Zen SEO: attracting links without attracting links

Posted on November 1, 2010


bruce-leeNot doing anything is really hard work. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to do it, but it’s seriously tough. Doing something, doing anything, can’t hold a candle to doing nothing in terms of difficulty. This is why a lot of website owners make a mess of their SEO. Sometimes, search engine optimisation has to have a bit of Zen for it to be successful, just like Bruce Lee’s art of ‘fighting without fighting’ in Enter the Dragon.

A lot of the SEO jobs you’ll do require, well, doing. Running around organising optimisation consultants, emailing off for links, picking through code to find and repair faults – it all needs doing. There’s an awful lot of work in the initial stages of SEO, which can make it all seem very active. There are times, however, when inaction is the better way to go.

Take content, for example. Writers who focus directly on keywords tend to produce excruciatingly bad content. Keywords need to find their way into content naturally, and the best way to do this is by not doing. The best kind of SEO content is written with very little reference to keywords. The writer simply glances at their list, thinks of a topic, and writes.

The writer who obsesses with keyword densities and keyword counts will produce nothing but badly written drivel (albeit high in keywords).

Another example is the success of sites that let go of their stranglehold on SEO. Once a site has undergone optimisation, and it has worked its way up in the rankings, there is room enough to relax and explore a little. While SEO should remain a consideration, sites that let it recede a little tend to be well-rounded, while sites that clutch to SEO will look a little impersonal.

Letting go and doing nothing is hard, but healthy. Find ways to do nothing.

  • I wonder if we can get our clients to pay us for doing nothing?

  • Carl says:

    Think you might have misunderstood the post somewhat, but not to worry – it’s a tough concept to grasp.

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