At the moment I’m working on a sample chapter of the book that will form part of a package that will be going out to a list of potential publisher’s that Damian has drawn up. I’m learning a lot… quickly, and one of the first things that I came to understand is that the fundamentals of search are really quite straightforward.

The more I think about this stuff the more I’m coming to realise that search optimisation / marketing is not about understanding automated robots and complex ranking algorithms (although some of the “experts” out there will probably disagree with me). Search marketing is about understanding people.

Understand the people using search, understand the people running the search engines, understand what both of those groups are trying to achieve… then align your site so that it meets their wants and needs.

Bingo! Sustainable high rankings.

People have this uncanny knack of wrapping things in layers of complexity that don’t really exist. More often than not poor ranking seems to stem from a failure to diligently apply basic principals in a consistent and iterative manner (something I’m as guilty of as the next man); not addressing the “prime directive” — which is to build a site with killer, information rich content that delivers what the user is looking for; or people basing their entire SEO efforts on finding and exploiting “loopholes” in the engines’ algorithms, and then wondering why their sites bomb out when the search engines slam the door.

If you’re looking to rank a site quickly to make a fast buck, those loopholes may well pay dividends. If you’re looking to build a sustainable, trusted online brand with sustainable long-term rankings though, it makes sense to work with the search engines and their users, rather than striving against them.

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