Confessions of a Googleholic – Getting Ahead of the Game

by Danny Chapman October 31st, 2011 

google

What is a Googleholic?

Being a true Googleholic is not a job, its not a career or even a hobby or something you dabble in here and there.

A Googleholic lives and breathes SEO; they get up in the morning, 6 hours after doing their last ranking check and get straight onto Google, search search search checking the top level keywords to look for the slightest algorithmic change that effects their own and their clients websites.

In my opinion there are 3 different types of SEOer. There are those who dabble (badly most of the time), those who do it as job and those who are Googleholics. Like me, you probably know where you sit in that category but

I think there are traits and easy to spot techniques that puts an SEO professional in each section, for example:

  • If you think multiple directory submissions and article distribution is the most important way to go with your SEO then youre a dabbler or do it as a job, poorly.
  • If you use automated software to check your most important rankings, you do SEO as a job.
  • If you think buying a hundred links for 100 dollars is going to benefit your SEO campaign, youre a dabbler or shouldnt be employed to do SEO professionally.
  • If you spend hours in Webmaster forums, check your important rankings manually dozens of times a day to find minute changes in not only your SEO campaigns but everyone elses and constantly testing new strategy to maximize your knowledge, breadth of SEO, skill level and most importantly your websites strength., congrats! Youre a Googleholic.
  • If you DO NOT run your own SEO campaigns as well as clients, make money from practicing what you preach and operate your own websites you are not a Googleholic.
  • If you have not intentionally got your websites penalized by Google, you are not a Googleholic.

Obviously there are economies of scale here, if youre a one man army and have 100 clients then you have not got the time to check all your rankings manually, but a Googleholic wouldnt have 100 clients as there is not enough time in the day to achieve success and success in rankings is the only bench mark a Googleholic has.

Hi, Im Danny, Im a Googleholic

google-water

Google is not difficult to understand, far from it, its largely built on common sense and notions that affect our normal day to day life.

Think of it like being back at school, if people like you, you become more popular, you become class speaker and head of your year; Google is the same.

The school analogy is your off-site SEO; your onsite SEO is comparable to an encyclopedia, clearly defined uniquely labeled sections full of unique content, facts and stuff that people will want to know and read about. Base your SEO on that and you cant go wrong, the rest is just very granular by-products of doing the above correctly.

Just a quick note: I will use real life examples and opinions based on research and testing.  SEO is about teaching clients what we do and selling them that service. After all we all know how to wash our car but we still go to the car wash!

How Does A Googleholic Get Ahead Of The Game?

A Googleholic does not need to analyze why a competitor has gone above them for a keyword, they know without looking what they are doing daily to compete with SEO, they know what they do how they do it and when.

They understand the competitors website at a similar level to their own webmaster; they track the growth and declines constantly and know the good and bad points about each competitor and how to combat it if there is a problem.

Staying ahead of the game depends what situation youre in. An existing site with top rankings needs to continue to do what they have done to get there. There is not an end point to when SEO should stop; its a constant growth — and if you truly are out of ideas and number 1 for every keyword you want to be, then expand!

If you find yourself getting a new client or starting your own project then you are in a great position to build the perfect SEO campaign. You can put your stamp on it from the off and deliver exactly what needs to be delivered without not knowing whats happened before you took over.

For example in a niche I used to work heavily in I was launching a new website and was targeting number 1 for a 3 letter keyword within 12 months, my competition was essentially a combination of:

  • Community based opinion driven websites
  • Old companies with old domains but limited SEO both onsite and offsite.
  • Very heavily content driven websites with thousands of pages of unique content but with limited offsite SEO.
  • Websites that were being controlled by top SEO companies in the UK, quality on and offsite SEO.

I find that most niches have a similar collection of these four types of websites. To combat it is simple, in principle, but time consuming to deliver.

You need to take the good points of each site and deliver a website that beats all of them in one place, and do it naturally of course.

I ended up with essentially 4 SEO plans executed on one website. I bought an old domain with good history in that niche, created an interactive advice giving service that was the first in that tight lipped industry, worked heavily in getting the right story and blogs in the right places so the right people/news/bloggers picked them up, dug deep into the competitions SEO providers and turned up a list of all the websites in my niche that they used for links. Then I put together a plan to combat them at their peak and had industry leading figure heads create my content, instantly gaining credibility and a following.

The result saw my website grow naturally over the space of the 12 months. By month 4 we were number one for the 3 letter term, no doubt thanks to a few UK based newspapers picking up on our industry leading advice on a very controversial product. Whos to say that we would have got there without the newspapers, but it goes to show that if your fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Our goal was for that to happen, we spent a lot of time and money on building all the foundations behind the SEO plan.

Getting or staying ahead of the game is simple: understand your competition, do what they all do but better and all in one place.

The other important thing to recognize about SEO these days is do not be single minded, do not just rely on being better at one thing than your competition, if Google change the goal posts (which they will) you may see your campaign turned on its head.

I will leave you with this:  it is not about providing an SEO service — its about thinking outside the box and delivering a service that will grow the brand online, directly affecting the SEO campaign. SEO could equally be called Strategic Entrepreneurial Opportunism in my opinion.

Danny Chapman

SEO - Strategical Entreprenurial Opportunist. For me SEO is not about rankings, its about creating that 'hook' that delivers and encourages customers to use a product or service you offer through online channels. Talking of hooks, here's my carp fishing blog

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5 Responses to “Confessions of a Googleholic – Getting Ahead of the Game”

  1. Maciej Fita says:

    Good stuff Danny! I agree I bump into far too many of these weekend SEO "experts" that really get in the way of progress. I think part of the problem is that many have a short term view of things instead of long term and the most important word "brand" is almost non-existent.

  2. Dries says:

    Fixing url's and redirects somewhere aside the road by the nearest found wifi hotspot, is that also a Googleholic thing to do? :) Interesting article. Totally agree on this.

  3. thanks for the comments guys.

    @Maciej Fita – Exactly! SEO is a way of life not a hobby.

    @Dries – Defo mate, aslong as it wasn't your mistake that you were fixing! lol

  4. Dr. Pete says:

    A couple of weeks ago, I had to stop reading books/articles about Google, because it was messing with my head. I had a nightmare that Sergey Brin was making fun of me because he had to show me how to work my iPhone.

  5. Dries says:

    @Danny: my mistake but was my own site haha – no worries