I’m So Bored with the SEO

…but what can I do? Besides look to The Clash for inspiration, I mean.

Miss Judith recently berated the rest of the Chicks for not writing much…well, she did it quite nicely, I hasten to add. Still, it really made me think about why I haven’t been writing lately, and the reason is simple: I’m bored out of my freaking mind right now.

There is definitely a lot going on with the industry, but so much of what is out there for our consumption deals with personal issues. This person doesn’t like THIS one, this idiot thinks another idiot was rude, this asshole thinks that someone was wrong to criticise him or her for making a truly stupid analogy, etc. Several of my good friends, people that I have the utmost respect for (plus Rob Kerry, ha!), have taken a LOT of heat over things ranging from speaking their mind, nicely of course, to trying to do the right thing and prevent Sphinn from becoming even more of a suburban high school drama. If you like gossip and silly antics, you’re probably happy right now. If you actually give a damn about anything else, good luck finding much about it.

As much as people like to talk about how meaningful things other than link development are, from what I see, not much else truly means all that much. Since I own a link development firm, talking about it in this blog doesn’t really interest me…I LIVE it. Otherwise, what’s left? The newest search engine that MAY compete with Google? Whether Yahoo and MSN will merge? How to prevent people from snooping on your site? Yet ANOTHER piece about how to properly code a robots.txt file? You can see where I’m going…Boredom City. Consequently, I am struggling to write these days. There is simply nothing that I haven’t said, or that another SEO Chick hasn’t said, or that one of you hasn’t said. There are so many bloggers out there blogging about the same things right now. You can read 10 different opinions on one tiny little tidbit, all written within an hour of each other. While it’s nice to read differing voices, sometimes it becomes a bit difficult to actually want to add to the noise.

I’m not bored with what I DO every day, actually, nor am I bored with the industry in general. I am simply bored with writing about it, because the online space is becoming incredibly cluttered with people who seem to know absolutely nothing about anything; they just want to create disturbance. They harass people in comments, they trash everyone who says anything of any value, and they attract like-minded followers who, in turn, attract their attention and they feed off each other. Instead of joining in, I’d rather focus on making sure my company makes a profit, and that my clients get what they pay for. I’d rather watch Father Ted DVDs and order broccoli and tomato pizza. I’d rather watch “Control” again (spoiler alert! Ian Curtis DIES at the end!!) even though it makes me cry and I become depressed for days, spending money on a variety of crap that I don’t need, and eating lots of chocolate doughnuts. I’d rather talk to Flora and Tw@ and make rude comments about Liza’s Facebook photos. Those activities, however, don’t make for good blog fodder. Well, the conversations with Flora and Tw@ would but I don’t want to incur the wrath of all the people we constantly talk trash about so…

Take a look at the current (as of this writing, obviously, I mean) headline stats on Sphinn: 8 on the front page are about social media in one form or another, whether it’s fake profiles or Digg; 3 are about Cuil; 4 are pieces dealing with numbers of either “this many experts say x” or “this many reasons to do or not to do y”; and the rest are all variations on themes we see all the time like new Firefox extensions or what’s wrong with WordPress. Honestly, I understand that there are many people just starting out in the industry, but how many ultimate guides to SEO do we truly need? We’re also seeing tons of recaps of various conferences, further reducing the desire of many people to actually attend these once enormously popular events. Now, it could be argued that Sphinn isn’t representative of what’s going on in the industry, and as much as I would like to believe that that is indeed true, I really don’t, sadly. BO-ring.

So, until there’s a major Google Dance or people start going to federal prison for buying links, I really don’t have all that much to say unless anyone is interested in which bands I’m going to see this summer. I’ll continue to discuss anything interesting with the people I trust on IM or Facebook, or make prank phone calls.

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39 Responses to “I’m So Bored with the SEO”

  1. I guess those rumors about you retreating to a monastery are unfounded? You do still live in the ether and are taking to the keyboard again.

    Anyway, your theme hits on something I discovered back in my more athletic days (pre-Internet but not quite to the dinosaur). I subscribed to both Runner’s World and Bicycling. After one year I noticed that there is just so much you can write (or read) about either sport. Articles were being re-cycled (no pun intended). Short of reviewing the latest products, how often does something come along that is really ground breaking i.e. worth writing about? Seldom, very seldom.

