Usually I get into the fast lane and set the cruise control at about 70 mph, and away I go. This day I managed to spend my entire drive with the cruise on, not once having to change lanes. This gave me the chance to watch this young lady weaving all over the road cutting people off, jumping at holes in traffic, getting trapped behind SUVs, getting a bit ahead of me and then falling behind me as well. The whole time she looked very angry and was working as hard as she could to get ahead in traffic.
Obviously it made me think of SEO. I'm weird like that. Brace yourself for a cheesy yet apt analogy. If you've already figured out where I'm going with it, you can stop reading now and go back to being productive.
There are two ways of doing SEO. First is to make a plan or a roadmap, so to speak, and stick to it.
Of course this is the equivalent of getting in one lane, setting the cruise control and getting where you need to go at a reasonable speed while staying in control.
The second way, of course, is to do SEO like a maniac, by reacting and over-reacting to everything that happens, trying to take advantage of short-lived loopholes and opportunities that look good but are, in reality, blocked by a GEO Metro you didn't see on the other side of the soccer mom's SUV. Additionally, this schizophrenic SEO methodology has massive potential to get you in trouble. The angry girl in the Camaro committed no less than a dozen moving violations while I was watching her. She was really lucky there wasn't a cop around, because there would have been more than one ticket handed out.
In case you're not following the analogy (yeah, right) the cop is Google and the tickets are penalties...
At the end of the day, the angry girl ultimately fell far behind me while I made excellent time to my destination. While she was all tensed-up, I had a very pleasant drive listening to one of my favorite rock bands from the '90s (it's Giant, in case you were wondering), and I wrote most of this article in my head as I drove. (I had a whole piece about off-ramps and on-ramps and competitors in there, but I'll spare you).
One of my most successful long-term clients in a former life always had an annual day-long meeting where we planned out the whole year -- and then stuck to that plan. That Web site is bulletproof today.