[tag]Jason Calacanis[/tag], the man behind [tag]Mahalo[/tag] is one of the most controversial figures in the internet marketing world. But when you look at his record of launching one of the biggest blog networks in the world, selling out to AOL , attempting to save Netscape and launching one of the more credible ‘Google killers’ its not surprising he gets plenty of attention. Especially when making comments like “SEO is Bull”
I hate [tag]Nick Denton[/tag] this much – via flickr
Not surprisingly this got lots of people’s backs up, and most days of the week there’s a new post from somewhere in the search industry criticising him. Heck even we are guilty. But the truth is not many of us are willing to admit is that he is probably a better marketer than a lot of us will ever be.
Lots of People Know his Name – I’ve introduced Jason Calacanis above, but many of you will already be familiar with him and his ‘work’. That kind of personal branding is worth a fortune. Even rumours of his potential projects he is involved with is news worthy. That mind share of the linkerati can attract more links than even the [tag]Andy Hagans[/tag] & [tag]Eric Ward[/tag] tag teaming.
Gets People Talking– the old cliché goes there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That’s not entirely true but controversy is one of the most best linkbaiting hooks out there. Comments like ‘SEO is Bull’ is a pretty good way to raise your profile prior to launching your own un-optimise-able search engine. Again a lot of search marketers would love the knack to be able to spark debate that easily.
Doesn’t Get Bogged Down the Detail of the Algo – it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of factors effecting Google rankings, that’s before you worry about other engines. You could spend all day reading WebmasterWorld about various penalties and filters but you’ll perform much better in the rankings spending that time producing good content on easily spider-able pages.
Friends in High Places – Techcrunch broke the news about Mahalo launching, and given the huge popularity of Michael Arrington’s site is a pretty good coup for Jason, until you realise they are business partners on another project. Having these friends in high places can really in handy when your marketing, there’s a lot of high profile SEOs out there but few have clout to match J.C.
Knows Good Content – some SEOs write with search engines in mind, checking keyword density and the like. It might have worked in the past but if you want your site to be popular with the linkerati a more traditional journalistic eye is probably more useful.
There are hundreds of difficult SEO situations which Calacanis couldn’t deal with. Complicated e-commerce sites, suffering from supplemental index problem for example, but a lot of circumstances quality marketing is more important technical know-how. And when it comes to old fashioned hype & buzz a lot of search marketers would be wise to take a leaf out of JC’s book.