    From what you describe, it appears SEO has reached the same point. Like a lot of industries, progress cycles (I know, over use of the word) through spurts of innovation followed by long periods of stagnation. It appears SEO is in stagnation. That’s not to say there aren’t some interesting things taking place, but rather there is nothing out there that would make you say “Holy S@#$” and subsequent run to your Mac to crank out your latest missive.

    As one of your fans I can only hope that you and your fellow chicks continue to spoon feed us articles until the next “Holy s@#$” moment occurs.

  2. Julie Joyce says:

    Gene, what a fantastic comment, and thank you. As you may have noticed, the other Chicks seem to have things to say. I simply don’t unless someone needs a tip on which X song is the best. Nice cycle motif, btw.

  3. I hear ya! I get insomnia and so was up this am at 2am, (kinda like how now is 1am and I can’t sleep again)…anyway, I was almost inspired to blog about penis enlargement spam over at Sphinn. They even had long detailed comments and sphinners doing the sphinning on the topic. I don’t know where the mods were but I got to thinking I should work for them, on the night shift.

    One of these days something interesting will turn up. Hang in there :)

  4. haha… great post … I see you’re reaching a state just like many other friends that stop blogging, stop reading blogs, etc… simply because there’s more work to do than just spend hours a day in a forum or blog :-)

    cheers,christoph

  5. Chewie says:

    Hey Julie,

    I must admit that every time i goto Sphinn I (at least once) end up thinking “How the hell did that make it to the font page”. There is certainly a lot of rehashing going on, but then thats true for any social network. I guess as new people join the site they don’t take the time to look back through stories and just submit the same old crap that everyone knows and has seen. Its the same with Digg, Reddit, etc etc.

    Also you are right, there is also a hell of a lot of bitching in our industry and there are far too many people who think they are billy big bollocks who wouldn’t last two minutes in a fruit fight. I love the LondonSEO meet up’s but the amount of twats that i bump into is unreal. People have no idea what you have done or achieved but yet think they are better than you, it makes me laugh to think these same people couldn’t hold a normal conversation in a bar with non seo geeks.

    I guess we just need to slog on and try and find those quality posts amongst the crap. I am sure as Sphinn grows the quality of submissions will start to change. Besides people could always start submitting my crap, err i mean quality stories from my blog :o )

    Peace

  6. David Temple says:

    Me too. Okay lame comment but really I totally agree. So what’s a guy/gal to do? Personally I’m just writing about myself, lol. I mean what is more interesting to me than me? So my advice to you is write more about you, like you did here, how you are bored and what you think about lame blog posts. After all, it’s all you ….erh I mean, it’s all about me.

  7. Julie Joyce says:

    Thanks for all the comments. Glad to see I am not alone in being bored out of my mind with blogging…maybe I should just start trashing random people who’ve done things I don’t like. That could keep me going for ages.

  8. Marc Beharry says:

    I know the feeling! Seems like a classic case of people “talking loud and aint saying sh*t.” sorry for the throwback phrase. Thats the friendliest way I could think of phrasing it at the time.

  9. Erika says:

    “From what you describe, it appears SEO has reached the same point. Like a lot of industries, progress cycles (I know, over use of the word) through spurts of innovation followed by long periods of stagnation. It appears SEO is in stagnation.”

    You know, I agree to an extent. I feel like there is something to gain from listening to the differing viewpoints and varying levels of success in regards to specific topics within the industry. The thing that makes me turn my head, really, is the behavior of some of the professionals. It just, in the end, winds up making the entire industry look like it hasn’t matured as a profession that even the professionals can respect. THAT is annoying.

    I love this blog, and I’m kinda mad I never visited before!

  10. Julie Joyce says:

    Erika…we are also mad that you never visited before.

  11. pratt says:

    Thanks for saying all of that Julie, I wrote a scarily similar post yesterday declaring that I don’t blog anymore. I am so incredibly bored with this industry, but I still love SEO.

    Everybody is saying the same thing, over and over and over again. I hardly ever go to Sphinn these days.

  12. TheMadHat says:

    I think I’ll blog about why Julie is blogging about not blogging ;)

    I agree mostly. There are still some things to write about, as long as there is a new opinion or a new spin on something…but that is very rare indeed.

