I was trolling on LinkedIn today, and while reading yet another profile summary, I was thinking about the way the summary was written. There was nothing wrong with it, but the phrasing, although smooth and polished, just seemed curious, and oddly familiar.
And then it hit me. She was probably fitting in keywords for SEO. I had seem similar phrasing before on similar types of profiles, probably mine included.
That got me to wondering. If we’re in the same profession, or working in a similar industry, or providing related services or products, it stands to reason that we’re going to be using very similar, if not identical, keywords. After all, we want to hit whatever keywords are used most often in searches. That suggests that an awful lot of people, companies and products are using the same keywords, over and over again.
Now, I’m no SEO guru, and I suppose there’s a mathematical algorithm or something that says that even the slightest difference makes a big difference. I can see that when I Google myself. Using my middle initial or not brings up results that are pretty far apart. I sometimes wonder how people know I’m the same person — or if they do, and they just don’t care.
In the end, however, I wonder how unique each profile is? Maybe unique isn’t the issue. Maybe everyone wants to look just like everyone else, and the trick is simply to make sure that out of 100 totally similar profiles, your’s is in the top six. Personally, I suspect that mostly comes from purchasing a placement contract. Like certain brands at the grocery store.
If that’s the case . . . are we really talking keywords and SEO here? Or are we just talking a different kind of advertising budget than the good old days. It’s still mass media; it’s just changed formats and anybody can buy a commercial or billboard to at least have your company’s name show up.
It seems that people with similar backgrounds, interests, career positions, etc. would tend to use similar repetitive words over and over again. The rules of English language tend to force the same or similar phrasing, position, and combination of keywords in the same ways.
So by the time we all get through keywording ourselves and everything around us to death, will we all be saying the same thing — about the same thing?
So maybe that’s a good thing? (Trying to be positive here, folks.)
That kind of reminds me of the old quip about putting an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters, and if you wait long enough, they’ll produce one of Shakespeare’s plays. Anybody remember the great old comedy sketch by Bob Newhart about that?
Just a thought. Anybody out there want to comment, or tell me how it works and doesn’t produce this result?
© Chanda K. Zimmerman, 2013