SEO and PR

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 08/25/2005

Note: this article is deprecated (2005). Please surf in through SEO and Social.

Exactly one year ago I made the move from being an in-house Webmaster to formally throwing my hat into the professional SEO ring. I’ve always been of the opinion that only an in-house Webmaster has the extreme control of the information systems necessary in order to perform hyper-competitive SEO. I’m not talking about black hat SEO, but rather the ultimate extreme of white hat techniques. In-house, you can ferret out every bit of publishable information tied up in business systems, and put it to work publicly. You then combine these power-publishing techniques with home-built tracking systems to gather competitive intelligence both off of your site, and directly from the search engines, and you have a one-two punch that can’t be beat.

My thinking gradually changed as I realized that such in-house Webmasters were rare to the point of non-existence. I went this unusual route due to my unusual position as a Webmaster with revenue-sharing. This uniquely motivated me to master disparate disciplines and blend them into a strange brew of organic SEO. My company was so adverse to paying even a few thousand/year for AdWords that I had to overcompensate with organic techniques. So, I built my own content management system. I learned how to produce alternate output from other content management systems or any data source including XML. Because I was resource-starved, and tracking systems were primitive, expensive beasts at the time, I built my own tracking and analytics package specifically for SEO. I basically reduced it to a science, always choosing “build” when the build vs. buy question arose.

In other words, I developed my whole own SEO methodology. It was ready to be polished and packaged and introduced to the world. But the world was wrapped up in the world of SEM, where the deal was clearer and the media buyers could continue with their customary behavior. Selling SEO was strange. It was more tied to a company’s genuine reputation and word-of-mouth marketing efforts than to it’s advertising budget. So, it was only natural that I was attracted to the Public Relations industry (PR). PR is concerned with gaining publicity for Clients where paid advertising cannot. In other words, PR will get you coverage in magazine articles or TV programs – as opposed to magazine ads and TV commercials. PR gets you mentioned in the true editorial content, where media-savvy consumers have lowered their defenses are more apt to believe the message being delivered. This is exactly analogous to genuine results vs. sponsored listings. SEO is a natural extension of the Public Relations industry.