Being a Seo, keyword and niche specialist I’ve always been puzzled by how the masses behave believing old and out dated information.
What makes it worst is the proliferation of this information believing it is true.
I’ve finally found the answer why the masses believe old and out dated information!!
I am not sure who recommended this book but it has been the answer to what I have been looking for a long time.
Influence – Robert B. Cialdini – Influence The Psychology Of Persuasion
I highly recommend this book if you already have not found and read this book it is a must for anyone who wants to sell anything.
As a member of multiple forums keeping my fingers on the pulse of this industry, I see what is called the pluralist ignorance phenomenon.
This is where innocent, natural errors will produce snowballing social proof that push us to incorrect decisions.
This is what Buffalo’s, SEO, keyword and niche research have in common.
I’ll quote from the book as it says it best
This aspect of the social proof phenomenon always reminds me of the way certain Indian tribes – the Blackfeet, Cree, Snake, and Crow – used to hunt the North American Buffalo. There are two features of buffalo that make them especially susceptible to erroneous social evidence. First, their eyes are set in their heads so that it is easier for them to see to the side than to the front. Second, when they run, as in a stampede, it is with their heads down low so they cannot see above the herd. As a result, the Indians realized, it was possible to kill tremendous numbers of buffalo by starting a herd running toward a cliff. The animals, responding to the thundering social proof around them – and never looking up to see what lay ahead – did the rest. One astonished observer to such a hunt described the deadly outcome of the buffalo’s obsessive trust in collective knowledge.
In this way, it was possible to decoy a herd toward a precipice, and cause it to plunge over en masse, the leaders being trust over by their followers and all the rest following of their own free will.
Here’s where I am going with this, social proof is misleading you into making decisions based on technology that is over 20 years old.
You don’t even know this is happening to you, because your looking at so call experts to help you make the right decision and shortening the whole process.
Here’s some examples how social proof is leading you by the nose without being aware of how damaging this is for your business
Overture in the 90’s made available search counts for Pay For Click advertising.
Look into any forum or blog, when someone who desperately needs guidance for making decisions about keyword/niche selection. First recommendation is look at Google Keyword Planner the replacement for Overture for providing search counts.
It’s outdated, it’s inaccurate and worst of all everyone in the darn world does this. This creates competition, competition and more competition.
Oh, longtail keyword selection, another misleading recommendation. Popularized by wired magazine editor Chris Anderson in 2004. If you read the line above what do we get competition, competition and more competition.
If you take away one thing from anything I write here know your facts!
I would be surprised if you haven’t heard this before, the computer world whether it is virtual, hardware etc… becomes outdated very quickly most times in just months.
Just look at the dates the recommended social proof concepts have been accepted, over 20 years for search counts, longtail over 12 years.
Same for SEO, all the keyword stuffing schemes, meta tags list goes on. The only thing that has stood the test of time is backlinking. But that has also evolved. Typical old style linking many times hurts you if your not careful about the niche your in.
Some niches are more tolerant and relaxed for linking and highly spammed niches are scrutinized at every level for linking.
Do you think ranking technology in any search engine is going to stand still, I don’t think so.
All you have to look at is all the Google updates that are crushing any of your misconceptions of how to approach ranking in the SERPs.
Beware, each forum has a dominant individual who can’t yell loud enough that he is the know it all for SEO. At every corner they lurk to knock down your opinions which have been fully tested and put out there to help change a mind set of how things have changed.
You can’t even have a level conversation with these individual’s showing the evidence of how the new rules of SEO, keyword and niche selection has changed.
I know why they do this, they are vulnerable and insecure. Because someone might have discovered a new way, other than them and challenge their dominant position in any forum.
So when someone ask’s who the go to is for SEO, the first person mentioned most times is this particular individual.
They may know their SEO when it comes to ranking highly competitive keywords, but 90% of individuals who need help aren’t looking to rank in Google for difficult to rank keywords, they just need to know how to filter out hard to rank keywords.
Recommending outdated methods will not achieve this.
The scope of this article is all about social proof and how detrimental it is if you want to be successful in this fast evolving industry.
You need to look at the evidence. The evidence these days is in the Search Engine Ranking Pages to find your answers. Not outdated information proliferated by social proof .
I’m going to leave you with one thought and hope to drive this point about following Social Proof and how detrimental it can be if you don’t look up and see who is leading the Buffalo herd over the cliff.
I use to invest in stocks heavily made a lot of money, loss a bunch till I figured out how social proof was making me broke.
In fact just last night, a trusted friend fell into this trap trying to tell me why the price of oil is going down and why.
I had to chuckle when I was explained how this trusted world renowned person has discovered why the price of oil is going down.
Way beyond the scope here, but think about this.
In the stock investing world people who make money consistently avoid what the talking heads have to say without checking their facts.
When everyone starts moving in a market direction, the smart money has already made their investments when the talking heads cried out the sky is falling. The smart money is successful because they have checked out their facts, they don’t make decisions by chance.
The smart money buys low and sells high, while the followers of social proof buy high and sell low.
Till next time
If this has helped please spread the word, I want to help break the bonds of social proof and get you thinking for yourself, you will make more money this way.
Please reach me if I can help you, I am a very reachable person