Thursday, March 02, 2006

Time-Sensitive or Top-Ranking SEO - Which Should You Focus On?

We all know about SEO, right? The somewhat-mysterious technique of formatting your web coding and inserting elements so The House of Google and the Temples of Yahoo will find your site and place you in their listings. Preferably in the single-digit range. But how does SEO work? How do I implement it on my site? Is it worth looking into in the first place?

I don't think I could answer all of those adequately, simply because of the volumes of conflicting information out there. However, in my study of this still-mostly-undefined Web phenomenon, I've determined that there are two basic types of SEO out there: Time-Sensitive SEO, and Top-Ranking SEO. Let me clarify what I mean here.

Time-Sensitive SEO
I was alerted to the power of time-sensitive SEO by the eminent Joe Vitale's first post to his blog. His extremely clever method of getting attention made me aware of how easy it is to capture and benefit from real-time search data now. And that's what Time-Sensitive SEO is: a direct, immediate benefit of search data.

Time-Sensitive SEO is a sudden spike in the Internet EEG. It's content that suddenly goes live on the Web, is suddenly indexed, suddenly jumps to the top of its keyword searches, and suddenly vanishes back down the list. Think in terms of a "breaking news story" online.

A Time-Sensitive URL can spend anywhere from 24-48 hours at the top of Google's Page 1, less than 24 hours after it's indexed. Astonishingly fast climbing, huh? But, alas, then the URL usually sinks back into a more average listing location. So, if this positioning is easy but fleeting, why use Time-Sensitive SEO? The three reasons are, in fact, evident in my description.

Time-Sensitive SEO is useful for building awareness of a new product or service. Companies can use it for limited-time promotions. It can even be used to attract media attention. Since most Time-Sensitive SEO involves blogging, tagged content like Technorati, and sponsored listings like Google AdWords, the medium lends itself well to speedy posting and speedy home (computer) delivery.

Top-Ranking SEO
Top-Ranking URLs, on the other hand, are waging guerrilla war. They fight tooth and nail for Page 1. The difference from Time-Sensitive SEO is that their intent is to be entrenched at Number 1. Time is not as important as position. A Top-Ranking SEO site will wait it out, marching inexorably toward Number 1.

Top-Ranking SEO is much harder to win out on; after all, there's only one, er, Number 1. But it's longer-lasting, and has better ripple effect online than Time-Sensitive. Think about it - if a new site popped up in a regular search of yours, with a bunch of new content and some bells & whistles, you might look. But would you buy a $200-dollar piece of electronics from them, one minute after being introduced to them?

That's the real value in Top-Ranking SEO - brand loyalty. Your company may have to wait longer to reach your customers on a personal level, but once you do, you're a shoe-in. Your organic SEO keywords, update schedule, constantly-checked site analyses and just plain patience will pay off in the spades of getting an expert reputation and a loyal, steadfast customer base.

So what would be the best answer to the topic question? Which SEO type should your company focus on?

I may be predictable in doing so, but I'm going to say both. Each type has a benefit that should be applied to your business when that benefit is needed.

Time-Sensitive SEO makes sense for introducing new products/services. Think about it when you have frequent updates and new keywords.

Top-Ranking SEO is best for long-term branding and industry status. Nobody gets a (deserved) good reputation overnight; you shouldn't expect to on the Web. A little patience will go a long way (around the world, in this case).

Let's see what kinds of results I can get out of this post. I put organic keywords, Top-Ranking SEO, in its content. Time-Sensitive Technorati tags are below. Which will prove the better lure? Only Google Analytics knows for sure!

Technorati Tags:


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