Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

"Women in SEO" Turning Into "Hot Young Teen SEO?


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#1 BizDevMarketing

BizDevMarketing

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 26 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:05 PM

Okay guys, I'm back from a year hiatus at the forum and am eager to begin participating regularly. I'll start with this:

I'm increasingly intrigued by the number of women in SEO who incorporate sexuality in their brand identity. Blogs are pink, use sexy images and vernacular, and just ooze "girl power." I'm just dying to point this out and pose a few questions to my readers on this issue, however, I'm wary of adopting a critical tone or coming off offensively.

As a newly independent consultant, I'd hate to gain visibility as a 'hater.' However, I think there are some valid points that can be made on this topic, as it relates to brand positioning, industry perception, client relationships and yes, the ever controversial women's movement. See, this is sticky!


So call this a little market research. Any long time search marketers have feedback for me on this?

#2 BillSlawski

BillSlawski

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15644 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:42 PM

Welcome back, and congratulations on becoming a "newly independent consultant."

I like the topic, because it could be expanded beyond how woman in SEO are exploring different ways to create a certain mindset about themselves and the services that they offer. But narrowing it down to a specific subset of approaches might make us explore the area more in depth.

With so many SEO firms and consultants, how does one stand out?

Do choices in personal branding like the ones that you describe have the potential to to limit the audiences that an internet marketer might provide? Do they have the power to call more attention to the services that they offer to audiences? Is being pink or oozing "girl power" enough to stand out, or should a unique distinction go beyond differences in gender or appearance?

Is being a pink SEO as remarkable as being a purple cow? If you're a pink SEO, what do you do when other Pink SEOs start appearing?

What's in it for the people who might consider calling on your expertise or skills? Will it make a difference to them that your site uses sexuality as way of attracting attention to your business?

#3 Respree

Respree

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5901 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:52 PM

[Guy's perspective - hope they're welcomed]

Welcome back, BizDevMarketing.

I see nothing wrong with trying to differentiate yourself in whatever way you can. In a field virtually dominated by males, I wouldn't imagine its very hard to stand out.

Even in forums, such as this, I find that women generally receive more help than others, perhaps because there are so few of them.

Would I prefer dealing with a pretty young female than an old geezer? Sure, with all other things being equal (emphasis on the caveat). When it comes down to the decision of who to give the business to, its my personal feeling that the decision is, more often than not, colorblind and sexblind (if there is such a word). For me, business decisions are fact-based, very clinical and virtual devoid of any emotion.

Who can do the best job? Who has done the best persuading me that they can accomplish my goals? Do they do it at a competitive price? What is their track record of success? Have they provided me all information to make an informed decision? Have they earned my trust and respect? Basically, they are all the questions you would ask 'yourself,' had the roles been reversed.

Does it help to brand yourself as being young and sexy? Sure -- if you are marketing yourself for a photoshoot. In the context of SEO (or any other type of consulting for that matter), however, I think this type of branding either hurts nor helps. You are marketing your abilities to achieve business goals.

Of course, this is personal opinion. Others are, of course, welcomed to disagree.

In your thread title, you mention "Could be danagerous." What danger are you referring to?

Edited by Respree, 09 October 2007 - 09:11 PM.


#4 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:01 PM

Look to chocolate... Flake, Galaxy, Aero etc.
These are not eaten solely by women (retail is about gender neutral apparently)... yet they are sensual/feminine/girly etc.

Why?
No one else was doing it at the begining... few others have done it since... it set them apart instantly... it seems to work.


Examine the Cafe GoldBlend adverts... anyone remember Giles from Buffy having suggestively romantic interludes around coffee?
Waht the hell does it ahve to do with coffee?


It's an angle - and a good one.
Sex sells is that addage I believe.
It has appeal to those interested in women (How PC was that!), as well as being affirming to those women out on their own or being independant.


Female marketers and sellers are often renowned for being lionesses - both at their hunting skills and at being sleek, waste free and ever hungry.

