Do you want to be the known authority in your field?
Do you want to be the go-to person that people think of first?
Today it is easier than EVER to be known, but being famous on the internet is pretty similar to being famous in real person.
You show how awesome you are by being funny/unique/talented, and other people get to know more about you, and they spread the word.
The person who is the most famous has a wide variety of people vouching for her and most likely friends in the right places. Those friends have a large audience also.
This is probably the most layman’s way of explaining search engine optimization
Online Fame: The Search Engine Game
Spam used to be super effective when email was new.
Geocities used to be a novelty when websites were just starting out.
At the end of 2011 there were 70 million blogs–and that’s just counting WordPress. (source)
Internet fame used to be pretty easy to leverage, you spam a whole bunch of people and the spammiest of the people got through to the most amount of people. They fought a war of attrition.
Now with more than 2 billion people on the internet who are looking for some sort of authority site, more and more power goes to the legitimate players.
The Holy Grail: The First Page of Google
So what do people do now to find their information? They go to search engines.
While there are hundreds of search engines online, I’m pretty sure you only pay attention to one–Google. (Unless you’re Chinese, then you can’t pay attention unless you pay for a VPN)
And even in this case, only the first page.
And about 40% of the traffic goes to the first search result. (Source: from when I was in the Keyword Academy , although now paid listings dominate the first few listings)
This is the 80/20 rule at work people.
If you dominate one page, you dominate the landscape.
But how do you get up to the front page?
By having a lot of referrals, and in the online world. links. Links from guest posts, links from your own Hubpage accounts, links from your twitter, etc.
You put out a ton of content attributed to your site, and you build up your reputation so that when Google searches for content, they give the top spots to those with the most and increasingly those with the most links from reputable sources.
This is what SEO is all about. Getting your site to the front page of Google, so people come to YOU when they search for anything in your field. This takes work building a variety of content, from articles to podcasts to videos to infographics.
The Panda Slap: Be Authentic or Die
Wait! You say. Wouldn’t it be really easy to game the system? By writing a bunch of posts and submitting to different article directories, wouldn’t you be able to just get up there way faster?
Yes, that used to work, but not anymore.
With the recent Panda and Penguin updates, Google is cleaning up the spam.
If your site is full of crap, you will be found out eventually. For people who are in SEO, this means putting out high quality content consistently to authoritative blogs and websites online.
SEO is a long term game involving strategy and not something to be gamed in the short term.
But if you do SEO right, you’ll have a lot of traffic coming from when people search and you’ll be consistently reaping the rewards of internet fame.