A Different Kind of Traffic

So I’m driving to work this morning and I notice (because I’m always on the lookout for such things) a state trooper sitting on the side of the highway with his lights flashing as if he had someone pulled over. Since troopers are often like deer, there’s usually more than one I was backing off the accelerator a bit already. As I got closer I realized he (or she I suppose, don’t mean to assume or be sexist) did not have anybody pulled over. Since this at the top of a long subtle hill that blocked the view of the road in front of us I wondered if there was traffic ahead over the hill….just in case I started to move over to the right since I knew there was an exit coming up I could bail out on and avoid the traffic. Sure enough, as I got to the point where I could see over the hill there was a 3 lane wide parking lot on the interstate.

So what did I do? I finished moving to the right to exit, switched to the GPS Nav system in my car and asked for an alternate route to work. Since my in car GPS doesn’t have traffic I pulled out my G1 cell phone and quickly (and safely of course) pulled up Google Maps with the traffic overlay turned on. In just a few minutes I knew that the traffic only lasted a few miles and so my detour needed to only take me a few miles down the road and I could get back on the highway that was the best route to my office. I was a bit frustrated by my in car nav system that kept giving strange detour directions as I traveled on what I knew to be the best route since I am familiar enough with this part of town to take this short detour. Now I know, from experience that my GPS Nav would have gotten me there and perhaps even quicker but it just kept shouting (okay, it doesn’t literally shout) turn here, turn here as it reset everytime I passed it’s recommend turn and took my own strategy. A few minutes later I was back on the interstate and at work only a few minutes later than normal. It’s entirely possible that I would have arrived at work at exactly the same time had I just sat in the traffic waiting for it to clear – remember my Google Maps on my cell phone showed it only lasted a few miles – but maybe not. Of my many pet peeves, sitting in traffic is one of the bigger ones. Even though my detour may have taken a few minutes longer I was moving the entire time and not just sitting there.

I promise I’m headed to a point here related to search engine optimization but I want to make a few observations first. Actually just one and I’m not sure why really but here it goes. I recognize that what I call traffic here in Kansas City would be a dream for most people in most big cities in the US. We have a few spots that get bad, but even that is nothing compared to major cities and with where my office is located and my house I drive a 24 mile route that is very low in traffic. A 22 minute drive on a Sunday morning (with no Chiefs game) is only about 30 minutes at 8:00 AM during the week. So, no traffic. That’s why when I see any I try to avoid it – I’m spoiled. I’ve lived in Las Vegas where traffic is constant and a nightmare at it’s peak. I’ve driven in LA in traffic a few times (and never will again if I can avoid it) so I know that any complaint of a 10 minute delay because of traffic here will get very little sympathy from many.

As promised…..my point…..

So, traffic is just fine – moving very smoothly and quickly. A few lane changes here and there to keep moving since idiots continue to just use the left lane for their own personal day spa of driving – THE LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING ONLY! Sorry. Refocused now. I need to slow down sometimes to adjust to things around me, then speed up when the opportunity is there and all the while paying attention to everything and being safe. Had a detour, used two different tools, adjusted and despite several detour options – all of which probably would have helped me – stayed on my planned path with patience, found my way back to the main road and continued onward.
So now for a moment pretend I hadn’t told my little driving to work story and read the above again. Does this sound like an SEO plan? As I was driving, and detouring I started to relate it to SEO (yes, I think about SEO too much) and it prompted this post. I’ll drive home again tonight and back to work again tomorrow.

SEO is like driving in traffic. Be safe, slow down when needed, speed up when available, be ready for detours and aware of options, use tools available, stay focused, get back on course. And then do it again the next day, the day after, then again the next day….etc, etc, etc…

And just to make one final point, I record all my gas mileage and maintenance. Reporting is important in SEO too 😉

If you came just for clever analogy and story you can stop reading. But because I haven’t in a while I’m going to a quick recap of rankings here for Purple Widget. I’ll do a more in-depth look rather soon (or not so soon if I’m being honest) but here’s where we stand today.

Term “purple widget”

Google #1 and #2
MSN Live #1 and #2
Yahoo #1
ASK #1 and #2

So like I said when this blog started. I can rank you #1 for purple widget, but if nobody is searching for purple widget it won’t do you any good.
Total Visits last 30 Days: 33
Visits from Search Engines: 14

As always, thanks for visiting PurpleWidget.com! You may now start holding your breath until my next post.

2 Responses to “A Different Kind of Traffic”

  1. Great analogy, glad to know someone else out there thinks about how life relates to work strategies! By the way, it appears your are gaining link popularity online too. Yahoo is recording about 45 inbound links to PurpleWidget.com. I’m particullarly impressed with the one from SEO Roundtable!

  2. Thanks Ruth! Looks like using Purple Widget as my name when commenting on SEO blogs may be paying off.

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