Search Engine Optimization is a sturdy foundation for a website. When it is properly constructed, it’s a strong base on which a site can sit and be seen. SEO is a time-tested and ever-present force in the Internet Marketing world. So when I stopped to think about it like that, I realized, “Whoa. SEO is sort of like Hank Hill.” **Mind Blown**
If you’ve never seen King Of the Hill, let me school you really quick. The show hinges on its protagonist, Hank Hill; A by-the-book, straight-laced propane salesman and family man from Arlen, TX. (Though, he’s actually born in NYC in a hilarious episode where he finds out he’s not an actual Texan, but that’s a different story.) Along with Hank are his band of beer-drankin buddies, Bill, Boomhauer, Dale Gribble (AKA Rusty Shackelford), and sometimes, Kahn Souphanousinphone. Then, of course, there’s his loving family: Bobby, the incorrigible and curious son, Peggy, the loving and forward-thinking wife, Luanne, the at-times-ditzy-yet-oddly-smart niece, and Cotton, Hank’s father and seasoned war vet who had his shins “blowed off by a Japanman’s machine gun.”
Hank Hill lives in a simple world, working at Strickland Propane, where all he wants to do is sell propane and propane accessories to those that want to taste the meat, not the heat. And for the most part, he does this successfully. This is kind of like how SEO set out to be: It was an honest endeavor that only wanted to help websites that needed it.
See what I mean? Honest. Then people like MF Thatherton over at Thatherton Fuels got involved and started making the propane game a little less savory by undercutting the competition with shady business tactics and a bad attitude. Startin to sound a little like the SEO world.
Along with Thatherton as a competitor trying to do exactly what Hank does but for less (and usually with poorer results), there are the other characters I mentioned that interact with Hank on the daily.
Let’s start with Hank’s alley drinking buddies, Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer.
As Hank tries to stay true to his blue collar upbringings and lifestyle, he aligns himself with this likeminded bunch. They drink beer in the alley together. They work on (read: check out the engine sometimes) Boomhauer’s car from time to time. They are best friends. These friends of Hank’s remind me of the basics of SEO. Fresh content. Apt title tags, metas, and keywords. A sitemap, etc. You know. The good stuff. What every site should have. What every person should have. (Friends, for the latter.)
But, as things go, everything can change at the drop of a hat. Hank’s friend and neighbor might all of a sudden think they’re being watched by the government and force him to join in on some sort of elaborate conspiracy involving changing his name and hiding out in basements. My content might all of a sudden be too stuffed with keywords because Google is reading my mind… er, site, and saying I need to change something. Time to course correct…
So I do, for better SEO. Hank calms Dale down and reassures him he’s batsh*t insane and the government is not out to get him. And I update my content to be less spammy because, come on, all Google is really trying to do is make the Internet suck less. (Disclaimer: I don’t work for Google more than the next SEO guy works for Google. I agree with some of their tactics to make this mess of a Web a better place.) I’ll tell you what…
So here’s Hank Hill. Steadfast. Still pretty much the same guy as he’s always been. The rock that everyone looks to for grounding and a sense of security. And even though he’s got a few nutjob friends, he remains.
With a course correction comes a learning experience. Hank Hill learns quick, but he still sticks to his guns because he knows what he does is the right thing to do. And so is the same with SEO. You get used to something and doing it one way, until BAM! Google throws a wrench in the plans and makes us actually think hard about what we’re doing. It extracts us from our comfort zone and says, “Time to change, ya square.” So SEO, and Hank Hill, change. They get used to the new way of dealing with their psychotic friend and new tactics of how a search engine will read a site.
And then, of course, there’s Bobby Hill. AKA, an algorithm change.
Bobby is Hank’s son, sometimes to Hank’s chagrin. Bobby is a free spirit exploring his life through a series of whatever-comes-his-way adventures, people, places, and other events. (That’s Joe Jack dancing with Bobby, btw.) As much as Hank tries to control Bobby, he just can’t seem to get a handle on the kid. Bobby is sort of like Google algorithm changes. Hank is a good dad, everything with the family is going just the way it should, then all of a sudden, Bobby is wearing lipstick or or dancing at Hank’s work with a propane tank on his head… Or maybe Hank is teachin the boy some good ol’ self defense when Bobby takes it “below the belt.” And the game changes. Again, course correct.
Hank, like SEO, has no choice but to accept the circumstances and move on. And both do.
So, again, everything is going great. Google shook up the SEO plan, but we’ve recovered and we’re back on track, killin it in the rankings and being general badasses. Hank keeps doing his thing the only way he knows how, but with new knowledge that things could change like that.
The SEO game is ever-changing. (No sh*t, Sherlock. We all know this.) But the roots are the same. The basis of SEO remains. What search engine optimization started out as is still somewhat relevant. Relevant content, a user-friendly website, relevant keywords for your industry, sitemap, etc. All the good stuff Google wants to see.
Hank Hill will persevere. Whether it’s his friends’ antics, his family’s craziness, his neighbor freaking out at him, Hank Hill will continue being Hank Hill. As frustrating as it may be at times.