An ode to the art of search marketing


You can describe SEO as both a science and an art, with the latter being a purpose for many professionals. Here is a (rare) poem about SEO in tribute

People often argue over whether SEO should be thought of as a science or an art. It’s technically a mixture of the two. It’s science because you’re dealing with algorithms that comprise hundreds of rules, you’re working to tried and tested ranking formulas and it’s possible to analyse everything, from your competitor set to the latest Google update.

But it is an art, too, because ultimately you are targeting people – not soulless search bots. And Google might be smart but its algorithms will never fully understand all the quirks of human behaviour. You need a human to truly understand how to create content compelling enough to grow – and, more importantly, convert – an audience.

Written by acclaimed artist, poet and film-maker Tim Cumming in collaboration with search specialists at the Telegraph, this composition melds the two interpretations in perfect format.

The Searchers, an SEO poem

When it comes to what

you want from all this,

when it comes to finding

what you can’t bear to miss,

don’t live your life in the lurch.

First, define the terms of your search.

What is it you want to find out,

take out, shake out, make out?

Does it lie at the start or

the end of an infinite scroll,

or will you tear it off like toilet roll,

wipe it, type it, swipe it right and tag

the key words into your system,

throw the dice and let ‘em roll.

Get this: put your query in a quote

and you’ll get what you searched

for, more or less. Now get your coat.

It’s a bit like going to church,

raising your voice in search

of knowledge, tickets, porridge –

whatever the hell it is you wanted

at the end of your digital forage

through a labyrinthine web of mind.

Searchers, define your terms.

Seek and you shall find,

but you’ll be followed too,

there’s a whole army of souls

searching the area behind you.

It’s called optimisation.

In search there are many parts

of you slipping into step together,

practising their dark arts,

deep as the ocean and light as a feather,

searching high and searching low.

In SEO, we search together.

Today, where are you going to go?

The algorithmic choir sings from its perch,

parroting your deepest desires. Search is a cage

with an open door. Bookmark this page.

Read more of Tim Cumming’s work here. And follow @TelegraphSEO for more news, features and thoughts relevant to search marketing.

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