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Use the Forum my young SEO Jedi

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 15 April 2008 08:53

Fond memories of Social Networking 1.0

Once upon a time there was a mystical magical land called Social Networking 1.0; or as us old folks like to call them – forums. It was a wonderful place where you could not only meet up with other professional SEOs, but webmasters and curious onlookers alike. They could be engaging, enlightening, frustrating and fun; often quite consuming. But, for a young SEO practitioner, there is also a hidden value to remember that is potentially important to your future.

I don’t get out to the boards as much as I did a few years ago, but like many SEOs, countless hours have been consumed within them. True to my moniker, theGypsy, I have bopped around a lot and have accounts in more locales than I can remember (right Able?). While reflecting upon what I enjoy about that social format, a few things seemed truly important for the new generation of SEOs; important aspects of being an SEO forum fly that can be help your growth;

Use the Forum my young JediExperience – generally speaking, we never have more than 10 or so clients at my firm which means no more than 10 markets/niches. This can be somewhat limiting to your growth and some basic problem solving for webmasters on a given board can open up avenues you may not reach otherwise. By cutting your teeth on the boards you can experience a wide variety of problems (to solve) and markets which will ultimately build your tool set and benefit your clients (now and in future as well).

Communication – by helping webmasters and business owners you learn to ‘talk to them’. We often speak to other SEO professionals in mannerisms and with lexicons that may not be immediately understandable to your average client. When you work the boards, the ability to speak in simplest terms that everyone can understand becomes paramount. This translates into better communication with clients, other departments or corporate overlords which ultimately makes any SEO campaign better.

Friendship – the relationships spawned on forums can last a long, long time. Many of SEO folks I know, especially the longer standing friends, have mostly come from forums I have been on over the years. This isn’t limited to SEO people either. Many folks I have as friends work in other disciplines such as eCommerce, law, financial, VCs and more. Networking with SEOs and business people alike has certainly been one of the biggest benefits.

Promotion – while I can’t say that I truly ever had many projects (that I take on) from forums, it has certainly been an act of branding over the years. Don’t look to ‘sell’ though, as with any social medium, try to be useful. I have never considered forums a major revenue generation tool (they are looking for ‘free’ advice, ya know?)

A few years ago when I was more active, my blog here was actually often covering topics that I would hear as common questions or concerns of the boards I was lurking. There is still much to be offered from this old hat, social networking 1.0; especially for young SEO enthusiasts. Get out there and get dirty, roll up your sleeves and go do micro-problem solving SEO, learn how to talk to lay people and make a few new contacts…. Now dammit!! Git!! Shoo!!

I can’t think of many of the more ‘prominent’ SEOs that haven’t spent countless hours on the boards… for me there is still value to be had my young SEO Jedi – Use the Forum.


( image via Gizmodo - cool doggy costume)



0 # horseforum 2008-04-17 05:29
Hi..your blog is giving lot of information about seo and the way you have given idea for a new generation seo to be is very nice.
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0 # Dave 2008-04-17 22:15
yes and how coincidental that your site (client's?) is about horses... whooda thunk it? :0
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0 # Jaan Kanellis 2008-04-17 23:17
Every time I see those dog costumes they freak me out. I have no idea why.
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0 # Dave 2008-04-17 23:23
lol.... it got the missus thinking because we own a black dog... poor bastard, haloween is not looking good for him...

Darth Doggy!!
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0 # Streko 2008-04-18 08:32
in the movie starwars a "young jedi" would be refered to as a "young padawan"

In the 2nd Starwars movie Yoda refers to Luke as a "padawan" multiple times during his training - a padawan is not yet a jedi but still in training and learning of all his abilities.

/end starwars geek talk
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0 # Dave 2008-04-18 12:33
ha ha ha ha... well if I had awards for comments... you'd be nominated for that one... kudos

I stand corrected.
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0 # Malte 2008-04-21 11:43
I have to disagree. Forums were a cool thing a couple of years ago but nowadays there is not much to learn for an seo in any forum I know. Must information can be found in the blogsphere much faster.
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0 # Dave 2008-04-21 12:17
Well, there is ALWAYS lessons hidden within problem solving for the non-SEO folks on the boards. Learning how to diagnose problems and advising on them is very educational for a young SEO.

Reading a blog or a book doesn't give a REAL WORLD experience. It is merely words...

Would I advise using a forum to learn SEO from merely reading? Not many of them, but that's not the value to a young SEO...

..simply a good place to cut yer teeth....
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0 # micheelgeorge 2008-09-22 18:30
Social Networking 1.0 (i.e. forums) was a wonderful place where you could not only meet up with other professional SEOs, but webmasters and curious onlookers alike.

internet marketing (
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0 # Stephen Peterson 2009-06-09 08:35
Loved this post! Great information I can share with the mates at work.
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0 # riseandshineseo 2009-06-09 20:29
Agreed with the 'cutting your teeth' comment. Case & point for me: htaccess rules. I read rewrite rules all over the web but not until I began struggling with various rewrites did I actually learn what its all about.

Of course reading certainly helps provide a base of where to begin
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