Have I suddenly discovered the best SEO strategies ever through revelation? No, I have not. Moreover, I probably wouldn’t tell you if I did (can you say trade secret?). I do have a thing or two to say, however, about this quest we marketers are on to formulate the best, most flexible SEO strategies and link building campaigns; that is, generalizing our tactics so that they are useful in every situation. Having a handy-dandy formula may make us confident and give us a sense of security when addressing a new client, but it is ultimately not for the best. Here is why.
SEO Is About Being Practical and Adaptive, Not Rigid and Certain
‘Essence-seeking’ is a wonderful habit we humans have, but it becomes a problem when we follow it slavishly during our SEO efforts. Link building is something of a science, yet it is a science whose theories dance to the tunes of individuals who determine what the phenomena being studied are (i.e. the nature of search engine algorithms). Imagine living in a polytheistic world in which the gods frequently ‘update’ physics for whatever reason. Being a traditional physicist in this type of universe would most certainly suck, majorly.
However, if the experts understood that their knowledge should be formed on a case by case basis and not generalized due to a lack of consistency (which is something we do not lack in this universe, fortunately), they would be in better shape not only to handle changes, but also understand the universe at the moment for a particular situation. Those who focus on universals will find themselves bogged down in a continuous need to update and recategorize their findings. A similar situation seems to apply to link building and general SEO as well: We have to focus on action and results only, not endless theorizing about where the existence of and where we can find our Philosopher’s Stone. Of course we need to pick up advice here and there to get us on the right track, but not much of this information is worth being enshrined and clung to—we have no idea which direction the track will turn.
In short, what I believe to be key to every SEO/link building undertaking is to get with the current program (some idea of it, at least), exploit it, and then move on when the changes are significant enough to merit doing so; there is no need to construct a superstructure of data that constantly needs maintenance and/or stores outmoded strategies, for you will soon feel more like an archivist than an actual SEO or link builder out on the front lines getting your job done.
In the immortal words of Nike, just do it.