What does SEO, Hip-Hop Music and The Universe have in common?

SEO, Hip-Hop and The Universe are all evolving.

They’re ALIVE.  No one knows the ending.  Heck, no one even knows when their stories will end, never mind how.  And that is why I’m utterly, completely in love with and fascinated by all three.

(Disclaimer: I’m talking about good hip-hop; socially conscious and artistic, not the distasteful commercial stuff.  And by “SEO” I’m talking about the practice of driving results to someone’s website, through an entire array of methods.  Not just “getting you #1 on Google”.  And by “universe” I’m talking about astronomy. Galaxies, black holes, dark matter, speed of light.)

Traditional Marketing is dead. Folk music is dead.  And dinosaurs are REALLY dead.

  • Look at traditional marketing.  That’s OVER.  The second your college teaches it as a standardized course, with a standardized textbook, its dead.  Not saying there’s no worth in learning traditional marketing.  Its just that the book has been written, and the final chapter closed.
  • Look at folk music.  No changes since like 1952 (made that date up, but you get the idea.)  That style of music is in the can, its a been there done that, defined style of music, with set parameters.  Deviating from them is no longer innovation – its simply no longer “folk” music (its “folk-jazzy-be-bop” or whatever crazy label they give it, but its not “folk”), and therefore folk music is not alive.
  • Look at the dinosaurs.  Done.  EXTINCT.  No argument there.

But SEO, Hip-Hop and The Universe are all ALIVE.

  • Dinosaurs vs. The Universe.  The universe is literally expanding.  Its alive.  Its spiritual.  And we’re all a part of it.
  • Folk vs. Hip-Hop. Even after nearly 30 years, Hip-Hop (I’m talking about the good stuff, not the popular junk) has been an ever-expanding genre of music.  Rhythmically diverse, harmonically rich, still culturally relevant and fresh.  Its today music.  And it just keeps growing.
  • Traditional Marketing vs. SEO.  SEO surely has a foundation in traditional marketing.  But yikes!  You’d have to be completely, literally, clinically (beyond medicinal repair) INSANE to say SEO is not growing, evolving, expanding – and ALIVE.  Just look at this recent post by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz on the growth of SEO.

This idea of expansiveness, is worked right into the very fabric of what these things are.  Hip-Hop is culture, its people.  As long as there’s someone with something to express through music, there’s hip-hop.  The fact the universe expands, in part defines what it is.  And SEO as a practice, is so rich and complex with different facets of life, it can’t do anything but evolve.  Expansiveness is inherent in what SEO is.

To me, there’s nothing more invigorating, rewarding and Spiritual, than being part of an evolving story (as an aside, this is also why I love marriage – that’s another story though!).  Sure, I love the tangibles of SEO.  The technique and the nitty-gritty of stuff like internal linking structures, information architecture or a nice deep dive into web-analytics.  I love the creativity, and the opportunity to help others.

But here’s the differential:

When you’re a part of something that’s as alive as SEO, you have a choice.

A choice that you don’t have when studying the dinosaurs or writing folk music.

You can either sit back and watch it like a movie, or you can BE the movie.  You can write the script.  You can influence the ending.  You don’t need to passively wait for an ending.  Help CREATE the ending!  Be a positive part of this evolving story.  (People like Rand Fishkin, Wil Reynolds, or Justin Briggs are doing this right now.)

And furthermore, if you make the choice to participate, you have a responsibility to accept.  Are you going to help craft this living, breathing story for better, or for worse?  Will you use this moment in time to add value and meaning?  Will you leave a lasting positive impression and improve people’s lives?  Will you be proud of what you leave behind when you die?

I must always ask, WHY am I here doing this thing called SEO?

Is this intense stuff?  You bet!  Am I always so serious?  No!

One last thing though.

The ironic part?  Its not about “SEO” and it never will be.  Its about humanity.  Its about choosing to do the right thing with the gift we have.  Its about being alive.  And SEO is a current physical manifestation of what it means to be alive.

That is why I do SEO.  Evolving SEO.

About Dan Shure

Hi! I'm Dan Shure. I write all of the posts and host all of the podcast episodes you'll find on the Evolving SEO blog. Say hello on Twitter @dan_shure!

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