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Tactical Dispositions; Part II

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 17 January 2011 14:17

the Art of War; SEO Style(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)

Sun Tzu said:

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

 

SEO Style;

As an SEO warrior, seek to employ greater strategic elements than the opponent(s). Be lean and nimble to capture opportunities (often hard for larger corporates). See the larger picture. When you do this you may seems to win with ease. To the observer you have done seemingly little but accomplished much. As noted in 1 translation;

Mei Yao-ch`en says: "He who only sees the obvious, wins his battles with difficulty; he who looks below the surface of things, wins with ease."

Have a better plan and make as few mistakes as possible, success is nearly certain.

 

Sun Tzu said:

Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

SEO Style;

Simply enough, be prepared. As we have discussed prior it is not all about brute force (think large budget) nor is it all about strategy. It also does not revolve around the best team nor resources at hand nor timing even. It is about no single element. But by considering all of these elements and how they will affect the battle (SEO program) and anticipating mistakes (Mr Murphy is always on staff) puts us in an excellent position to succeed.

Never simply charge in and then begin to plan on the fly. While it may work now and again, it surely isn't the approach to guarantee long term success.

(tune in Wed for the next edition)

 

Art of War SEO StyleTactical Dispositions Part-I

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 14:14

the Art of War; SEO Style(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)

Sun Tzu said:

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy. Hence the saying: One may KNOW how to conquer without being able to DO it

SEO Style;:

We cannot seek victory by securing our own assets and positions. Ultimately, you must find weaknesses, tactically or strategically, to ultimately prevail. This can be pages ranked above or below you. Against companies not only individual query spaces. It can be considered on a few levels. We consider not only rankings but also budgets. Think big.

But ultimately we can only do our best to position ourselves well in the battle, seek the advantage strategically and come what may. You won't win all the battles, but quite possibly the war. To best position against defeat we conceal our dispositions (make your tactics hard to detect, so they aren't even sure a 'professional' SEO is on the job).


Sun Tzu said:

Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.

Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

The general who is skilled in defence hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.

SEO Style:

Right away the old (sports) saying comes to mind; you can't play 'not to lose'. There are times to play it safe, close to the chest, but one also must know when to move. Not to lose, is avoiding aspects that can bring it crashing down (glaring search engine offences). Taking the offence is being the first mover on a news story.

To be successful you need to wield both the sword and the shield. Tactics is about knowing when you are weak. Don't waste resources on campaigns that offer little or you're ill equipped to carry out. Protect those above the fold rankings and go lateral taking #1's on the flanks.

Employ offence and defence strategically.

(tune in Thursday for the next edition)

 

Art of War - SEO Style; Attack by Strategem Part V

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 15:41

the Art of War; SEO Style(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)

Sun Tzu said;

Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:

  • He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
  • He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
  • He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
  • He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
  • He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.


SEO Style;

We now embrace the concept of aligning all that we have learned in this section. Knowing when to be aggressive and when to be defensive. Knowing that one approach, static in nature, is ultimately doomed.

By employing a strong strategy, a smaller force (team, resources) can beat a larger one and vice versa. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each position (a small website tends to be more nimble than a larger corporate one for example). Always be aware of opportunities.

Also ensure there is minimal interference and lines of communication through the chain of command. Opportunities cannot be capitalized upon when hindered by red tape.


Sun Tzu said;

Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

SEO Style;

Simple enough. Doesn't really need much adaptation does it? To simply approach SEO as a static or mechanical art is to be in a position to fail against a competitor whom has implemented a strategy based on these elements. And it could be me. :0)

(tune in Monday for the next edition)

 

Art of War - SEO Style; Attack by Strategem Part IV

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 06 December 2010 14:26

the Art of War; SEO Style(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)

Sun Tzu said;

There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:

  1. By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.

  2. By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldier's minds.

  3. By employing the officers of his army without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.


SEO Style;

As to, can the SEO leader. You cannot direct your troops,(staff, contractors etc..) from afar. But also none too close. Do not get so distracted or comfortable as to lose touch with them. Building trust and confidence ultimately boosts team morale.

(1) We must be aware of the limitations or advantages in all situations and direct the warriors in a conducive manner. Be fluid and adaptable. Avoid asking them to do what cannot be done.

(2) Do not manage your personnel with the same levity as a client. To be a leader you must lead and hold other to the same accountability.

(3) Know your troops and assign rank (positions and roles) appropriately. Always have the right people doing the right tasks. Also acquire team leaders that are quick on their feet, ready to adapt. This builds confidence from those around them.

 

Sun Tzu said;

But when the army is restless and distrustful, trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes. This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging victory away.

SEO Style;

If we heed the first part above, we must consider the failure to heed the advice. We will break team morale and ultimately others will believe 'their way' to be better. As the cohesive program strategy breaks down from the inside, surely the game is lost.

You will never be truly successful when internal strife prevails.

(tune in Wednesday for the next edition)

 

Christmas in the Village a Pictorial

Written by David Harry   
Friday, 03 December 2010 15:37

Christmas in the Village a Pictorial

Ok, I mentioned last night I was going out with the family, some of ya'll (tweeple) said to take some pics, so here ya go...

For some background, I left the big city life back when my first child was borne and headed to the country. We eventually landed (5 years ago) in a small town of 1500 that is quaint and offers all the goodiness that comes with small town life.

