The long term matters most. Today you are up. Tomorrow they are up. The world keeps spinning. Plan to keep growing, and do not try for too quick a burst.
We have a long history on our planet. Across the multitude of civilizations and cultures rising and falling, over thousands of years of businesses opening and closing, we have learned many things. One thing we have learned is that adaptation takes time, and so does sound growth and stability.
When a business first opens, it will lose money. If it does not, there was a profound need so great, and so completely missed by everyone, that the business will have unprecedented monetary success. I do not recall this ever happening until Apple (Steve Jobs, really) took several technologies and rolled them into an iPhone. But that circumstance still has an exception, and that is Apple was a well-established company with a public relations machine working in high gear, and it was turbocharged.
The reason businesses lose money when they first open is they are new; they have no money and no reputation. The business owners do not yet know the most efficient way of doing their particular brand of business. The network connections are not yet established. The first customer referral has yet to happen.
Playing tricks to drum up business will work in the short term. Things like a giveaway, a big party, a stupid pet trick or dumber human trick, all work to generate short-term interest. They are marketing distractions. They may or may not get people to try your product or service. They will bring warm bodies to your location to participate in the gimmick. No gimmick, and the warm bodies may disappear. The customer has not been given a durable reason to participate in your business.
All the short-term, gimmicky SEO stuff is threatened once more by a new Google althorithm update. Website and business owners that attained rankings search rankings based on these gimmicks are in trouble.
The same thing happens with search engine optimization. Warren Buffet was commenting upon the recent government shutdown and the government debt ceiling debate, calling the argument over the debt limit silly and potentially catastrophic. But it was what he said near the end of a CNN video that really caught my attention. “This country’s going to do well over time,” he said about his business decisions. “I want to participate in it. I’ll participate in it by owning good businesses.
“Charlie Monger, my business partner, and I have worked together for 54 years. We made alot of decisions on buying businesses. We made alot of decisions on buying stocks,” Buffet continued. “In the conversations that accompanied those decisions, neither one of us has brought up anything of a macro nature. Period. It just doesn’t make any difference.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next week or next month or next year. I know what’s going to happen over 10 or 20 years,” Buffet said.
That brought my mind immediately to search engine optimization. The web world is abuzz lately with the latest Google search altogorithm update, called Hummingbird. Whoopie! The amusing thing about Hummingbird is that it aims to filter results by improving rankings for substantive content. In other words, if your site is authentic, you are probably safe.
Imagine that! All the short-term, gimmicky SEO stuff is threatened once more by a new Google althorithm update. Website and business owners that attained rankings search rankings based on these gimmicks are in trouble. Sites built around real content development, the most durable aspect of SEO, are more secure than ever. Curiously, this was a point I tried to make nearly four years ago in our old Rodan blog and newsletter. The only change I would make in that post today would be to recommend one hire SEO firm, but only hire a white-hat firm specializing in content strategy and development.
If your long-term SEO strategy has always included content development, you probably never noticed Hummingbird went online. If you have been doing what many webmasters do, when they are looking for a fast buck, you may be in a state of panic and expending vast resources trying to figure out how to game the system again. Your questions about website rankings may even be met with statements like, “Google just updated …” or “We are making rapid adjustments to respond to the latest Google update.” If you are having to make adjustments, for losing ranking due to insubstantial material, you may want to hire a new SEO firm.
It all comes down to what you want to do online, of course. If you are looking for agressive monetary gains today, then you are probably willing to take considerable risks with your business, your website and your domain name’s reputation in order to make a short term gain. Of course, much like the government shutdown, in which politicians flirted with defaulting on the U.S. sovereign debt, any short term gain is likely to play havoc on long-term stability.
What is your game plan?