Imagine yourself as a young woman, searching for a mate.  Rand Fishkin, short man SEOmoz extraordinaire, had a quirky keynote presentation at #Inbound12 about how women shouldn’t be excluding keywords, but looking for those men who were just as close with a bigger heart.  You never know?  You may just meet Mr. Right.  In this his comical rendition of “Choose Short Men & Tall Women” SEO example, he shared the biases of SEO for us to better understanding Search Engine Marketing.

When people sign up for or (I have three friends on it currently so don’t bash it), they enter certain search criteria keywords.  In these keywords, they also add negative keywords to exclude people from coming up that they aren’t looking for in a mate.  For example, most men want short women and most women want tall man.  However, search online can work the same to missing information that you may be missing out on.

Bias #1:  Ranking position is all that matters.  Click-through rate (CTR) is influenced more than by position.  CTR is also influenced by video xml sitemaps, star ratings, reviews and price, author photos, date of publications, and video snippets.  Great snippets start with great titles, URL, and descriptions.

Bias #2 Active Link Building is Required for SEO.  The best links build themselves. Relationship Building > Link Building

Bias #3 There Can only be one topic.  Focus on your audience’s interest, not just a narrow subject.  Be relevant to anyone who interacts with potential customers.  Broad topics earn signals that help your entire site.

Bias #4 Facebook and Twitter are the Only Networks That matter.  False.  Many social networks can be valuable.  Millions of users exist on: Google+ (200mm), Facebook (1 billion), twitter (200mm), LinkedIn (150mm), foursquare (20mm), stumbleupon (15mm), reddit (30mm), Wikipedia (14mm), tumblr (15mm), and Pinterest (15mm).

Bias #5 If a Viral Content Effort Fails, It’s Over.  Viral fails 9/10 times.  You should plan for it. Try, Try Again.

Bias #6: Only Target High-Search Volume Keywords.  18% of searches being made everyday have never been performed.  Use tools like Search Suggest to go through Google avenues as a great keyword research tool.  Also use Google News to research undiscovered keywords.

Bias #7: My Site is the only Place to do SEO.  Slideshare: Keywords + Embeds=Ranking Magic. Quora, LinkedIn and news sites are also all great options.

Bias #8: Social Sharing is a fire & Forget Tactic.  Link placement matters.  Use followerwonk to better understand the SEO of your twitter and make sure to put your links in the middle of the tweet instead of at the end.  By having the link in the middle, you are making the link stand out in the middle of the sentence where someone will be more likely to click.

Bias #9: Engines Prefer Text Content. Many forms of content work well.

Bias #10 I Should Chase My Competitor’s Links.  Research links that point to non-competitive sites in your niche.  Focus beyond keywords and sites you’re chasing to those who may have topical overlap.

Bias #11: Spending Money for Links is a Bad Hat. Event participation, sponsoring research, press-worthy content, acquisitions, and job ads costs money.  In turn they also earn links.

Bias #12: There’s No Simple Way to Increase Traffic.  Site speed optimization is always great.  It’s simple and increases traffic.  Check out your 404, 500, and 302 fixes too.  Re-targeting can help too.

So get rid of your irrational biases.  Short men and tall women have just as much to offer as anyone else.

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