See - even I have fallen for the desired impressions of those marketers ploys ;)
Thats probably the type of wording they used when they came up with those ideas.


The only way to know if it is beneficial or detrimental would be to run two different campaigns/business fronts and see wich ones generate the most leads, if they differ at all.

There will always be those that don't like a given angle... to sexy, to bland, to clinical, to friendly etc... no pleasing everyone.

I'd say, if you feel all pink/female/get up and go... do it! If not... don't.... or do both(is that right?)... and run two seperate images.

Yorkie adverts have/had boy/girl chocolates (they had pink wrappers for the girly versions).

#5 BizDevMarketing

BizDevMarketing

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 26 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:19 PM

We'll I'm so pleased to receive such genuine, friendly, well thought out and diverse responses. Lot's of yummy nuggets here.

Braga', the subset approach really appeals to me. I'd considered a version of that, but your examples are now setting in motion a new train of thought. I cringe at the idea of writing solely to rant, (mostly because I'm not a "writer" at heart) so this offers the opportunity to present some deeper and perhaps more widely applicable topics.

Respree,I like your candor! The "danger" I was referring to is mainly the concerns I voiced in the original post. But I think that I can avoid those by following the above mentioned "subset" approach. (For short.)

Auto,I agree with your lioness reference, as well as the testing model. I myself won't be messing with it, but perhaps I could even conduct a few interviews.

And for that matter, would any of you mind being quoted/linked if I indeed write this piece? My blog / website are both currently in development, so it won't appear anywhere right away. I'll forgo it if I don't receive express permissions.

Thanks again, guys!!

#6 Respree

Respree

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5901 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:33 PM

Told you guys would flock to help you. See, its working already (must be the avatar). ;)

The gals are probably in the restroom chatting at the moment. I'm sure they'll be along shortly to give you some female perspectives.

You might find this interesting (or you may have seen this already). Oddly, and related to this topic, there's one website promoting sexy male SEO's. These are pretty well-recognized figures in the industry already and would still be well-known without her help. Still, a nice boost for the egos of those she mentioned.

Afterthought afterthoughtI have no objection to being quoted. Now you're forcing me to check for typos. ;)

Edited by Respree, 09 October 2007 - 06:33 PM.


#7 BillSlawski

BillSlawski

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15644 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:09 PM

And for that matter, would any of you mind being quoted/linked if I indeed write this piece? My blog / website are both currently in development, so it won't appear anywhere right away. I'll forgo it if I don't receive express permissions.


That would be fine with me. I'm sure that you'll be getting some other posts on this topic.

There have been a few standout blog posts fairly recently that I can think of that explore areas that may be related:

Here's three:

A Note to My Fellow Women of SEO

Feckin’ Women’s Knickers! Girls! and SEO

Finding The Women in Tech and Women in Search

#8 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13680 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:17 PM

AAKKK! This is such a juicy topic and I agree, if handled wrong, some women will want to meet you in the mud wrestling room.

There are days when my blog oozes sexual energy. That's simply just because *I* do. Some days. Other days I am the b***h from hell, or Miss Seriously Professional, or Mom, or whatever. I think I get away with certain things because:

1. I've been online and around for a long time.

2. I'm an older woman.

3. I trained my readers to expect the unexpected and no matter what, Kim is still in there somewhere.

It became my brand, to put my personality and character into my work.

I've noticed less girlie girl SEO's and more abrasive, tough talking ones. There's some serious writing talent out there from female SEO's but that doesn't equate to being good SEO's. A few female SEO's scare the hell out of me most days and other days, I'm hoping that if I'm ever robbed at gunpoint, one of them will be there to beat the crap out of the thief.

I'm not sure how many female SEO's are doing the pink sex thing though. The older ones seem pretty straight forward and business-like. The younger ones are having fun and more willing to interact with their readers. I see more play and flirting with them, as if they're more comfortable with the medium and have a better idea how to literally reach out to their readers. They're not standoffish or stiff.