    I think I’ll just blog about dead cats. I bet that will get me some readers.

  13. Julie Joyce says:

    Good idea! Especially the dead cats part…I’d read it. I am mainly blogging so Judith won’t continue to harass me about why I don’t blog.

  14. Gaz says:

    Julie, Sounds like you need a holiday to gather your thoughts.

    I often feel like I’m stuck in my own personal ‘Groundhog day’. Get up in the morning, shower, dressed jump in the car, same drive to the office, same seo for the same three brands, same canteen at lunchtime, same drive home. Does it feel any different when you have different clients all the time? Maybe that’s the spice I need. The little SEO buzzes I used to get aren’t really there anymore, I think I need some different battle fronts.

    I kinda wanted to start a blog, maybe I’ll just be selfish and enjoy reading others like yours if I get the time.

    Take that holiday matey come back a fresh….Nice reading your post

  15. Flora says:

    It can be so hard to find something to say. I write once a week at SEOmoz and I sometimes really struggle to come up with something new that doesn’t make me want to dry-heave because of its similarity to the drivel that often reaches the front page of Sphinn. And I feel bad saying that because I like and respect the people who run that site and consider some of them to be good friends. The shit content is not their fault (not that you were saying it was).

    I often go through my portfolio of SEOmoz posts and monitor whether I think they’re worth their bandwidth or not. The posts of which I’m most proud are the ones where we uncovered something, like when we noticed that URLs ending in .0 were excluded and we helped change that.

    The bullying and bitching happens because people get bored, they like drama (as much as they ALL say they don’t) and they have an easy outlet. If they didn’t like it, they’d not keep referring back to past examples of drama whenever they could and they’d not keep writing blog posts that created it.

    Julie, I don’t care if you blog once every six months. When you do, it’s super. I mean, if we DID publish what we said to each other on IM, we’d be the most read blog on the Internet, but I’m not quite that much of a traffic whore yet.

  16. Julie Joyce says:

    Thanks Flora! You aren’t, like, saving our private conversations to post and put AdSense on are you? Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to mention what I wanted to do to Donkey.

    Regarding the Sphinn bit, I did not intend to make fun of Sphinn itself, or the mods or anyone else there. Sphinn IS obviously determined by its users who promote what they like, and I do not at all blame the lovely Rob Kerry for that even though I DO think he was involved in linking my name to the Church of Scientology on the London SEO site.

  17. Gaz says:

    Take that holiday :)

  18. Julie Joyce says:

    @Gaz: you know the saddest thing? I just got BACK from a holiday. Obviously it didn’t take…

  19. Flora says:

    I, um… no I haven’t saved anything…

    I definitely agree that the community at Sphinn is to blame for the bad content that reaches the front page, just as it is for the good stuff… the community feeds off nonsense and infighting however, which is the main reason I don’t comment very often.

  20. Gaz says:

    The saddest hing is I’ve not been on holiday for 2 years…dooh

  21. Julie Joyce says:

    Gaz, you definitely need a holiday. Maybe a Holiday in the Sun, to continue my musical references…ahem.

  22. As you said, Sphinn’s frontpage is determined by its user base. If people vote articles up, they should be stating that they have read and recommend it. Only you can change what’s promoted; either by voting for other articles or creating good content.

    And yes, I injected your name into the Scientology site – I thought you’d appreciate the gift.

  23. Julie Joyce says:

    Donkey!!! I agree with you completely sir. I will vote for good articles since I am failing to create good content.

    Thanks for that. I expect Tom Cruise will be phoning me any minute to ask what I think about a guest role in Mission Impossible whatever the hell number they are doing next.

  24. Gaz says:

    Julie, holiday booked we are going to Portugal. I came up with a term for a condition a few weeks back, I think we all suffer from “SEOOCD”…!
    I even bought the domain name, just .com the term and you’ll see. I was thinking of getting it going as a blog on SEO….but there are too many and everyone is getting tired.. Now it is still for SEO peeps, with one major rule….. wait for it, you can’t talk about SEO. mention it once and I will scrub people off. Just reading your post taught me maybe we can write about something else. There could be a sanctuary, for other ideas…very early days but I reckon it may be fun : ). It hasn’t even been themed yet, but it’s out my head and it exists..Would be great if anyone wants to write anything they like…

  25. g1smd says:

    Sphinn has introduced a lot of people to a far wider range of sites to read than they had previously been exposed to, not all of them good though.

