I’ve learned a lot about search engines and search engine marketing, mostly by trial and error. It’s those countless hours of research, testing, and failing when I often think it would have been better to let someone else experience it first, then I could simply observe and learn. But, I don’t have the patience to stand around and let others fail first. What’s the fun in that?
So, I’ve put together five points that, hopefully, someone else can learn from and avoid having to test themselves.
1) Google is the 800-pound gorilla. This is something I learned when I was mostly using pay-per-click advertising. Google is so far ahead in terms of technology and usability. Other search engines not only missed the boat, but they also fell in the water and drowned. Yahoo! is coming around but how many years did it take? Google is where it’s at. So, get over your love of Yahoo!, MSN, and AskJeeves. Join the gorilla.
2) Be patient So simple yet so profound. I see it time and again. People, especially new internet marketers, get dollar signs stuck in their eyes. They bite off on all the garbage that says you can get millions of visitors with no money and no effort. I bought off on it too. And it worked, for a few months. Trying to start a business online will try your soul like nothing else. The only way to have patience is to set goals, way out goals, and move towards them. There’s no more free lunch on the internet
3) Nobody owes you anything We get upset. We cry and scream. We think we’ve been treated unfairly. We’re doing good and then, whammo! We get hit with an update that knocks us out. Someone posts an ugly comment about our business. We get accused of all sorts of stuff. Some of it true. Most of it false. But we have to keep perspective. Nobody, not even the search engines, owe us anything. Think about it. Search engines are a free service. How many daily newspapers let businesses advertise for free? That’s essentially what you’re getting, free advertising.
4) You have to prove yourself This goes back to patience. When you’re just starting out, no matter how great you think you really are, you still have to prove yourself. You have to go out just like everyone else, toot your own horn, give away free advice, and basically do it all for no money. How do you earn trust? By being trustworthy. Very few bootstrap startups are successful from day one. Set goals, keep your perspective, and never give up.
5) Spammers still make money I never officially considered myself a spammer. But, I did use a few spammy techniques to get search traffic. What you have to realize is that there will always be spammers. If people are still making money by sending spam emails, they still make money by spamming the search engines. Yes, it’s getting harder but it’s not impossible. But, don’t fall to that temptation. Spamming as a business is a lot of work. Why not focus on what you really want to do and not worry about the search engines? Trust me, you’ll rest a lot easier.
While these ideas certainly don’t cover every “I wish I knew” scenario, they should give you a head start on where you should be directing your time and money. Two valuable resources that can be never recovered once spent.