Anjum’s SEO Killers Include
- Social Media.
I would add a sixth force killing SEO – Entropy.
How Entropy Creates
Writing How Entropy Is Creating Web 3.0 Right Under Our Noses the death of SEO was only tangentially considered. Life inside of the world’s largest content network isn’t as anthropomorphic as we make it. Digital life is mathematical and instantaneous over and over.
As Brian Cox explains entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics predicts the universe. Left to its own devices the universe and all riders upon it moves from Low Entropy (ordered) to High Entropy (random).
“Entropy always increases. Why is that? Because it is overwhelmingly more likely it will.” Brian Cox, Wonders of the Universe
The old SEO was a series of interrelated shifting rules. Creating SEO in support of the e-commerce website my team managed for seven years felt like building sandcastles on a beach. No matter how elaborate its defense all sand castles succumb. Entropy wets the sand, crumbles walls and moves particles from low entropy (SEO and its rules) to high entropy (signals bouncing in every direction from mobile to apps and back again).
Forces noted by Anjum’s article contribute to an inevitable shift. We lucky few Internet marketers are nothing if not prolific sand castle builders. Internet marketers all learn a natural lesson fast – it is impossible to step into the same ocean twice.
The ocean, our lives and the world’s largest content network change in an instant.
Entropy explains why TIME moves in one direction. Entropy explains why Internet marketing is and will always be dynamic and changing. We can’t step into the same Internet twice.
There for a moment we SEOs believed in order, rules and structure. Even words such as “structure” and “chaos” color neutral events. The secret behind the curtain is NO ONE and NOTHING is “In Control”. Control is an illusion lifted away by entropy’s gentle insistence as time moves in one direction – forward.
Inspiration Not Rules
Humans are so funny. We grasp at straws hoping to change the universe. We form tribes and self-reinforcing consensus as if our tiny human insistence could stop the tide.
We are so much SMALLER than our philosophy and beliefs. We are tiny in the hands of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. We are statistically more likely to create patterns and connections than they are to exist.
As Nicolas Taleb so conclusively points out in his masterwork The Black Swan BECAUSE we want a glimpsed pattern to be SO doesn’t make it so. Our wishing however insistently can’t change laws sure to outlive us all.
For a few moments SEOs were Masters of the Universe, an elite priesthood capable of rubbing two nickels together to create a quarter. As Taleb’s freakonomics explains we are rarely as skilled and intelligent as we believe (lol).
The future of Internet marketing is about inspiration and greatness more than rules. Life is short and better spent chasing greatness than playing an endless game of Follow The Lemmings Leader.
Service and Humble Greatness
So much of our conditioning as SEOs (or people) is serendipitous. Some reward pellet is released as we hear a secret bell ring. We register an accidental pairing and immediately test to make it happens again.
Bingo – we say even if the test was muddled or inconclusive. We SEE connection so strongly denial hardly has a chance. Everything isn’t only random all of the time. Greatness DOES exist and we have a batter’s chance of recognizing it (about .400).
We have about the same chances to create greatness. Anyone who tells you they bat better than .400 is trying to sell something. Marketing isn’t capable of batting better than .400 because entropy has the universe’s best curve ball.
We may create the idea of SEO Castles, castles of impenetrable stone instead of sand, because time is short and our pattern recognition so strong we believe our own follows, press clippings or self reinforcing feedback loops.
The best approach to Internet marketing is and will always be as a humble servant approaches a Zen master. “Master,” one student leaned in to ask his much older teacher a question, “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” The master held the student’s gaze for ten seconds before slapping him firmly across the face.
The master said nothing as the student rubbed his cheek.
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