How to Promote Yourself Without Promoting Yourself? The Secret of SEO 2.0

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Today I will reveal the secret of SEO 2.0! It shows how to promote yourself without promoting yourself. So fasten your seat belts. Why am I revealing it? I had a discussion with Shell Harris of Big Oak SEO about self-submission.

Shell argued that

  1. SEO spam is on the rise
  2. it works for the people doing it
  3. self submission is OK (not spam)

I won’t argue with that. I will show you the way of SEO 2.0 –

  • sustainable
  • reputable
  • social
  • trustworthy
  • organic

SEO 2.0 without the need of self-submission to social media and other more artificial tactics and methods.

There are only a few thousands SEO experts out there but millions of webmasters. Conventional SEO practitioners, more often the average webmasters than not have only very superficial knowledge of SEO. They tend to promote themselves on all kinds of social websites and beyond. I usually don’t. Now those of you who know me will shout:

“Wait, you just spammed me this week!”

OK, I admit it, I pushed one post as I was really keen on getting publicity for an outstanding social browsing service. Also I used to push my posts over at the SEOptimise blog I contribute once a week. Asides of that, I really wanted to make the SEO 2.0 blog a proof of concept: You can succeed on the Web, especially as a blogger, without all the ego-driven tactics like:

  • Self-submission
  • Vote begging
  • Befriending people just for their social media power
  • Vote swapping or exchange

The ideal vision for SEO 2.0 (both the blog and the concept) was, besides of refraining from the above ways of “promotion”, to be based on

  1. independence from Google traffic
  2. independence from Digg and Reddit traffic
  3. being proud of practicing SEO
  4. organic growth
  5. flourishing even during my absence

I succeeded at most of these goals. Why did I go the hard way? Wasn’t it absurd to shun Google, Digg and Reddit in their heydays, the most hailed traffic sources of the Web? Let me explain:

Practicing SEO means that sooner or later you normally adapt to each and every annoyance of the Web. Such annoyances are:

  • Making sites Google friendly means often crippling them, especially if you work on a limited budget and with people who don’t know much about user experience (most people don’t).
  • Being a SEO and using Digg or Reddit is like being gay and not telling anybody. Either you shut your mouth and everybody accepts you or you say “gay” or “SEO” and you feel like you’re in Texas and the lynch mob is waiting.
  • There is either the black hat “automation” thing or continuous work, a kind of DIY everything. Getting links for instance should, in theory, work completely naturally, but it usually does not.

OK, so what’s the secret? The secret of SEO 2.0 is a little ZEN-like.

It’s about forgetting your ego and doing everything you want for yourself for others. It works.

As I’m addicted to social media anyway I spend hours daily with voting up content of other people. I vote for stuff I like and rarely out of friendship. Of course I read the submissions of my friends first but if I don’t like them (the submissions, not the friends), I don’t vote for them. I befriend the people whose submissions I like though :-) The stuff I support on social media is mostly not even related to SEO etc.

So people on the Web basically know a few things about me, this guy is:

  • genuine
  • authentic
  • very active on the Web
  • has multiple interests (open minded)
  • not self centered but altruistic

Is this enough? Well, it isn’t.

You need to have a blog, a unique voice and you need to do some social networking to be recognizable.

I tend to take this for granted by now. Having a unique blog, several active social profiles and having connected with a small number of friends on several platforms plus the secret of SEO 2.0 is perfectly enough to get almost every single post of yours shared all over the place even those which weren’t optimized for social media.

Also you get links as these friends tend to link to friends in their blogs. Then the friends of the friends link to you and befriend you etc. etc. etc. The rest is history. I don’t need to promote myself to promote myself and I’m not even an a-list blogger. I get promoted while I promote others and it’s not even an exchange or something.


* Creative Commons image: The Secret Passageway to the Treasure by Stuck in Customs.

Last updated: May 6th, 2012.