What intrigues me is that there is an interesting and very intelligent comparison of postmodernism and SEO on another blog (and it is a mere two weeks older!). I thought this post would be something of a first of its kind. Nonetheless, I intend on going into the true nature-assuming there is one-of Postmodern SEO, and not just a simple exposition. What the postmodern approach means for the entire SEO enterprise will be made quite clear in the following.
And do not worry; there is a moral at the end of this extremely strange story which shows both SEO and relativism/postmodern philosophy at their worst.
SEO of the Future Must Transcend All Theory, Objectivity, and, ultimately, Meaning to be Postmodern
We SEOs all want to optimize our clients for certain keywords and phrases, and of course develop link-building campaigns based around these optimization efforts. In essence, we always want the content to be relevant to the search query; that is the cornerstone of many SEO efforts.
But these efforts are deeply flawed. They depend on hostile, oppressive, and incomplete notions of relevance and meaning. In short, neither clients nor SEOs can ever truly know which words are relevant for which pages, what search engines want and what they don’t want, or what their goals really are. Traditional SEO approaches are doomed to suffer from inchoate and insidious concepts.
Here is what you as an SEO can do to get around all this…
Let’s say you have a client who wants, or believes they want, to be number 1 for the phrase “tennis shoes” because they believe they sell things that can be adequately captured by the term ‘shoes’. Since all words are equal in the grand scheme of things-that is, in nothing-it is imperative to start your research with a list akin to the following:
Be sure to stay away from anything to do with shoes; doing otherwise is politically and philosophically unacceptable. Now, after generating your list (it need not be any definite length-nothing is definite), you can additional modifiers that are the furthest thing away from what people would normally associate with the words you generated for your beginning list:
Blue Steam Rabbits
The Hat Good
In Carrots Whatever
Precisely Cars Cheese
Sky A Wall
Rise Down Screen
However Cookie Wonder
Once you have this arsenal of words that no longer have meaning or relevance (a sure sign of their transcendence), you are ready to begin working with your client. Let them know that there will be no goals, no demonstrable results, and no overall progress. Each page of their website will be acceptable for many, many kinds of queries, and will not foolhardily assume that there is a need for focus and accuracy. Your SEO is now ready for both the future and the post-future, and is ‘truly’ postmodern. The fact that an entire business is lost in the process is unimportant.
SEO and (a parody of) Postmodernism Don’t Really Mix, and Here Is the Moral
I hope a few SEOs who are also part-time recovering philosophy majors (or any combination thereof) like me can empathize with the above absurdities that, inevitably, had to be encountered during one’s quest for truth. And what every SEO and client needs to keep in mind is this: Although the playing field of advice for getting a website (and, of course, the business itself) to the top is a bit chaotic, difficult to navigate, and considerably complicated, there is no need to run from the challenges and throw SEO efforts, as well as the potential for innovative techniques in this regard, to the dogs. Meeting the overwhelming factors head on is indispensable for an organization’s survival in this day and age; and you do not want to run away from it all and, quite possibly, fall into the realm of postmodernism….