Search Marketing – Underpants Gnome Style

I can’t claim originality to the theme. Emergence Media gave a recent and great analogy of the Underpants Gnome problem regarding Web 2.0. SEOmoz gave another post a good mention, and there are probably similar posts out there on the “Interweb”.

What if we took this business model and specifically applied it to search marketing?

Check out the South Park video. You can replace the words “collect underpants” with “rank high on Google”, or “get to the front page of Digg”, and even “be #1 in Google Local (Maps)”.

It happens all the time. Many still pitch this philosophy, and just as many potential clients buy right into it.

Rank high on Google and I’m gonna’ be rich!

What happens when the client is enjoying all those Google rankings, and then calls up a few months later wondering why their phone isn’t ringing?

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love search marketing and it’s a lot of what I do for a living, but there’s a reason many outside of the industry relate it to snake-oil sales.

It does give me a good feeling to work with different Web teams. It presents the opportunity to provide a Web site worthy of all the traffic without having to think for a second on how to “manipulate” search results.

The common sense approach makes the Web better. Really!

Four years ago I would have slapped myself for posting this.

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7 Responses to Search Marketing – Underpants Gnome Style

  1. Daniel R says:

    Hey Paul,

    I’m glad someone found my Underpants Gnomes reference amusing. 😉 Thanks for the mention.

    I know your blog is focused on local search, but are there any others? I’d like to start building out a folder of all Local Search Marketing blogs.

    Thanks!

    – Daniel

  2. Paul says:

    You bet, Daniel! Here are a few, I’m probably missing some, too.

    http://gesterling.wordpress.com/
    http://localonliner.com/
    http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/
    http://www.seobythesea.com/ (part local, good patent info)
    http://www.blumenthals.com/blog/
    http://www.miketheinternetguy.com/blog/
    http://www.findbuffalo.com/blog/
    http://www.locallytype.com/

    There are others, so if I missed any, feel free to mention your local search blog.

  3. Paul says:

    Shame on me, I forgot about this one!
    http://www.sierrawebmarketers.blogspot.com/

    Mike was cool enough to really pimp me out a couple months back without even knowing me or sharing any prior communications… and he has a great blog.

  4. […] supplemental results Google Hell. He also keeps it real in a Matt Cutts’ blog comment. The Underpants Gnome SEO types probably don’t […]

  5. […] worst I’ve seen, but it’s shady and they prey on the ignorant.  It reminds me of the rankings = profits […]

  6. […] do not automatically equal profits. If you’re into bad South Park humor, feel free to see the underpants gnome search marketing […]

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