How SEO is like shovelling snow

by Ruud Hein December 18th, 2007 

Like many Canadians I've spent Sunday and Monday shovelling snow. Heaps of snow. Mountains of snow. And while doing so I couldn't help but think how much of SEO is like shovelling snow.

It Takes Teamwork


Doing this stuff right takes time. Looking at a site, checking it, changing it. Promoting it, building it out. Building relations with other sites and people that count to expand the network the site is in. Reporting. Talking with the client. Monitoring. Squashing issues before they mushroom into problems. Safe guarding the best interest of the client.

Takes time. So you need a team -- and one that knows how to work together.

It Requires Persistence


When you've been digging out of 60cm (23") of snow usually the snowplow will come by soon. Twice. Then you have to get back at it with just as much gusto.

Optimizing, likewise, isn't a one-time thing. Things change, the winds turn -- and you find yourself digging out after being buried somewhere on page 8.

Nothing Beats Manual Labour


Sure, you might have one of those hand-pushed snow blowers. But in the end you need to get out the shovel to finish the job, to do it right.

Although a lot of things can be automated in SEO, in the end it takes manual labour. Intelligence. Insight. Communication. Fine tuning. Intuition.

Ya' Gotta Love It!


Know them? Face slightly twisted. Temper below freezing point. Disgruntled at the snow.

Trying to move snow mountains they're fighting the snow.

Me? I love it. I'm not fighting against the snow; I'm working with it. Placing it. Finding better shovelling strategies to get more done with less energy. Looking for the right spot to build a snow barrier against the next pass of the snowplow.

Having the time of my life.

If that isn't like SEO -- you're in the wrong place.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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6 Responses to “How SEO is like shovelling snow”

  1. Some very true analogies there Ruud!

  2. Mark Dykeman says:

    I typed in a comment, then lost it (grrr).

    Great post, but one quick question:

    "It Takes Teamwork" section: did you deliberately let the picture of the snowplows "tell the story" without expliciting describing it? That section doesn't match the following sections for form. Just curious.



  3. Very interesting.

    I love snow as well, and living in Norway, I usually get a lot of it. But I never thought of it this way before :-)

  4. SEO Bozo Box says:

    Good post, I thought about doing a post like this a few years back, I for one love shoveling the white/hat stuff.

  5. Ruud Hein says:

    @Mark: Thanks. Yes, the photo was too good. I felt it was more effective to move right into the SEO stuff after it.

    @Jens: And it's so obvious! :p

    @SEO Bozo Box: Thanks. Good to see I'm not the only one enjoying the hard work :)

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