Obsessive Optimization Disorder

How the Disorder Begins

For me, it began the first time I actually did something that influenced my search engine ranking. Adjusted a title here, rearranged some body text there and voila, I moved from relative obscurity to a #1 ranking. Oh, the power!


How the Disorder Takes Over

Well, that #1 ranking is for a phrase that doesn't get searched on often: "Corona small business web site design". For the more competitive "Corona web site design" I'm not #1 but still on page 1. But for the even more competitive "Riverside web site design", I'm not so high at all. Try #56 on Yahoo, below an assisted living retirement community web site and a fly fishing motel web site. And Google doesn't even know I'm alive. (actually they do, they just don't care yet). So, I then became obsessed with getting the engines to notice me in all the ways I wanted to be noticed. After all, I wielded power once, right? And with that innocent question, I was sucked under.


Symptoms of Obsessive Optimization Disorder

  • checking your web site rankings several times a day
  • checking your link popularity several times a day
  • checking your web site stats several times a day (especially if they're only updated once a day)
  • wasting good money on a Google AdWords campaign when your site isn't ready for it
  • checking your AdWords campaign traffic several times a day
  • spending waaayyy too much time in Search Engine Optimization forums
  • changing your company name or URL to one that's full of keywords
  • believing search engines are conspiring against you
  • spending a portion of every day trying to get someone, anyone, to link to you

The Cure
Content Diversion. For 1 month, every time the urge hits to indulge in one of the above symptoms, stop and channel that energy into creating a new piece of useful content for your site or updating some old content. After 1 month: Stop. Analyze. Optimize. Repeat Content Diversion. After 6-12 months, you should have decent rankings and a site that will actually turn those search engine referrals into loyal paying customers.