The two most powerful words in marketing are, allegedly, “New”, and “You”.
Maybe. I suspect it’s often context dependent.
But here’s something I bet you’ve seen but never really thought about. Not so much a word or phrase, but more a concept: the idea of a “loophole” or “secret”. Essentially we’re talking about the idea of an arcane magic pill or silver bullet, known only to a few, and which is gonna propel you towards your goal quickly, surely, and without effort.
And the twist offered by the “loophole”?
That not only to the idea of it being a secret to which few are privy, but also cocks a maverick snook at authority, the establishment, and the common, ordinary folk who do things the conventional way.
But here’s something to think about: by the time you hear about these amazingly powerful and ultra-secret loopholes and have the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon…
… you’ve missed it.
With rare exception you don’t get to hear about any of these things until it’s too late (I could have jumped on Bitcoin five years ago or more and be retired now… but I didn’t. No, I don’t feel stupid or rueful because only hindsight is 20/20).
It all boils down to a saying I’m sure you’ve heard before: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Sure, it’s not universally or absolutely true, but you have to discriminate between genuine opportunities and fantasies, delusions, and pipe dreams — and you can be virtually certain when some spiv is offering to sell you his top-secret method to making money, then something ain’t right (because if the secret or loophole was as fabulous as he claims it is, he’d be exploiting it himself and not telling you how to do it).
So, if you’re looking for short-cuts and shit like that, don’t waste your time or mine, because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
And the foregoing notwithstanding, loopholes, pretty much by definition, are easily closed (especially in today’s digital world — when enough people start “gaming” search- and ad-placement-algorithms, Google et al soon step in and hammer them closed).
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
Ever heard of “backlink networks” or “blog networks”?
What they are (or were) is large networks of blogs, usually hosted on Wordpress, which had a very particular linking strategy.
First, they linked to each other in a fairly random way; and secondly, they linked out to sites owned by the blog network’s clients.
Here’s how they worked:
You’d come along and say to the blog network owner, “gimme some backlinks”. The nice man would take a wedge of cash, cobble together some vaguely relevant content, link out to your site with links in the content.
He’d then post it on randomly selected blogs within the network.
Sounds great, right?
I mean, some of these blog networks had tens of thousands of blogs in them, so you could have thousands of incoming links to your page, and still not have more than one coming from any individual site in the network.
Alas, Google found a way forensically to figure out which sites were in those networks and unceremoniously de-indexed them all pretty much overnight. It probably wasn’t even that hard to do once they made their mind up to do it (my gut feeling is you could do it with some novel variation of Gaussian Elimination once you’d built up a big-enough data set… but I need to stop thinking about it right now else I’ll bury my brain in it and you won’t hear from me for weeks).
Anyway… any link-juice you had coming from those links to your site was suddenly gone (along with the entire business model the blog networks’ owners relied on, plus the knock-on effects on the businesses relying on the traffic these networks facilitated).
So again, if you're looking for some be all end all "magic bullet", you're pissing in the wind. You're far better off putting your time and money into tried and proven principles of business. Principles and strategies that've been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
The best place to do that?
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Ta Ta for now.
- Joe Searle