Changes in the Way we Learn
I was reviewing some of the material I had used for workshops I had run, and I came across this quote
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, then unlearn, and subsequently relearn
Written by the sociologist and futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1970 via his book Future Shock.
A classic, Future Shock, was written in 1970, a 6 million copy best-seller co-written with his wife Heidi that predicted the computer revolution, cable television, video recorders, cloning, and the rise of the knowledge economy.
To me that quote encompasses Western society today. We have outsourced or off shored most of our manufacturing to countries like China and India. What we have left is a knowledge economy, as predicted by Toffler, and the only constant in the knowledge economy is change.
The IT workshops which I ran back in 2000 have little relevance, except as background material, to workshops I run today. Not only has the technology changed but how we apply that technology has also changed. Western economies are now service economies, based on how can we take the low-cost products manufactured in Asia and add value plus margin to them in order to provide a service to our customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) takes this a step further, maybe becoming the classic knowledge economy service, there is no product involved, nothing to build value around and the service is delivered over the Web.
At Gurus, we believe that we learn new things about SEO everyday, the search engine companies have teams of very bright people continually refining and changing the algorithms used to rank websites on their results pages. We have to keep up, we have to adapt, we have to learn new ideas.
However, probably the most difficult part for us is the "unlearning". Techniques that worked well yesterday, may not work well today. Some SEO companies used to write white text on white backgrounds on their web pages. This meant humans couldn't see the text, but it was visible to the spiderbots scanning the actual HTML code. Today, if you try this your site may well be sandboxed for 6 months. Sandboxing is a method that search engines use to penalise the results of sites that flagrantly try to buck the system.
Our aim has been to work with mainstream ideas plus techniques which build the value and web presence of a site over time. We know tricks we can use to boost our performance today, but long term anyone using these ideas will be penalised.
That is what makes true SEO work so challenging for the enthusiastic amateur. Unless you are willing to track each search engine's new results methods, you may find yourself sandboxed for using a technique which seemed perfectly OK yesterday. Many of the sites we look at are using keyword stuffing which in the main seems OK today, but we do believe that this will be penalised in the future, and maybe the first you know will be your site disappearing for 6 months!
One further word of warning - each search engine uses different techniques to rank websites, some being much easier to spot than others. Without mentioning names, the one that is most difficult (let's call it Bigman "G") is also by far the most popular. That is the reason many SEO companies focus on the lower ranked search engines is that they are so keen to see you that they don't bother with penalising you for dubious techniques.
And now our poem
Just to prove we aren't just left-brain logical mathematicians, a poem from my partner, reflecting this month's theme - I really wish I could do this!
Am I alone as I survey that vast wilderness outside,
Sat at home every day fettered by my own foolish pride,
I may believe I can conceive stunning cunning plans,
Yet I perceive the web I weave comes lacking vital strands,
It may transpire my destiny is to conquer virtual space,
But I must wire the best of me to another spidery face,
For although knowing everything about business and site,
To grow means throwing other experts in to get it right,
So even this experienced spider who spins webs so fine,
Needs for bliss a guider to show the whole world online,
His creation, born bred and reared, now standing serene,
Will evoke elation and be revered if it can only be seen,
There's no point in Picasso no mike in Michelangelo,
If the joints a no go and the sound man doesn't show,
So that treasure you're concealing from total global view,
Measures up and has meaning with others helping you,
We all have inborn talent and also inborn failings,
So often scorn a balance, chained up to our own railings,
And our world misses a website that deserved to be a star,
But not unfurled in all its might, merely cowering from afar,
Why not take your Van Dyke, or Rembrandt seen by few,
And let us make it see the light, exposed to global view,
Don't hide them in shadows behind barriers of your mind,
Where pride and jealous arrows make them so hard to find,
Instead turn to experts just as good that you would strive to be,
Who you'll learn to trust, and who will set your website free.
He would never tell you this but the Poet Laureate, Philip Larkin, actually wrote to him saying he liked his poems - I'll stick to writing the ezine!
Customer of the Month
Every single month we will endeavour to bring you a "Customer of the Month", a successful site which you
can visit and compare to what you may have in mind for the future yourselves.
This month, it is the Kids Exchange clothing site, based in Cheshire. That is a novel idea where people swap designer clothes from top labels rather than buying them once at great cost. Kids Exchange are now offering these great, nearly-new designer clothes on the web for both British and international customers.
Click the link
Kids Exchange Link to find out more.
Can we assist your business? Just email us now with your site details and we'll have quick look and let you know what we can do for you.