What a cool topic! Welcome back ;)

#9 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:39 PM

If you do cause offene and end up in the mud wrestling room.... can we havea write up of the outcome?

And please, if you quote anything of mine, check the spelling (My keyboard likes making me look stupid - honest).


Results from tests would be phenominal... I'm certain that a fair degree of marketing resutls are a little skewed/bias (I've been in the meetings and lent a hand in "rationalising" the results ... always worth a giggle)... so seeing something produced from a "fairer hand" would be good (LOL).

#10 BizDevMarketing

BizDevMarketing

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 26 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:02 PM

Super. It looks like the topic is definitely one of interest, which is what i was hoping to ascertain. I've now got some links to check out too, so I can take the temp. of other SEO's out there. I'll surely keep you all posted!

As for myself, I'm not %100 certain where I stand on the issue. (Kim, I love your feedback - thank for sharing.)

All quotes will be spelling safe!

:cheers:

#11 SEOigloo

SEOigloo

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2100 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:18 PM

Hi BizDevMarketing -

Over at Sphinn.com, we have a whole world of SEOs worrying about industry image.

On top of this, we have infighting going on within the industry about who's a rat, who's legit, who's an impostor. That's got to look great to any potential client trying to figure out what SEO/marketing is about.

Then, we've got SEO bloggers spewing curse words at one another. Again, must look great to the people with the money - the clients.

Now we've got people trying to sell SEO by confusing it with selling sex? The industry image degrades further.

I don't think bots are impressed with sex. I don't think any real client is going to expect sexual services to be part of a site review. How lousy, exactly, are the SEO services if the SEO feels drawing attention to their gender is their only hope of getting paid?

If industry reputation is a legitimate concern, I can't think of worse way to promote the industry as being professional than by confusing it with promoting sex.

Miriam

#12 Ruud

Ruud

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 4887 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:39 PM

I really like your interview idea.

It seems to me the best way to keep it safe (no hostilities) and to get the "real scoop".

That is: what are they really thinking? Maybe you or I see "sexuality in their brand identity. Blogs are pink, use sexy images and vernacular, and just ooze "girl power."" while they just see "being myself" or "hey, I'm a woman, what else can I do?"

For example, in regard to Respree's "must be the avatar" remark, is your avatar chosen to have the best possible impact on men in a forum ... or is it just you ;)

#13 BizDevMarketing

BizDevMarketing

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 26 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:52 PM

Ruud, thanks for calling me on the carpet, LOL! The avatar? It is the only pic I have of myself that could be adequately cropped (there used to be a friend in the photo - sorry, J!) so it's literally the only photo of just me that I have -- the strategics end there. ;)

#14 A.N.Onym

A.N.Onym

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Invited Users For Labs
  • 4003 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 08:37 PM

I'm gonna partly answer questions from Bill (bragadocchio).

Standing out by being pink works. But what effect does it make?

I'd say that it helps women SEOs to get more women clients, who relate to the theme, to the blog writing tone, to the person they might know from the blog/website/conference.

Men, however, may be very well put off by screaming pink colors and you may lose the clients there.

How well you are at getting clients (what Garrick [Respree]) was talking about will influence how many clients you have. Are your skills/credibility/authority good enough to live off women clients only, given that they are probably in the minority?

Then again, could there be an untapped market of women SEO clients, who never got into the game only because they were put off by clients made by men?

And, of course, we have Kim. This is an exception (or a proof) to what I have said. She has a pretty good balance between a personal and a business (or business and a personal) blog, so both men and women read and work with her. Then again, she doesn't have pink. Her blog theme is pretty simple.

All in all, though, proven track records, case studies, site trust, credibility, how well your customers know you help better to get clients, than any pinky colors you can use on your site.

