It’s March 15, the “ides of March.”  If I was back instructing writing/English students, I’d prepare something centered upon Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar.  “Beware the ides [middle] of March” is a popular quote from the play.  Now, I address a range of online marketing topics, promoting early learning of the industry.

As a teacher, it was highly important to enforce best-practice research.  Should students take (any provided) information as authoritative?  No, they absolutely should not.  In my secondary school years, the Web did not have such an influence on academia, research, and what has become today to reflect the pursuit of news and knowledge, “search.”  In modern times, the Web has become a library for those seeking Facebook friend info to those seeking non-fiction facts about any topic.  Should you be aware of the “lies” of search?  Yes.  What can you do to be a better online marketing student?  Consider the following suggestions.

Understand How Search Works
My cohort, Chris Countey, wrote an illuminating post on search yesterday, addressing the interplay between search engines (like Google), users (you, me, and everyone using search engines), and those in the SEO industry.  Chris includes observations about the definitive-less nature of search, meaning no one really knows for sure how search engines value, weigh, and service results.  Though, Google, being the most popular search engine to date, often helps the SEO community, relaying best-practice tips.

I strongly ask you to understand the process of search and the need to differentiate commercialization from…fact.  It.Is.Not.Easy…for any of us.  Even those in the industry get flabbergasted regarding how search engines deliver information.

Can I give you infallible information (at present) regarding search?  No, no one can.  To start, it’s good to know what you don’t know.

The Only “Dumb” Question is the One Not Asked
Don’t be dumb.  I don’t mean the negative connotation of the word ‘dumb’- I don’t like that one.  Dumb also means ‘numb to stimuli,’ meaning there may be something you don’t know at present.  Join the club; (shhh) we’re all in it, whether we are brave enough to admit it or not (ask me a question related to algebra; actually, you better not).  SEO practitioners are here to help you with SEO-related questions.

When I taught, I would highly celebrate students who raised a hand, prompting an answer to a question.  Why?  Because I knew (it was a very safe assumption) it was likely someone else wanted to hear the answer too.  In short, be a good student.  Read blog posts; ask questions; learn about search engine optimization before making a business investment.

DO YOU HAVE AN SEO QUESTION?  Raise your hand; do others, with the same question, a favor.

First Isn’t Always Best
I don’t have to tell those in my industry, “first is not always best.”  We know; we see it all the time.  However, those inexperienced with search may not know such things.  When I say ‘best’ I mean ‘best services your query.’  In theory, that’s what the search engines are supposed to do, provide the most authoritative answer to suit your ‘question’ or search.  I like listening to music; apparently, a lot of SEOs like music.  I often use my Android to recruit desired YouTube videos.  Lately, I’ve been observing a trend; it’s hard to find the ‘original’ video; so many others have ‘optimized’ their own versions, mostly for commercial reasons (for company or self-branded purposes).  I get the gravitation toward commercialization; I’m a marketer but also a consumer; ‘first’ results are not always what I’m searching for.  In this case (and many), ‘first’ is not ‘best.’  Ensure you employ (very) due diligence when searching the Web and searching for answers related to SEO and online marketing.

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