When I started trying to figure out SEO around 2003, I had no idea what I was doing. As I recall I stumbled onto a few voices that helped me start to make sense of things – some of the more memorable were Andy Beard, Aaron Wall and Rand Fishkin.
Each of these guys in their own way provided me with a veritable lifeline as I started to understand that SEO was a key factor in whether or not my startup, InsiderPages, was going to survive, and my job along with it.
While I loved Andy Beard’s mind-bending PageRank theories and Aaron’s brutal honesty about the business, it was Rand’s unique voice that most helped me overcome whatever intimidation I may have felt about being a complete SEO idiot. Rand exuded empathy. And as a newbie, I needed that as much as I needed to know how to figure out how to fix a duplicate content problem.
Rand’s voice has perhaps done more than anything other than Google itself to drive SEO into the mainstream. His has been a great story to watch unfold. And we all have benefitted from his work in one way or another.
Now that I think about it, the way we typically communicate to clients is a great combination of Aaron and Rand – brutal honesty tempered with empathy.