If you want to get juicy with your post about the topic, then you probably can say this "Creating a website for themselves SEOs are breaking their own rules of developing websites for the target audience. If your target audience are pink-loving girlies of 18-25, then by all means keep the color of love. But if you want to do business, consider the theme that will confidently convey trust, credibility and comfort of doing business with you.

If you do want to be more personal on your site, you can also have a personal writing tone on your blog, so your readers could know you better. Or share unique, funny, interesting, amusing stories, related to your business. Or better yet, meet people face to face at the conferences, arranged meetings, etc. This will not put off a large part of your audience, at least, as a screaming pink color would."

Then again, a very subtle pink color, without flowers, cutsy photos and other girl-stuff may be acceptable. But this doesn't go in line with 'being girly', does it?


Btw, Miriam, I don't think this is about selling with sex. No one is talking about women in bikinis (though some would probably love photos of less-clothed women on SEO sites). It is about being yourself and girlie on your website specifically, while being in the SEO business.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 09 October 2007 - 08:46 PM.


#15 AbleReach

AbleReach

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 6467 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 09:46 PM

"Hot Young Teen SEO" puts me off. I'd expect the "teen" to be a 40 year old guy who's playing at being somebody else for link bait.

"Will mud wrestle for links" I would read right away, especially if it came through a classy girl power marketing blog like lipsticking.com, or the right "boy" blog. Either way, it'd do better from a place I trusted to have substance. If Garrick wrote "Will mud wrestle for links" it would confuse me.

Gotta be yourself, and life is big, unless you're looking back wishing you would have given something a shot. How many muscles are there in the human body? There may be a lot of ways to flex being yourself.

I am not convinced that women get help more easily than men. I think that women ask more often and have less angst about if or how they get helped. I've had men tell me in all earnestness that if they ask for help in a techie or macho atmosphere the males there will try to show them up or look down on them. If that kind of dynamic is real or not may not be as important as respecting the sensitivity of those who *think* it's true, if that makes any sense. Now you've got me laughing at myself.

#16 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 October 2007 - 04:45 AM

...SEOigloo...

I can see the points made - ad there is no denying them... that said - we all know marketing is mostly smoke, mirrors and a few lies :)
It's the nature of the game.

Iamge counts - no matter what the iamge is - it will haev some sort of affect.

Think of going to court - do you know what the ratio of vindication/acquittal/condemned is based on Appearance alone?
I do - and it's plain disgusting - if in shabby clothes, you are looking at approx 1/3/4 - where as being in a suit makes it 1/5/2.

I've never gone to court in anything over than a suit, with wasitcoat, pale tie and either red or blue/grey jacket.
I've never been convicted of anything - yet guys/gals have gone in in flamming Jeans and T-Shirts - and within ten minutes are declared guilty, (and in 2 isntances I know they were not guilty of anything!).
They look wrong, sound wrong - so there fore they must be wrong (apaprently).


People are judgemental... which means so is society - no matter what circles you move in - you will always get reactions to your appearance/presentation... which is what MArketing and Advertising tackles... and SEO seems to be as much in game for it as any other industry.


As for the behaviour of some SEO's... is it any different to Advertising firms virtually stabbing each other at social events, or the Marketing firms black-naming newcomers to the field to kill them within a few weeks, or even web design, where people make accusations about someone elses work to the client, who hasn't got a clue, but has been told "not good" and "bad" ... ?


You are right - it sucks, and may be damaging - then again, everyone toeing thesame line is jsut as un healthy (look at door salemens from the 50's, 60's, 70's ... all looked, dressed and spoke the same - lok at the rep. they got due to a few).


Being instantly set apart has a bonus - you appear to be in a different pond to all the other sharks, so whats floating in there won't stick to you :)

Oh... just had an idea....

Waht about central items with targeted theming and additional contents?

I mean... you know what you want to say... so you jot it down... write it up 3 times... one for thegeneral market, one for the boys, one for the girls.