Our main street is maybe a few hundred yards long, has maybe 20 stores and well... that's about the size of it. We don't even have a set of street lights in town, just a stop sign in the middle of town.. Gives you the idea. Each year they close off the main street and the town turns up to get into the holiday spirit. Here's some visuals from last night.

Small town Christmas

That of course are the kidlets... or as I like to say these days, the 'hicklets' since they're true blue country kids. They are Elisia and Adrian... they had a blast.

At the local barber shop (yes, with striped poll and all) they were set up for the kids to make some antlers for the evening. Oh and the antlers themselves? You trace yer hand... very cute.

Santa

Meanwhile, over at the local real estate office, Santa and the missus had set up shop. This is a good move because last year? They had it in the funeral home..lol.. strange choice. Nice to see they moved it.

Horse Drawn wagon

Another tradition around here, a few times per year, one of the local farmers brings his horses and wagon into town. It's a nice ride around the town and the kids just LOVE it. Fortunately it wasn't TOO cold, so it was bearable this year.

Just a couple of pics with the fam'. One with my daughter and of course I had to work one in with the missus, whom just HATES cameras and me posting her pic for the world to see...lol. Hopefully I will avoid the dog house with that one...

And there we have it... there were more pics, but I know yer busy, so that's the quick jist of things. The Legion (veterens center) had story telling and a choir as well. Fun time all in all.

From me and mine to you and yours; Happy holidays!

 

 

The Geeks Holiday Avatar Shop is Now Open!

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 02 December 2010 16:29

Over the years we tend to know each other (by sight) from our avatars as much as our names. From the forum daze to the rise of social, they've bee a part of one's online persona. One of the fun parts of that is watching how your friends/followers evolve over time or adapt them for various causes/holidays.

Which brings us to the current holidays approaching. Here on the Trail we started 'cheering up' people's avatars, just for fun, back in 2008 (see the original round here). What was just started on a whim to brighten up the web and spread holiday cheer, has now bee an annual ritual it would seem.

Here's some of the ones from this year so far (we'll add new ones as they happen);

NetMeg
NetMeg

Dean
Dean Cruddace

Kristy
Kristy

Mike
Mike
Bob
Bob
Dana
Dana
Sebastian
Sebastian
Tony
Tony
Eren
Eren
Lyena
Lyena
Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones
Monica Wright
Monica

Melissa Fach
Melissa

Nichola
Nichola
Rob
Rob
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Kaila
Kaila
Mike
Mike
Arnie Kuenn
Arnie
Ana
Ana
Gerald Weber
Gerald

Doc
Doc

Fun stuff huh? It's surely a good break from all this 'Art of War' stuff I've been cranking out here right? If you're interested in getting one done just track me down on Twitter or Facebook and we'll hook ye up (we do what we can with the time we have ok?).

At the end of the day, it is just a great excuse to spread some luv'n and make the web a brighter/friendlier place. And hey, I've already met some new peeps I didn't know before... it's all worth it.

Happy Holidays to All!

 

The Art of War - SEO Style; Attack by Strategem Part III

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 14:13

the Art of War; SEO Style(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)

Attack by Strategem; Part III

Sun Tzu said;

It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two. If slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy If quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him. Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force, in the end it must be captured by the larger force.

SEO Style;

When the authority, resources staff and budget are obviously superior, take the long tail first and slowly close the noose. If the advantage is considerable, but not overwhelming, let them know you are there and begin to break them down. If only a slight advantage, then divide through distraction. Make them feel they are in a no win situation and thus resign them to second best.

When coming from a weaker position, work around the edges. The low hanging fruit and long tail opportunities until gains can be translated into a stronger program. When below that point, study, plan and seek appropriate funding to enact at least a minimalist campaign.


Sun Tzu said;

Now the general is the bulwark of the State; if the bulwark is complete at all points; the State will be strong; if the bulwark is defective, the State will be weak.

If the leader, you, are lacking and deficient in the art of war, then surely your people and strategy will also be deficient. By extension, the nation (website/company) will also be weakened by a leader lacking in the skills and art.

(tune in Monday for the next edition)

 

The Art of War - SEO Style; Attack by Strategem Part II

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 29 November 2010 15:07

the Art of War; SEO Style(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)

Sun Tzu said;

The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more.

The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.


SEO Style;

We have already discussed the need for preparedness. It is integral, when not over done, to successfully winning the battle. But this will take time. Time with no immediate return that is self-evident. That in turn will cause those funding the activities, (the country) to be stressed. Many times you will feel forced into action, before the appropriate moment.

It was once said that is it better to be doing nothing than to be doing much, but accomplishing nothing. Moving in hap haphazardly due to frustration and pressure, will inevitably lead to poor performance.


Sun Tzu said;

Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.


SEO Style;

And so through the section 'Waging War' we learned to attack laterally, to frustrate but not make an enemy of our competitors. To avoid long drawn out battles in query spaces that can be cash negative. Because we will always have multiple competitors, the less resources spent on any one, will leave more for subsequent conquest.

You must control the battle field and consider what lays beyond any given success. This attitude must be carried onwards never ending until the kingdom's demise.

(tune in Wednesday for the next edition)

 
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