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Is SEO a Job or an Addiction?

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I was chatting with one of my clients today and he was noting how their site has been holding steady for a while in the top five and how he’s now nervous about updates.

Funny, you look forward to them when you’re not in the top 20 and you fear them when you enter the top 5. :)

I realized that my client was not the exception to the rule. I get IMs, calls and emails every day from clients who monitor their sites for the slightest fluctuations. And then I recalled that when I launch my browser in the morning it launches with 4 tabs, 2 with different Google datacenters, one with Yahoo! and one with MSN – all launched with our primary phrase in the search box. OK, maybe, just maybe, I/we have a problem. :)

I decides to let me fingers do the walking and clicked my way over to helpguide.org’s list of signs and symptoms of addiction. Here’s what they had to say about it (their references are to drugs but we can all make the comparison):

  • Inability to relax or have fun without being high … um … in the rankings.
    Do you relax when there’s an update going on and you’re not sure how your site is faring.
  • Angry outbursts, mood swings, irritability, manic behavior, or overall attitude change.
    How did you behave the last time your site dropped in the rankings, even temporarily?
  • Talking incoherently or making inappropriate remarks.
    Normally towards a monitor.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming.
    No comments needed on this one.
  • Wearing sunglasses and/or long sleeve shirts frequently or at inappropriate times.
    Too pale from dark offices to not wear sunglasses and long sleeves outside – even in the harsh moonlight.
  • No longer spending time with friends who don’t optimize sites and/or associating with known users.
    Social life? That’s what we do on Facebook when we’re having downtime right?
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors, such as making frequent trips to the back room, basement, or Starbucks where Internet connectivity use would be undisturbed.
    Excuse me, I just have to check on something quickly (… 2 hours later …)
  • Talking about optimization all the time and pressuring others to do it too.
    It’s a great way to make money from home! And you can signup for the affiliate programs in my downline !!!
  • Expressing feelings of exhaustion, depression, and hopelessness.
    This doesn’t apply if your site is in the top 10.
  • Checking your rankings first thing in the morning.
    If you need to check your rankings more than you need a coffee in the morning – you have a problem.

So it was this that made me really realize it … I have a problem and chances are, if you’re on this blog, you do too. Because most of us don’t have a life outside our computers and SEO conventions (go ahead, admit it) I’ve created a Facebook group for us. Of course we’ll all probably chat about SEO and … ummm …. OK maybe I’m making the problem worse but if you’re not afraid then you can visit http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5531324665 to join us on the dark side. ;)

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Is SEO a Job or an Addiction?
About Dave Davies
Dave Davies is the CEO of Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc. Beanstalk's SEO services include full-services SEO packages, consulting, training, copywriting and link building. Dave has been involved in SEO since 2001, co-authored SitePoint's SEM Kit, has spoken at SES and SMX events and hosts a weekly radio show on WebmasterRadio.fm. WebProNews Writer
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  • http://raquelfranco.wordpress.com Raquel

    I think that is really addictive…The most of my free time I spend in it..

  • http://www.reversedelta.com Dave Haygarth

    Running my reports is like opening a present sometimes… I get excited to see what the results are like. Definite addiction. I even SEO things that I really needn’t do. Sometimes write SEO copy when writing for print media. It just gets you.

  • http://www.seohaus.com Billy Canu

    Sometimes i am like a small child opening up my christmas presents!!! Too much excitement and anticipation involved!

  • http://www.sandiegowebstudio.com San Diego Web Designer

    Pretty funny, and admittedly, not always that off from reality of SEO life. Checking, checking, checking…and I hate ranking #11!!!

    Skills to pay the bills…and talent to charge the client!

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