How to explain what SEO and Link Building is to your non-geek friends

28 Sep

Warning: this is a typical Friday afternoon post.

A few weeks ago, I read Rebecca’s rant about the fact that she’s not working for Google. How recognizable. When I tell people I am a Link Marketer, they immediately assume that I’m either the reason of all blog comment spam, or I’m involved in some shady porn/ gambling/ pills promotion pyramid. Right…

During a discussion at work recently, we came up with the perfect way to make even your least web savvy friend understand what a link marketer is. Note to all the ladies reading this: this is the perfect way to make even your least web savvy male friend understand what being a link marketer is like.

SEO is like sex
If you want to explain stuff to a guy, you have to take examples that he can understand. In this case you can perfectly use the only example that every man will understand: sex. Here’s how to explain SEO and Link Building to your non-geek friend.

“Imagine that getting sex is like getting traffic to a website. Do you like sex? Your website likes getting traffic. Do you want to know what an SEO and/ or Link Builder does? He/ she lets your website get laid more often.

Paid vs. Organic
Just like women, search results can be free or paid for. Do you know those one way streets where you have bars and nightclubs on the left side, and shady buildings with women standing in front of them on the right side? Those streets are just like a search engine.
Let’s start with the easy part of the street; the right side. You have to pay for the women on the this side. No effort needed, just pay an you’ll get laid almost instantly. Some of them are expensive and some of them are really cheap. The cheap ones won’t receive a lot of requests, the expensive ones often do. If you manage to at least fulfill some of their basic quality needs (like a quality score), it might be cheaper the next time.

Now we move over to the other side of the road. If you want to have sex on this side, you’ll have to get in to a bar or nightclub first. When you managed pass the man at the door, you’re in. These kinds of bars usually look alike; there are lots and lots of guys walking around and most often only a few girls. Some of the bars are not very crowded, but most of them are.
Getting laid is a lot more difficult on this side of the road, isn’t it?

Link Building: let yourself be found
With all those guys fighting for only a handful of girls, it’s hard to get some attention on the left side of the road. Fancy clothes, a pretty face and a good smell isn’t always a guarantee for success. This is where Link Building comes in handy. If you can get others to recommend you (preferably by other guys in the same bar, fighting for the same women), you’ll get noticed much sooner. A link builder makes sure that others are talking about you.

Some rules and tips

  • Don’t try to sneak into the bar without passing the man at the door. This is against the rules.
  • Paying other people to recommend you also is against the rules. Matt (the guy standing just behind the man at the door) doesn’t like this very much.
  • You’ll probably get to know a guy called W.I. Kipedia. He gets laid first. That’s just the way it goes.
  • Always use a pink condom while having sex.”

The faith of a Link Builder
This is something you might want to leave out, but Link Builders have a very unthankful job. They help other people getting laid, but usually don’t have time anymore to have sex themselves.

I tried this explanation out and it works like a charm. There were only two guys in the bar who didn’t understand what SEO is after explaining it this way. One of these two still believed that the Internet would turn out to be a big flop, the other one was so drunk that he couldn’t even pronounce his own name correctly.

8 Responses to “How to explain what SEO and Link Building is to your non-geek friends”

  1. Wingnut September 29, 2007 at 12:02 am #

    Heh, nice post. I recently left my freelance ways on hold and took a SEO job with a mid-sized search marketing company… I’m for sure going to use this to explain what I do to some of my co-workers when they ask.

  2. Pieter van Gils September 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    I can only smile after reading this post! :-)

  3. André Scholten October 1, 2007 at 9:48 am #

    This makes my job sound a lot prettier :P

    And how would you explain black-hat? Like a gang-bang without condoms, so your site gets laid a lot, but eventually it’s very very ill ;)

  4. Wiep October 1, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    AndrĂ©: LOL. I guess black hat tactics might be a lot of fun in the beginning, but you’ll eventually end up with an STD.

  5. Olaf Lederer October 18, 2007 at 9:59 am #

    Nice read!
    I guess this is one of the reasons why my wife is jealous because of my SEO work.

    Because you’re from the Netherlands too, I’m very surprised that you’re able that someone understand what kind of work you’re doing; Link building, SEO is not really something people know.

  6. Craig Mullins January 19, 2009 at 4:06 am #

    I too will have to start using this method of comparing SEO to sex.

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