Forget SEO, develop personality instead

Anny Chih photo

By Anny Chih, 24 hours Vancouver



When the Internet first started to blow up in the late ’90s, individuals treated it like a public journal while companies viewed it as another version of the Yellow Pages. Over a decade later, people are more scared than ever that the things they write in their journals may end up online, and companies worry about being lost amidst the change — just like the Yellow Pages.

While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been sold as the key to promoting online work portfolios and products, individuals and businesses are both coming to the realization that a personality is more important than keywords for success.

SEO was once a popular term among brand marketers looking to reach their target audience online, but Google Trends reports that searches for “Search Engine Optimization” and “SEO” have been steadily declining since 2011. During this time, many business owners realized that search engine results are not easily manipulated using keywords and metatags. As a result, many self-proclaimed SEO Experts are now finding it difficult to convince companies that SEO strategies consistently work on a search engine algorithm that is both highly confidential and ever changing.

Rather than placing blind faith in a strategy based on an unknown algorithm, many companies have instead turned towards content marketing strategies that work the same way individuals have been unknowingly promoting their own online social profiles since the ’90s, with a developed online personality. Personality is the backbone of content that keeps visitors coming back to a webpage and inherently boosts that page’s search ranking. It’s more powerful than facts and figures in gaining online popularity, the same way that it’s easier to gain a friend with trust than with data.

In today’s highly competitive job market, people looking to promote themselves to potential employers are better off using the same online marketing strategies companies have learned to use, than worrying about revealing too much. Focusing on cultivating a positive online personality through various social sites is an opportunity to showcase communication skills to prospective employers, and not just a possible source of embarrassment. And rather than counting on a search engine to present the right link to a prospective employer, they can print a direct link on a resume the same way businesses once listed their contact information in the Yellow Pages.


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