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How to Explain SEO to the Illiterate – the Library Analogy

by / Thursday, 27 December 2007 / Published in Featured, Fun, Insights / Research, Natural Search / SEO

25 Responses to “How to Explain SEO to the Illiterate – the Library Analogy”

  1. canada seo says :

    Thats hilarious, I’ve just never bothered trying to explain it to my family :)

  2. What a clever way to explain this! Nice job.

    As much as I love what I do, I dread explaining how SEO works to those with absolutely no idea or concept at all. Long conversations, blank faces and a sore throat usually ensues.

  3. Great analogy. Now I am beginning to be NOT that illiterate. Thanks for this..

  4. Paul O'Brien says :

    Something kept me up last night… You are not the “author of the book”. As an SEO, you are the publisher, marketer, celebrity on the book tour, AND EDITOR of the book, but you aren’t likely creating, designing, or programming the website.

  5. Troy says :

    Thanks for sharing your opinion…

    It is a time consuming process to explain SEO to someone who does not have any idea about the importance of internet marketing.
    In most cases, I feel like, I have to convince them that I am doing something really valuable.

    I prefer to make explanations to my prospect clients to make some $ out of my SEO lecturings.. :)


  6. [...] So often we as a company have to answer to CEOs, Presidents and executives who do not have a clear understanding of search marketing and more importantly a clear understanding of what they are paying us to do.   One of my biggest weaknesses (and thankfully Andy’s biggest strengths) is explaining search marketing in a way that everyone can understand it.  With improved analytics and tracking it is certainly much easier to show ROI but it isn’t always easy to explain the SEO processes themselves. [...]

  7. someshwar says :

    Good job dudes.
    My site isn’t open yet. I wanna use your information in my site man. Can I?

  8. Sajid Baig says :

    Seriously – great article MG. Well written so it was worth writing too…

  9. [...] Years Eve, and one of my favorite favorite ideas: The Library Analogy. The premise is simple, the easiest way to explain SEO to someone unfamiliar with search engines, websites, or optimization, is to compare the practice to managing a [...]

  10. Ana says :

    Lovely analogy in explaining SEO, but really, when was the last time you visited your library? You used quite an antiquated example of the abilities of librarians and libraries.

  11. Paul O'Brien says :

    Great point Ana but I’d really be depressed with the state of U.S. education if people aren’t familiar with a library! ;)

  12. [...] Algorithm Apparently Killed JeevesHow to Explain SEO to the Illiterate – the Library AnalogyOnline Marketing HeroesAdBrite instead of Google AdSense / AdWordsIs Your Paid Seach Vendor Ignorant [...]

  13. LinkDirectory says :

    So everyone who wants to be SEO writer or marketer must learn from the librarians :-)

  14. [...] colors of SEO – the 3 things from which all other opportunities extend. When explaining SEO to the uninitiated or ultimately uninterested, can we be this [...]

  15. Raniologi says :

    SEO takes so much time, that is why we need to give it to the experts. Sometimes people don’t think should do a SEO. If a beginner like me wants to try it, the simple way to understand SEO is through this analogy.

  16. [...] a sitemap in a unique location serves its purpose, and works just fine, I turned to an analogy (I like analogies) to defend the standard. Think of your sitemap as the host or hostess at your favorite restaurant. [...]

  17. seo london says :

    Its bad enough explaining to someone normal

  18. Andre Colt says :

    Two thumbs up for these.SEO is not just a job it can be also a habit.Like reading a books in the library we also needs to read and understand the latest trends about SEO.It is not an easy job we need to learn everyday same as staying at the library.

  19. Andre Colt says :

    This is an interesting analogy but nowadays most of us are addicted to the games and did not even know the use of the library same as SEO if you don’t read you will not learn.

  20. Andre Colt says :

    Superb Analogy.I really appreciate this article. SEO is not a one day process,it took so long to understand well. Just like a book reading one material is not enough to gain knowledge.

  21. [...] So, I thought anyone who reads this article would be better served reading Paul’s, so here it is… [...]

  22. Melodie Licht says :

    I’m just getting started in websites with WordPress, but have heard about SEO over the years. This is an excellent article on SEO and loved the analogy! Will be looking for more of your posts :)

  23. SEO'Brien says :

    Thanks Melodie! This is an older idea but one that still works really well. A couple more are coming… I’ve been thinking about SEO in the context of a building.

    Glad to have you here, my blog has been offline for some time and I’m only now getting the pieces back in place.

  24. The blog looks great Paul! Glad I finally found it! I miss harassing you over at Outright. lol.

    I’m glad you’re doing well. Enjoy your holidays.

    John Lizotte

  25. SEO'Brien says :

    Thanks John! Great to hear from you
    I’ve had my head down getting settled and rebuilding life in Austin. Excited to be here and anxious to get up some new ideas and get back to work. Let’s catch up soon!

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