Then, when you go for the Links/adverts etc... if you have a scripted site, you can check what advert/keywords/links were used, and load up the relevant theme and additional spin/sparkle?

Wouldn't that mean all bases are covered... if a Boy Link... make it blue and bold, if a Girl Link, make it pretty in pink (great film), if not detected, make it normal (corporate?).

???

#17 ladesignz

ladesignz

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 36 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 08:41 AM

From a corporate perspective there still exists a boys club in technology.

In my company I am the only women on the web team and many times my struggle to get my ideas accepted if often becomes an all and out battle. I am on the west coast now but when I was down South is was almost always a losing battle.

So from that frame of reference I think marketing one self in a technology field as a women could definitely hinder ones image with the boys club.

just my humble opinion.

#18 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:02 AM

I suppose there are going to be geo based issues, including culture (I didn't even consider it).
Then again, as i nthe UK, it has proven that some of it was in fact imagined/self inflicted... women in advertising tend to get more results (at least from what I remember).
Same goes for Corporate sales - they often hire "hotties" to go client crawling to find new work as theyknow that the majority of clietns will be male, and that they can always play the "sister" card if they find a female client.

That said, I think not including geo/culture would be a mistake (cannot believe I failed too!)

#19 Rebecca Kelley

Rebecca Kelley

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 7 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:43 PM

I'd rather you not turn this into a "controversial" article. I think females in the industry have enough on their plate without an article like that adding fuel to the fire. Who cares if some female SEOs have pink, "girly" blogs? Or use sexy images? Or "ooze 'girl power'"? If that sort of thing isn't your cup of tea, that's fine. It's not how I operate, either, but I don't write blog posts or articles whining about it. If I did, that would just strengthen the whole "women are weak and shouldn't be in this industry" blah blah blah stereotype, because I'm sure a lot of people will read it and think "This author is being catty."

I think it would be better to show by example. Be a strong, smart, professional businesswoman who doesn't feel she has to use her sexuality or fall back on gender roles to be noticed, and you'll get more rewarding attention for it vs. writing an article taking cheap shots at the women who choose to do otherwise.

#20 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:54 PM

...Rebecca Kelley...
I don't think ... BizDevMarketing ... was whining or even advocating it - merely asking what others thought about it and the potential results it could have on client obtainment etc.

Basically wanting views and information, not stating good/bad/ugly.

Of course, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty certain if you re-read itwith that in mind, you amy see it as more of a question than anything else.

#21 Rebecca Kelley

Rebecca Kelley

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 7 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:00 PM

Autocrat, I based my response off the thread title, which is "'Women in SEO' Turning Into 'Hot Young Teen SEO?, I'd love to write this controversial article. Could be dangerous.."

I don't think a "controversial" article is going to accomplish much for women in our industry. In my opinion, it's just going to create an unnecessary debate.

#22 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:04 PM

Fair enough resonse to the Title... but if you're in marketing, you know there's more to it than the box itself.

What's more, if people such as yourself contribute and describethe issues you face and how to overcome them - wont it be of benefit for all?

Obviously things must be different, as I'm in the UK, and as far as I know, there is no real gender-based problems in most of the IT fields ow - techies are techies in most cases... at least, I'e only ever known one work palce that had an issue with knowledgable femals/colleague.
I simple punch in the face resolved that without much difficulty,
(I would pay to watch her do it again).

#23 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13680 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:17 PM

Bizdev wrote:

I'm increasingly intrigued by the number of women in SEO who incorporate sexuality in their brand identity. Blogs are pink, use sexy images and vernacular, and just ooze "girl power."


I admit to wondering what blogs you're referring to, though I'd hate for them to be walked in here and stood before the class.

Are you referring to young women SEO's, older women, newcomers, established names in the biz? (No names...just basic demographic info is what I'm referring to.)

#24 Rebecca Kelley

Rebecca Kelley

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 7 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:26 PM

Autocrat,

"but if you're in marketing, you know there's more to it than the box itself.

