This should give you an idea of my age.  I’ll never forget how excited I was when Santa finally answered my brother’s and my wishes with a brand new Nintendo NES box.  I rotated between Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt daily, and then eventually, I got hooked on a role-playing game called “Dragon Warrior.”

I don’t think I ever won that game, but I remember my player had acquired the most powerful armor, shield, and sword.  Basically, I was unbeatable in any battle.  However, I don’t think I was ever able to get to the final enemy before the game inevitably froze and I was forced to hit Reset… then blow on the cartridge… If you played Nintendo, then you know exactly what I mean. :)

The reason for this trip down memory lane is because I realized some striking similarities in the way you need to approach a role-playing game, as well as search engine optimization (SEO).  Let’s take a look at those similarities in this article…

How SEO Is Like an Old Nintendo Role-Playing Video Game

Everyone Starts At The Bottom

If you’ve ever played a game like Dragon Warrior, then you know that your player is initially very weak and vulnerable.  Every battle is a fight for your life, even with the weakest of enemies.  Then as you hopefully win a few battles, your player will become stronger with better defenses as well.

The same is true with new websites when it comes to SEO.  A new website is like a weak, vulnerable new player that is likely not going to win any battles to reach the top of the search results page.

Therefore, one of the major goals of your SEO campaign is to build up your website’s authority (or strength).  As your domain authority increases, then you’ll be able to win more and more battles for top rankings in Google.

Shortcuts Can Be Deadly

In Dragon Warrior, there were many different missions that required a certain level of experience and equipment.  It was possible to attempt the missions at any time, but you did that at your own risk.  If your player wasn’t ready, then the most likely outcome was that your player would “die” and he would be knocked down a level or two.   In other words, trying to take shortcuts would backfire and you would end up spending more time building up what you already had gained.

Again, the same is true with SEO.  One of the more infamous Google updates, the Penguin Update, targeted businesses that were using link building shortcuts (building links unnaturally).  For businesses that were penalized by Penguin, this often meant that their domain authority took a severe hit.  In turn, their rankings were lost and some were back to square one after years of work.

The More You Play, the Faster You See Results

As I mentioned already, I completed about 99% of the Dragon Warrior game.  Who knows, I may have even won, but I can’t remember.  What I do know is that I invested a LOT of time into building up my player profile.  As I continued to play and win battles, my player grew stronger and stronger, and I was able to buy the best armor, shield, and sword.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s just a matter of putting in the effort.

SEO, unfortunately, is not quite as fun as a video game.  Regardless, the same principle applies, so the more you “play,” the faster you’ll see results.   It’s not enough to just set up, or optimize, your website for search engines.  That’s like creating your player when you start a role-playing game.  Once you have your player/website ready for battle, then it’s time to invest time and effort on a regular basis until you’ve built up enough strength to win the big battles.

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