    I’ve found a number of great sites to read over the last year with some fantastic content and ideas, but that was mostly in the beginning, not so much of that recently.

    Over the last few months, I’ve easily cleared three quarters of those sites out of my feed reader. Many of those have had little new or useful to say for many weeks or months.

    Lately, it seems there is a problem. Many sites are blindly producing “content” just to stay visible, with little regard to the quality or usefulness of it. As you say, the same stuff gets rehashed hundreds of times when some minor blip happens in the blogosphere.

    Worse still, there’s a lot of sites rehashing junk stuff from a decade ago that is no longer true, and it’s a difficult job to counteract some of that drivel as it rapidly propagates across the web.

    Is this the point in time where Social Media sinks to the lowest common denominator, and everyone with a clue heads in some other direction?

    Some parts of Social Media already seem to be overtaken by the “links frenzy” and are beginning to look no better than the FFA landscape of the late 1990s. Seems like a lot of newcomers haven’t learnt a lot from the previous iterations of “link frenzy”.

  26. Julie Joyce says:

    @Gaz: good for you.

    @g1smd: that’s an excellent point about people rehashing things that are no longer accurate. That’s a definite problem, especially when you think of new people in the industry being accidentally misled.

    I hope that social media is more than this, and I think it is. Of course, I enjoy the links frenzy you know…

    Another good point about producing content just to keep your name out there…I think that I’ve been guilty of that in the past, and there is a lot of pressure when blogs are going up left and right and, if you don’t keep up, you could disappear. I’ve finally decided that I really don’t care anymore, as long as I keep getting clients and can afford new boots and itunes movie rentals.

  27. Gaz says:

    So would you describe yourselves as suffering from SEOOCD?

  28. Julie Joyce says:

    Yes Gaz I’d say so.

  29. Gaz says:

    I’m a little gutted I can’t go on Wednesday, down to Brick Lane…I’ll just have to go Cold Turkey on the whole SEO thing for a night..Proove I don’t have SEOOCD, besides my team have a match in Canterbury, so holding out for more ‘me’ time and not SEO time. We may even get a victory, it may even be me that gets the win who knows!

  30. Julie Joyce says:

    I always enjoy taking credit for things, especially when it is unearned, but I cannot do it for this…I think a lot of people are just fed up.

  31. [...] about but everyone aimlessly “Sphinns”. It’s a joke. It’s sad. I’m bored out of my [...]

  32. Doug Heil says:

    Good stuff Julie! I’ve said from the beginning that social media sites are really just for teenagers; that’s what they started as anyway. Marketers saw an opening to exploit, and SM has been going downhill since. As someone said above; it really does seem like 1999 again. SM sites are looked at by marketers as a way to self-promote. Anytime you give this kind of outlet to a marketer, they will do their best to use it/exploit it. It’s human nature. I’m not going to compare SM sites to regular discussion forums, but isn’t it ironic the fact that discussion forums don’t allow direct self-promotion and SM sites do allow it? Well, I know some do… but many do not. SM directly entices self-promotion and voting up of friends. Discussion forums have no such thing.

  33. Eli says:

    Sounds like you need to find some new reading material :)

  34. Ciaran says:

    I think I’m in the same boat as you Ms Joyce (and I don’t just mean the ‘drinks too much, likes to shop’ boat).

    I’m meant to be a regular contributor to 3 blogs and try to contribute to another one on top of that. But recently all I’ve felt like saying is “Wow, look how cool this video is”. One solution is to start a personal blog and then you can do exactly that.

    Otherwise I find myself writing more & more about the businesses behind all the things we regularly get in a tizzy about. The Microhoo fiasco is much more interesting to me than a PR update, and will have a much longer lasting impact. Likewise I couldn’t give a flying about Cuil, but am fascinated with the ridiculous amount of money being poured into Bubble 2.0 companies.

    At the end of the day, whether you’re blogging about SEO or this cool new band you’ve just seen, you know that there will always be plenty of us eager to hear what you have to say.

  35. g1smd says:

    *** Bubble 2.0 ***

    You know it!

  36. Julie Joyce says:

    Hey Liza…glad you said you don’t “just” mean that drinking and shopping boat.

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