They also rarely mention how much traffic you will (or will not) get. Is your goal simply to be above your competition in the engines for some obscure word? OR is it to get more visitors to your website? Most old-method SEO companies do not understand this end goal, but are happy to take your money anyway. Later they tell you “congratulations, you are now number 4 in the engines for (useless rarely-searched phrase.)” Search Engine Ranking is not an award certificate. It is designed to drive traffic naturally, without you having to pay for it.


SEO uses a lot of fancy programming and techniques to “optimize” a web page and promote it on the web to try to get it to climb the ranks in the search engines. No matter your product or service, if you SEO your site, you want your page to be higher on the list than your competition. Web surfers usually start with the first link and work their way down. The sooner they click you, the better your chances of getting a sale. But just as you are willing to pay money to get your page optimized, and have someone perform all the SEO tricks to get your page higher – so will your competition. Your competition wants to beat you just as much, if not more, than you want to beat them.

So EVEN IF you do get to the top, it will just make your competition try that much harder to knock you back down a peg or two. So you end up in a vicious cycle where you and your direct (and indirect) competitors are jockeying back and forth for first position. Whoever spends the most time (spelled M-O-N-E-Y) on SEO wins. At least for a time, just so long as no one else spends a little more than they do. So even if you get to the top, you can bet, you won’t stay there for long.


In the year 2009, less than 47% of web surfers found websites through a search engine. And that number is shrinking daily. Social Referral Sites like Digg and Del.ico.us allow site members to post the link of their favorite web address for other members to visit. Other visitors get to vote on whether or not they like it. Social News Sites like Redit, Slashdot and Fark aggregate news articles recommended by its site visitors. Social Networking Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow people to share reviews and links of favorite sites. Social Bookmarking Sites like Stumble, actually act as a publicly accessible “favorites” or “bookmark” for web pages.

Now, combine all the social media with News aggregators like Google News and Yahoo News plus corporate and industry web presence pages like CNN, CNBC, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Family Circle, FORBES etc. and you have a ton of press, publicity, bookmarking, networking and overall word of mouth happening on the internet.


In addition to the Millions of Social Media Sites out there, there are BLOGS and FORUM sites aggregating social media into blog networks like TweetMeme. Oh yes, Blogs. There are Millions upon Millions of Blogs on the internet. Today, Blogs look at search engines and laugh at their inaccuracy and failure to stay up-to-the-second with information. Old School Search Engine Optimization has had it’s time at the top. As many pioneers of the internet, their day is over. Add Search engines to the list with Compuserve, AOL, and MySpace. Yes, we know sadly, that eventually even the currently popular phenoms like Twitter and Facebook will be replaced by what will be a newer, slicker, faster and just plain old better application. Search Engines like Google became so huge and popular, because that was how people generally figured out how to find information on the internet. Those days are long over.

People find sites every which way these days. Every way it seems, except through search engines the majority of the time. The search engines feel social media’s information is much more current and relevant than their own. Which is why they all have added social elements. Google, (Who owns Youtube,) will often put News, Twitter, Youtube and other site results in the middle of what they would normally post as results to a search. This just proves the relevance of social media and the search engines inability to keep up. The best they can do is repost and quote after the fact whatever social media already has moved past. Sharp business owners have discovered that each of the social media sites results are often what the search engines use to list as results.


Think about this. Imagine if you were the owner of a business that put on real estate seminars. Your direct (and indirect) competition in the search engines for real estate would come from: any individual who has a house for sale; people looking for houses on Craigslist; the guy selling books on real estate on eBay; the Wall Street Journal’s latest article about real estate; RE agents; the Realtor organization; and even the latest twitter results containing the “word” Real Estate. That’s not to mention all the mortgage brokers, appraisers, contractors, investors, title companies, tax sale auctions and even developers that would all also want their website at the top of those same results.

When you search Google you will often see it say something like “Results 1-10 of 2,232,280 results”! Hundreds of thousands to millions of possible results, and you want to spend your money to try to be number 1-10? Well, I am sorry to report, the odds are against you. However, there is good news.


What if instead of focusing on traditional SEO, you focused on Saturation? In other words, what if instead of “optimizing” your site/page for one search engine, you took a different approach and decided to saturate the ENTIRE INTERNET itself with your web page? Think about it. If people are book marking, tweeting and sharing your site all over the internet. Plus all the news sites are running articles on you, and your site is all over the net. Then wouldn’t your TRUE GOAL, of getting website visitors (to turn into customers), be getting accomplished?

People who read about you on CNBC’s website will come visit your page. People who see their friends tweet about you will come visit your page. People who read a blog article about you will also come visit your page.

The additional benefit is: now instead of simply having one (optimized) listing in the search engine, you end up with SEVERAL, many of them on the first page! None of them is even your site, but all of them are pages that lead people TO your website!

End Goal accomplished!


That is Search Engine Saturation.

Here is another way to look at it. You can pay BIG money, and have the BIGGEST and FIRST Ad in the Yellow Pages Directory. (Optimization)


You can have every radio station, News broadcast, and magazine talking about your business, in addition to people buzzing about you in every barber shop, sports event, hair salon, and restaurant. (Saturation)

Which would you rather have? Which will bring you more business? Which will have a longer lasting effect?

This, my friend, is the power of saturation over optimization.


If it is beyond the year 2009 and you are reading this, forget traditional SEO. Make your peace, leave a rose or two, say a prayer – and move on. The rest of the world (wide web) has. Socialized, or Viral Marketing, as it is called, is now the new King. Instead of attempting Old-Method (or any) SEO, focus on viral marketing.

Viral marketing is the Internet’s version of Word Of Mouth referring through Internet Saturation. Viral Marketing is just as fast, just as powerful and more importantly, a perfectly legitimate way to dominate the search engines and the internet as a whole. Search Engines will always be a source of traffic, SEO is simply no longer the way to “optimize” your listings in them. Viral marketing automatically saturates the internet, leaving SEO as a naturally occurring byproduct. Viral marketing also cannot be defeated by SEO no matter the budget. The businesses that use Viral Marketing techniques to saturate the internet are light years beyond the businesses still attempting to use old school SEO techniques.

“Viral Marketing is to SEO what the

Space Station is to the horse and carriage.”

Step into the future, say goodbye to our dead goldfish, SEO, and say hello to our brand new puppy, Viral Marketing! C’mon Boy, get the customers…fetch!

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