What's more, if people such as yourself contribute and describethe issues you face and how to overcome them - wont it be of benefit for all?"


That's the thing--I shouldn't HAVE to go in and describe the "issues [I] face and how to overcome them" because I don't think that this thread should be as big a deal as it's being made out to be. It's superfluous focus on an asinine subject, and giving it any attention at all is just making a non-issue into an issue. I just think it's sensationalizing an irrelevant topic.

#25 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:48 PM

Again - gfair enough comment - as I'm not a female nor in a situation you suggest/intimate, I cannot cast any real comment on it.

I wasn't suggestingthat you supply details in this thread - the Topic poster mentioned about interviews and feedback - so PM's, emails etc. should suffice if that is more preferable... then again, if you view it as the current situation as the "bully scenario", then maybe ignoring it will make it go away or give it less power/influence.

My personal view, and not one expect any to share, is that if you feel something is broken, try to fix it... but I'm not you, nor am I in your shoes - I'll trust your judgement as you are more in the know than I am.

#26 SEOigloo

SEOigloo

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2100 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 03:52 PM

Iamge counts - no matter what the iamge is - it will haev some sort of affect.


Hi Autocrat -

You and I agree on this, for sure. My concern here is that the image of such SEOs as were described in the original post would be not only an outmoded one, but a harmful one to both women and men who want their industry to be taken seriously. In addition to the perception this type of material might create in the public eye of SEO/marketing being a silly and/or sleazy industry, I am of the opinion that sexuality in the workplace is inappropriate and unwanted (by myself, anyway). The Internet acts both as the business card and workplace for most of us. The image we project there and the comfort we feel there is quite important to the quality of life each of us are experiencing, I believe. I like to feel that I work for a good and helpful industry that is of real use to people with important and valuable companies. It would not make me proud to feel I was working for something that is on par with a tabloid. I appreciated you responding to me.

Miriam

#27 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 October 2007 - 04:06 PM

Phenominal post!

That was wonderful, insightful and made me take a step back and examine thigs.
Believe it or ot, though I conduct most of my business "virtually"...
(virtually finished, virtually paid :)),
I never really put so much weight to the "net"side of things.

Of course, in the design/coding side we face simialr issues... one of the reason I would like legislation/guidelines and some form of "body" to assist in keeping order...

But you are wholly correct - the media we use everyday is generally open to the public, and thus it is much easier to generate negative views of the industries.
(why is the negative so much easier to assume?)


The problem is... it is still business... and it requires marketting.
So, you will end up in the "tabloid" and "broadsheet" camps... so long as you are comfortable... doe sit make that much of a difference - if you are tabloid, you are happy with the too-and-throw... if you are broad sheet, it's beneath you anyway and shouldn't stick too much, so long as you make clear distinctions.

Probably not as easy to do as to say... but if Advertising companies, notorius in both the 80's and 90's can get by with the various images they had; hacks, cut throat, rip-offs, false pomises... yet many flourished by being "standup" and "honourable".

Defintely a tough nt to crack.

#28 sanity

sanity

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 6889 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 05:41 PM

I think it would be better to show by example. Be a strong, smart, professional businesswoman who doesn't feel she has to use her sexuality or fall back on gender roles to be noticed, and you'll get more rewarding attention for it vs. writing an article taking cheap shots at the women who choose to do otherwise.

Gotta say I'm with Rebecca on this one. I definitely see that people of all walks of life are becoming more open and themselves online and that's a good thing but I'm not sure why we need specifically point out women and turn them (well the young ones at least :)) into Hot Young Teen SEO's. It sounds like the kind phrase I ignore when doing keyword research...

#29 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 4662 posts

Posted 10 October 2007 - 06:05 PM

I'm increasingly intrigued by the number of women in SEO who incorporate sexuality in their brand identity. Blogs are pink, use sexy images and vernacular, and just ooze "girl power."

