November 14, 2013
So there I was, in my self-imposed exile from SEO, search marketing, social media and all the other bullshit that was once this life of mine. Life has been good. I’ve been able to keep myself in ugly shirts, cheap beer and gin. Whenever it was time to move the trailer house (read: people got tired of me stealing their internet to look at, umm, well you know), there was always just enough gas in the tank to move a block down. I was living a gypsy’s dream (I was gonna’ say pirate, but I’m so sick of fucking pirates it’s not even funny. I mean, fucking as in an adjective, not a verb. For the record, I’ve never fucked a pirate. Anyways, yay for gypsies, boo for pirates.).
Then, for shits and giggles, I decide to get on the SEL to see what’s shaking. Now, in the past whenever I’ve decided to check in, it’s been articles about people bitching about the same shit they’ve been bitching about ever since Google was developed and started kicking the shit out of Netscape and AOL and whichever other dinosaurs were out there. The main difference from what I’ve been able to discern is that instead of a Google Dance, they’re now called “updates” and given cute names like Panda, Penquin and SignUpForAdwords. And people bitch about their rankings and then people are all “just create good websites” and blah blah blah. However, this day,at the behest of Comrade Melanie, I sifted though fifty some articles about gaming social media and saw this. Which led me to read this.
What. The. Hell.
I skip town on an industry for three years and then all of sudden it goes to hell.
There are two people responsible for making SEO what it is. The first is porn. Okay, so porn isn’t a person, but if it were, you’d need to buy him drinks at every search conference because we owe everything we have to porn (though I wouldn’t recommend shaking his hand. Just sayin’.). So let’s raise a glass to pornagraphy! Hurrah!
And next is Jill Whalen.
If it weren’t for Ms. Whalen, the mantra “create good content” would probably never have been uttered (I think, either way I’m giving her credit). In a world of hand-wringing, whining, whinging and crying about the injustices of Google and other search engines, Ms. Whalen has always been a cool voice of reason. In the opinion of this hack, her straightforward advice pretty much became the rule of creating a decent website. I’m sure there are tons of other personalities that people think deserve this title, and I don’t disagree with their nominations. But it was Ms. Whalen who helped tame the douchebaggery of this industry, and for that we owe her a debt of gratitude. And also for giving free advice to anyone who was willing to read it and take it to heart.
So tonight, as you’re saying your prayers or sacrificing a goat on the altar of Sullivan, be sure to thank God or whoever the hell it is you worship that there was a Jill Whalen in our industry once. We are all better for it.
And good luck, Jill, at your next endeavors and wherever your soul ends up aligned.