SEO is obviously a newish phenomenon… kind of. So what were the equivalent techniques or roles back in the day that we could compare to current SEO techniques or tools? Here’s a wee tongue-in-cheek look at 10 we came up with (please note that some terminology may appear to be risque, but are actual used terms in the insustry and aren’t meant to cause offence):
1 )Blacksmith – We think that the hard work and earning-an-honest-crust work of a 1900’s Blacksmith can be likened to the modern day White Hat SEO. Forever plugging away in the best practise techniques buit is highly skilled at what they do. Can be laborious and you occassionally may get kicked in the teeth. I once went for a job as a Blacksmith and they asked if I had any experience in shoeing horses. I replied “No, but I’ve told many a donkey to clear off”!
2 )Highwayman – This criminal is always taking things that don’t belong to him and his aim is to benefit from other people’s hard work. Today’s equivalent might be a ‘Scraper’ who goes through other websites and attempts to either directly copy the content (although this is pretty silly) or slightly changes what is already there to try to gain some kudos with the old Googley woogley.
3 ) Lady of the Night – Well I’m sure I don’t have to go into this role in too much detail, but let’s just say they do call this the ‘oldest profession’! In the SEO world of the 21st Century, we might see a similar role filled by someone who would link to anyone or do anything in order to get links from other websites without much concern for quality and too much for quantity. We might call this person a Link Whore.
4 ) Town Crier – “One ‘O’ Clock and all is weeeeeelll!” A kind of pointless shouting of not-so-amazing-information if you think about it, but I’m sure it was a useful role back in the day. So who could be compared to this here and now? What about the people on social networking websites who seem to make a dramatic announcement reasonably often that turns out to be as exciting as a Darts WAG’s mud wrestle? We get these announcements all the time and I can see the point in trying to drum up some publicity… we may also have to confess to being somewhat guilty of this type of thing, but we’re just enthusiastic 🙂
5 ) Sheriff – There were not only Sheriffs in the Wild West, we had the Sheriff of Nottingham over this side of the pond. Anyway, a pretty straight forward comparison here to a Forum/Blog Moderator. You gotta keep these commenters and outrageous posters in line, you know! Why not deputise someone to be a ‘Community Manager’? Try not to put people in jail (unless it’s libellous) or spit Tabaccy.
6 ) Jack The Ripper – This elusive son-of-a-gun rained havoc on London Town, striking fear into the hearts of many a citizen. He’s still on the loose today, but rather than killing prostitutes, he’s a Black Hat SEO using dirty tactics to gain rankings. He’s living dangerously though, Google’s always on the lookout for him and will eventually find him… either that or wrongly convict some poor wee fellow.
7 ) The King – The main man, the dude, the emperor, the most important being in the bleeding country. I won’t be the first to make this comparison, nor the last my dear friends. Today the King is dead (technically there’s a Queen but give me a break) long live the New King – Unique Content.
8 ) Jester – This role was in place to entertain the important people in life. This would help the host to gain valuable friends and contacts. The same could be said of the latter day Link Bait techniques. A funny image here, a clever story there and you’re using some humour to curry favour with people in the online community – much like this post, one would hope.
9 ) Executioner – He’s a killer, no two ways about it. When your head’s on the block this guy is going to be chopping like Gordon Ramsay in an abbatoir. And it’ll pretty much end it for you there and then. Much like the owner of a website that is so unfavoured by Google, that to be assosiated with it or have a link to or fro, means the end for your website. Dead in the SERP’s.
10 ) Stone Mason – Artistic, sought after profession. He builds your shop front, your buildings and is responsible for how you were perceived and would even give an idea of your status in the community, so it was handy to find the right one who was good at his job. In the SEO community, Web Designers could be the Stone Masons. Arguably a huge part of the SEO would be to get the website converting and in order to do this the aesthetics must be spot on. So get a good Website Designer, preferrably not one who’s stoned 😉