On reading the original post I drew a blank - women in SEO/(M) incorporating sexuality, pink, etc. in their sites? Disclaimer: I default to find women sexy. The only design and colour I could remember clearly was Donna Fontenot's purple forever layout. And Jennifer Laycock's eyes. And Rae Hoffman's whip wit...

So I started running through my SEM site/blog list...several dozen very competent SEO/M women, but no pink in sight. Very little cleavage, even with images enlarged :infinite-banana:

I did see two general divisions: impersonal and personal. A woman showing her personality is human not sexual. Needless to say Kim :) is extremely personable. But look as I tried no sex, nothing naughty. I seem to remember you mentioned pole dancing about a year ago Kim?

So is it the noobies looking to apply a marketing edge? I went looking some more - it's research, officer, honest. I found a site where the nav buttons turned pink on hover. Another with a floral header. Some red but no pink. I did, however, keep tripping over Neil Patel in every single query...

So I change to image searches and get Rand's yellow footwear, Matt Cutts grin (is it just me or is he actually the Cheshire Cat?), dragonflies...relevance or query problem?

Perhaps someone could PM me a few URLs - I seem to be the only one who can't find whatever it was I went looking for. Yes, I did turn filters off. No, I don't know the secret password. Yes, that lady at the bar just slapped me...

Obviously a topic well worth a more in-depth investigation. With links. And pics. Lots of pics. Phone numbers and map directions would be convenient. It being the rainy season here on the wet coast I have my raincoat handy.

Seriously though: I can see 'feminine' design and persona providing an immediate comfort level for many new women clients. It is certainly an increasing business demographic. A discussion on the depth and value of the sub-demographic groups (sole proprietors, family firms, managers/directors/COOs/CEOs) current and future web presence, verticals presence, etc. and what attracts, retains, and converts each of them could fill a writer's life. :)

As to which SEMs use sex to sell: frankly I don't much care.

#30 send2paul

send2paul

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2912 posts

Posted 12 October 2007 - 01:51 AM

Curious of Essex here ;).....

I'm increasingly intrigued by the number of women in SEO who incorporate sexuality in their brand identity.

I think, like iamlost in the last post, and Kim asked this in an earlier post - do you have a list, or any links to the number of women in SEO who incorporate sexuality in their brand identity? From a purely - "Does this topic actually exist, or are we bigging it up for the sake of an article?" I'd maybe like to see some of these women's blogs/websites. Because an article with no substance, sure gets a whole load of clout with quotes from Cre8asite in it.

Paul

p.s. I'm not being brutal here, I can see it's a talked about subject - but I can't really comment on it myself until I've seen some of these blogs/websites/sexuality in their brand identity women. :)

#31 A.N.Onym

A.N.Onym

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Invited Users For Labs
  • 4003 posts

Posted 12 October 2007 - 12:15 PM

Strange that you should ask. Don't you remember who the sex goddess is? Other than that, I am not familiar with women, who use sex in SEO.

Also, being nice, cute and cuddly in the writing tone is one thing (Jennifer Laycock, for example). Many women SEOs/writers and usability professionals are like that. But using pink images that the thread starter talked about is a different beast, IMHO.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 12 October 2007 - 12:17 PM.


#32 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13680 posts

Posted 12 October 2007 - 12:22 PM

Don't you remember who the sex goddess is?


I TOTALLY forgot about that!!

It wasn't something I started out doing though. It started because my blog kept coming up for some insane keyword searches that were, shall we say, on the naughty side. I couldn't figure out why and ranted about it, with a headline that read, "Do I Look Like a Sex Goddess To You?"

THAT headline, plus me later playing around with the SEO side of promoting it on purpose, just to test my old SEO hand for fun, and then Mike Gray's assist with that with his own post on me being one, have caused that keyphrase to continue to bring me in daily traffic.

Sad...when they arrive and find boring old me :angel:

#33 danielleg

danielleg

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:49 PM

First time participating here, but it's almost my duty to... so here goes, and I don't mind being marched in front of the class.

