Way back when we created this man's first web
site, he was relatively sane, if occasionally ecstatic. His small
cottage industry began flourishing on the Internet immediately
and tripled its annual revenues within a few short years.
We still have this client and his 400+ page site
maintenance job, but he's since developed quirks, and even twitches
of—perhaps it's better to just call them memories. You see,
he was once at the top of Google.
He'd done every thing right, diligently, and by
that I mean his success was not a fluke. He paid Google and he
paid me and he stuffed those pages with products of fine craftsmanship.
Then, zap! one morning just before Christmas, it was gone.
His site disappeared from the map of the universe;
somewhere beyond page 5 of the endless search results. Being 100%
Internet and therefore Google-dependent, business came to a crashing
stillness and quiet. The phone not ringing quickly drove him nuts.
Humans at Google couldn't answer his questions,
Why? And I couldn't even spell algorithm without looking it up.
Before the grim revamp of Google, there was, now
that I think of it, one sign of his fantasy life. By far and away
the world's favorite page on his site had become
"How To Build A Treehouse."
You wouldn't believe the email he receives about
treehouses. Every country in the world, it seems, has an Inbound
Link to his free treehouse plans. It's one of those great universal
human yearnings, evidently, that transcend language and culture.
Good news, you'd think, to his web marketing firm.
But. Let's survey the robots on the idea: Which is more likely
to make money for the Google executives and stock-optioned staff
— free treehouse plans no one buys ads for, or the highest-priced
products in demand?
That's a no-brainer.
He took it hard, this fact that small businesses
don't matter much in the pre-IPO scheme. Big web development houses
could throw a team at the problem, but we had to stop everything
and divine the secret rules. He went off in search of alternative
There on the backroads in cafes and cardrooms,
where real people take each other seriously and share every kernel
of knowledge they have on a subject, he found answers. That's
the buick of the Internet we love, eh guys?
Our client (who remains unnamed because of a dirty
little rumor that actual humans at Google do ban sites from the
search results for such treasons as outsmarting them) restored
his Page Rank in the new Google so successfully he no longer needs
his ad-word campaign.
So, take heed, all ye of the upright position: If popularity matters
to you, it's time to climb down out of the trees and show these
robo-s how to play the game.