As we approach the end of the presidential race, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned.  More specifically, what are the key takeaways that we can apply to our digital marketing?

That’s right, while you were watching the debates you were subconsciously learning about marketing. :)

In this article, I’ll walk through 3 of the SEO lessons you picked up along the way…


1. The Wisdom of the Crowd

We’re all familiar with how our presidents are elected in the United States.  On Election Day, we go to the polls and cast our vote.  Those votes are tallied up and the candidate with the most votes wins.

While this is not a perfect example, it does loosely follow the phenomenon known as the “wisdom of the crowd.”

Studies have shown that when you average the guesses, or votes, of a crowd you’ll end up very close to the correct answer.  The classic example is when a crowd of people try to guess the weight of a cow.  It turns out that the average of the weights guessed will be remarkably close to the actual weight.  You can learn more about this by reading The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki.

This is important to understand because Google uses this phenomenon to rank websites in their search engine.  Every time you use Google and click on the search results you’re casting a vote.  You’re either telling Google you like what you see on the first page or you don’t like what you see.  Over time, Google uses that data to ensure the best webpages show up at the top of the results.

Think about that for a minute.  You have the power to influence Google’s search results just like you have the power to influence the election!


2. The Skeletons In Your Closet

In politics, your past will certainly haunt you.  We’ve seen this time and time again during this election.  Every other day there’s a new audio recording of a candidate flip flopping on a key topic or a video revealing unsavory behavior.  I don’t even have to mention a specific example because we can all quickly think of a handful on our own.

Depending on the size of the skeleton in the closet, candidates can easily lose elections because of something they did or said in the past.

The same is true with SEO.  Just because you’re ranking well now doesn’t mean Google won’t eventually find a skeleton in your website’s closet.  For example, Google may discover that you paid for other websites to link to you.  Or maybe you created several websites that are using nearly identical website copy.  These tactics may go unnoticed for a while, but once Google finds out, your SEO candidacy can come to an end.


3. Reputation By Association

In politics, you need to be extra careful about who you hang out with and who you do business with.  Trump received a lot of backlash when he praised Putin and gave an impression that he and Putin were friends.  Then Hilary found herself under fire for receiving money from Morocco.

Both examples hurt the respective candidate’s reputation, and in turn, hurt their campaign.

Guess what, this can also happen with your SEO.  Google reviews the websites that are linking to you (and that you’re linking to) because those are your “online friends.”  If a lot of low quality (aka spammy) websites are linking to you, then that can hurt your website’s reputation, which in turn, will hurt your Google rankings!


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