SEO = Search Engine Optimisation. It is fancy way of saying how to create content for the internet that will show up in search results generating more traffic. Wikipedia provides a longer, more complete definition. Every blog post I write gets analysed for SEO and I’m told how poorly I’m doing. Each post should have a focus key word or phrase which appears in the title, the first paragraph and is repeated an exact number of times, but not too many. Posts should be over 300 words, but not too much over. There are rules for images, videos, and all types of content.
Unfortunately when we take SEO too seriously, we begin making content (i.e. writing blog posts) for the algorithms (machines) rather than people. And this may lead to our content being seen by more people, but it doesn’t mean we connect with others. Also, it does mean that when the algorithm changes (and it does) we are lost.
However, the idea of SEO can still be interesting. At its core it’s asking us to consider what are we creating content about and is our content optimised around this topic. So what happens if we take this in our lives and our organisations? What is your life optimised around? Your team? Your organisation? How can we be more inclusive? Kind? Gracious? Joyful? How can we optimise our lives to reduce the impact we have on our planet?
This isn’t about pleasing an algorithm. This is about changing our lives, teams, organisations to be centred around the values we profess. Are we aligned and healthy? How can we improve? But, and it is a big but, with any algorithm it matters immensely which metrics we choose to include. Whatever is included becomes optimised. So what is your life, team, organisation optimised for?
The choice is up to us.