Depending on your age, you’ll remember Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner. They were a pair of cartoon characters from Looney Tunes that started back in 1948. I remember watching the old re-runs as a kid back in the day, and I always had a good laugh at the antics Wile E. Coyote would go through in order to catch the Road Runner. Thinking about the antics of them got me thinking about the antics in today’s SEO space. That is, the antics of good SEO and bad SEO. Not following? I’ll show you what I mean.
Wile E. Coyote
In every episode, instead of using a well thought out and creative strategy, Wile E. Coyote would use absurd and silly plans to capture the Road Runner.
A good example can be found here:
Think about how many times Wile E. Coyote is close to success, only to end up completely humiliated. Rather than using his animal nature and artfulness, he aims to be more elaborate than required.
In regards to search engine optimization, consider how many SEO professionals act as Wile E. Coyote. They work on building as many backlinks as possible (regardless of the quality), they spam random blog posts (please stop), and they will continually ensure that every link has the perfect anchor text. They’ll even go so far as spinning content, knowing the addage that “content is king”. The result, as it appears, is Google acts as gravity, plunges the Wile E. Coyote SEO down to earth taking his page rank and SERPs with him. The Wile E. Coyote SEO is left humiliated, figuring out the next “perfect” way to get back to reach his objective.
It would be much more effective if Wile E. Coyote SEO used his brilliance, his creativity, and truly understood his users. The silly plans and quick-fixes wouldn’t even need to be considered.
The Road Runner
The Road Runner on the other hand, just doesn’t care as much. He just wants to go down the road and do whatever he needs to do. Take a look at this:
The Road Runner is huge! Wile E. Coyote finally caught him, but look how tiny he is! The point is though, Wile E. Coyote is still trying, and will continue, to catch him. The Road Runner is still going to be moving along and doing his thing. The road runner won’t have to face gravity, nor meet face-to-face with utter humiliation.
If we’re looking at this from a search engine optimization standpoint, we can say that the Road Runner is confident. He has a purpose, and he’s doing what he needs to do while Wile E. Coyote is running around with his tongue hanging out of his mouth displaying a type of blood-lust (for rankings). The Road Runner is cool as a cucumber. The Road Runner isn’t taken down and humiliated by Google. The road runner is ethical.
In Search Engine Optimization Terms
At the end of the day, the series is about the satisfaction of the viewer, much like good SEO is.
Wile E. Coyote may be masterful at failure but he still keeps trying and keeps getting taken down. If you’ve ever been in a position where you have outsourced your SEO only to fall back to Earth thanks to a Google update, you know how Wile E. Coyote feels.
The Road Runner doesn’t need to use the silly tactics Wile E. Coyote utilizes. Maybe once in a while he’ll paint a tunnel on a solid wall, but he isn’t going to Acme Corporation (ie: the Black Hat world) in order to win. He’s intelligent in what he does. He employs his creativity. All the while us, the viewer, enjoys it and receives some sort of value from it.
As you’re going down the path to successful SEO solutions, keep this comparison in mind. Don’t be Wile E. Coyote. Be the Road Runner.