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Are you are an optimist or a pessimist?  It seems that no time of year is more guaranteed to polarise positive and the negative amongst us than January and, specifically, the period between the end of the festive period and the arrival of the next pay slip.

So how has this dichotomy manifested itself in the world of search marketing?  Well, let us conduct a wholly unscientific experiment…

Firstly a really thought-provoking article from Nielsen Norman Group (as usual) called “A link is a promise” and the implications of integrity and credibility that this implies.  It makes a great read if you’re looking to re-establish your connection with the attitudinal baseline for link acquisition work.  Of course, the article was written and published before Christmas so it doesn’t reflect a post-Xmas positivity; however, since we’re not being scientific about this, I’m going to add this to the optimist pile!

Secondly, Wordstream had a good article with the premise that PPC keeps providing better opportunities whilst transactional opportunities via organic results keeps getting tougher to achieve.  Given that it references Oscar the Grouch, it’s definitely has a pessimistic slant to it; however it raises a very strong point about how the act of content development can, if not managed well, become an aim in itself as opposed to a tool for impacting on search marketing KPIs – for that holistic heads-up, I think it is beneficial to check it out.

On the topic of planning your site’s content development with the “end in mind”, we saw Rand discussing practical advice on generating unique content in a strategic manner in this week’s Whiteboard Friday.  Another great demonstration of how macro thinking can drive micro-activity for maximum results and, given that it was Rand Fishkin, it’s a no-brainer that it was a positive mind-set experience all round (he even wears a funny paper hat!)

There were a couple of articles I wanted to highlight on Website design this week as they bring fresh thinking on established processes.  Reviewing existing methodology is always interesting to me and in an ever-changing industry, it’s imperative that we always question.  One details the challenge of pursuing an infinite scroll site design without forsaking SEO benefits; the other talks about the value of different approaches to navigation bars with respect to user experience.  For shining light on pre-existing dogma, these two are both positive for me.

Bringing a similar questioning approach is my last article this week – at SEJ, this article looks at how to use the lowly SERPs page for a variety of evaluative exercises.  From competitor analysis to keyword generation, Neil takes us back to basics and reminds us that, sometimes, we can overthink matters when it comes to the prioritisation of our focus and activity.

So, all my articles were upbeat (well, even the grouchy one provided solutions!).  The conclusion is clear: either search marketers are “glass half full” people or they’re very good at pretending.  Hmm…