Warning! Nerdy Advertising History Lesson:
In 1956, a young copywriter (and future ad legend) at Foote, Cone & Belding (You may recognize the FCB moniker) named Shirley Polykoff was visiting her future mother-in-law, a very conservative Old World Orthodox. She disapproved of Shirley on the primary reason that she “painted her hair.”  Shortly afterward, Shirley was placed on the Clairol account and was tasked with launching the Miss Clairol brand, the first at-home hair color bath. Remembering the Yiddish statement of her disapproving mother-in-law, Shirley translated the quote: “Does she or doesn’t she?”.

Unlike the humiliation that she felt from that quote, Shirley created the phrase with a sense of empowerment. She wanted women to embrace the fact that they can change their color…and ultimately change their life. “Blonds have more fun.”, “If I only live once, let it be as a blond!”, etc. She wanted hair color to be a seamless part of the woman. Something completely natural and not jarring. Something that “only her hairdresser knows for sure”. Something that would cause an onlooker to ask “Does she or doesn’t she?”

Nerdy Advertising History Lesson Over

Just as Shirly Polykoff wanted people to wonder, your SEO strategy should cause the same reaction. Just like Miss Clairol looked natural, the SEO’d version of your website should look natural too. Your content should be helpful, fresh and relevant. It should make the view want to look closer and visit often. If there are black hat or spam techniques employed on your site, the visitor will be able to tell & you will immediately lose their trust.
Following this rule of thumb will also make the search engines like you and boost rankings. Even though Google may tweak it’s algorithm hundreds of times per year and roll out big updates like Caffeine, Instant & Panda, the tenets remain the same.  Create good content that is good for users. Don’t overly apply SEO tactics that look like spam (or legitimately are spam). You get penalized accordingly.


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