How Video Games Made Me Better at SEO
The pace was breakneck. The little square ball on the television screen moved faster and faster with each block I broke. My eyes moved with the ball and my hand twisted the Atari ever so slightly to move the paddle to connect with the ball. A life of video games had begun.
It may be difficult to see how Atari, Nintendo, and other game consoles could have helped me become a better SEO specialist. Anyone who spent hours beating a boss on Final Fantasy or playing the same Mario stage over and over again can understand how it transcends simple gameplay.
Role-Playing Games Taught Me Patience
Life and SEO happen at their own pace. While we’d love to see dramatic changes in a few days or even weeks, but the Google gods have us at their mercy. Many clients called me frustrated because things aren’t improving at a pace they wanted and I just have to tell them patience pays off.
Grinding is the most mind-numbing act a person can do in a video game. Your character has reached a new area and everything in it kills you in 10 seconds. What do you do? You go back to the previous area and kill the same enemies over and over again until you level up enough to take on the new area.
Patience is spending hours listening to the same breaking glass fight sound every time you enter a battle and not wanting to throw your controller into the television.
SEO growth is often slow and gradual. We keep adding new content and doing our best to meet Google’s EAT guidelines and watch it build over time.
Platformer Games Taught Me Perseverance
A platformer is traditionally a game where you need careful jumping and movement in order to continue into the game. It was Jungle Hunt on Atari, Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo and thousands of others that continue on to this day. It’s parkour at its best…or at its worst.
Early games weren’t precise like they are today. You could jump and land on the platform, but the game kills you anyway. An enemy could fly at you and miss, but the game kills you anyway. I’d play the same level again and again only to die in the same place and do it all over again.
Ghosts and Goblins for Nintendo has been called one of the most difficult games of all time (I beat it btw.) You only had a few lives to get through the entire game and if you didn’t, you were sent back to the very beginning.
In fact, once you got to the final boss and killed it, it sends you back to the beginning of the level if you don’t use the right weapon. Did I ever give up? Nope.
SEO can be frustrating when you’re doing everything right and things still aren’t improving as you want. It’s tempting to quit and move on to some other method, but thanks to Jungle Hunt, I persevere and continue for a while longer until it finally comes into shape.
First Person Shooters Taught Me to See Every Detail
I remember being in high school and playing Doom with my friends on linked computers in the high school computer lab (that happened once and the principal wasn’t too happy.)
The thing about Doom is there were a lot of little hidden passageways and switches you could use to move around and get the drop on the other players. In games that followed, the need to see every small detail became even more important.
It’s a fast-paced environment where you’re trying to survive, but it’s easy to get lost or miss important power-ups or passages. There have been many times where I would wander around a labyrinth-like level trying to find the exit only to realize I passed it three times.
I learned that details matter and it’s not just the big picture you have to look at. When it comes to SEO, there are mountains of data I sift through. It’s endless Excel spreadsheets of words and numbers that translate into the traffic and other metrics of your site.
Within this data deluge, there is something unique. It’s a needle in a haystack that when found can help improve the SEO on your site. Perhaps it’s that you’re losing traffic from a specific town or one page suddenly ranked up users.
It’s the beginning of a rabbit hole that leads to changes in your SEO plan and a boost in your traffic or rankings. It’s the little things that tend to make the biggest difference.
All Videos Games Taught Me the Value of Success
In the mid-1990s, there was a game series called Wing Commander that used full-motion video and the talents of John-Rhys Davies and Mark Hamill. Wing Commander 3 and 4 are my favorite games of all time and I still have them in case I ever buy another PlayStation 1.
The games detail a war between the humans and a cat-like species called the Kilrathi. The actual action sequences are space battles and are still my favorite to this day. The games aren’t terribly difficult and I remember how awesome it was to beat them.
Through the years, I’ve beaten many games from action and survival horror to role-playing. When you’ve spent hours on a game (sometimes more than 100), getting to the ending is thrilling. You’ve white-knuckled it through the most difficult stages and saved the kingdom or beat the bad guy and all is right with the world.
Whether it’s getting a victory in Fortnight or increasing traffic or revenues for a website, it feels good to win. My clients count on me, and I do my best for them. My goal is to give them a win. I want them to feel that same satisfaction and thrill as I do when Mario takes down Bowser or Link defeats Ganon.
If you’re interested in learning more about gaming or SEO, please contact me. In the meantime, I’ll be tweeting Mark Hamill to do Wing Commander 5.