First a bit of history:

1. I started learning about SEO as the office manager of a flower shop with poor results. This led to great success, and I was hooked. So when a local car company had an seocontest, I thought I might learn some things. And I did: There are few women in SEO and sometimes the men are mean. So I made my seocontest site pink and but girly things all over it just to be annoying. And I was the only person to rank in the top 3 in the 3 engines in question. ( I know that these types of contests are generally disregarded by pro SEOs, but I was new and it was truly a good exercise of my "white hat" vs. their "black hat" approaches. By the end of the contest, I had everyone saying "content is king" because I was doing so well with 1 millionth the amount of links they had. Funny stuff )

2. I live in a very conservative town: London Ontario Canada. Very "old school". And I LOVE shaking things up. Total boys club.

So when I kept blogging, and decided to try to promote myself as a local SEO consultant, I kept all the pink and the bear for the above reasons, and found that this in fact had the following benefits:

a) I am NOT an ultra professional business woman with a "bored room". I can code, and my computer is in my computer room at home. My blog/site does not put on any airs at professionalism that I don't have.

b ) There are oh so many SEO blogs on the WWW. SEO's are not looking for another SEO blog to read, and even people interested in SEO are not looking for another SEO blog to read. I need to set myself apart. And I do that well. I am the pink cow?

c) If I made an ultra sleek pro blog and site, I would have to always be an ultra sleek pro. Exhausting. I gotta be me. And people like genuine a lot more than sales pitches in a blog. I don't want to talk technical, enough blogs do that already. No one in the SEO industry needs my advice. I know that. With things the way they are, I am free to post on more random non internet marketing related topics (ie. my latest post on The Becoming Goth Toolkit).

At the end of the day, I am not hoping for worldwide SEO domination... I just want MY TOWN. I have a full time in house job now, and I am working with few different companies as well. I am happy.

The one downfall of having an ultra pink girly marketing blog: I have been wary of participating here and a million other places because I know what people think in their heads. :) Which is just one more reason to make my blog pink.

N.B. I want it to be clear that I did not take it personally that this was posted, as I know that it is not directed at me... and really even if it were, I love my pink blog and I am not changing it. I think this is a very interesting discussion, and yes from a "feminist" perspective. Here's what I think about that: Did Elle of Legally Blonde's practice of law suffer because of her impeccable fashion sense and love for pink? Nope. And my SEO and my ability to help marketing ideas and websites online does not suffer from the ever prevalent pink-ness of my blog and website. Becoming successful should not be at the expense of your personal style, fashion before safety I always say.

Oh, and my blog is here if you want to see what I mean. It's no Spaarkles but there is a lot of pink. I recently change my blog's URL when I wanted to build an actual website to attract London companies. The old one actually had pink in the URL O_O!!!! Feel free to use my blog as a real practical example but please don't be TOO critical of my blog, as I am proud of my blog and I will take any cruel comments to heart.

In any case, thanks for allowing me to contribute a VERY long-winded opinion on this discussion that practically screamed my name. Selah.

Oh... BTW... speaking of naughty keywords - try having pink in your URL and title tag and watch all the porn traffic you get.

Edited by danielleg, 18 October 2007 - 07:53 PM.


#34 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13680 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:03 PM

It's very nice to meet you Danielle! Welcome to the forums.

I think your blog is quite attractive and balances colors well. The pink is used as an accent color and is striking. I like it.

To be honest, I don't see you as doing anything outrageous. You seem to be enjoying being true to your self.

The whole "pink" thing is something I'm not relating to I guess. I subscribe to the print magazine called "Pink", which is targeted to corporate and business women.

#35 BizDevMarketing

BizDevMarketing

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 26 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:44 PM

Rebecca (and others)- I really appreciate these comments, as I think most women in this field would. In fact, I agree with you on many of your points, especially about leading by example. I also happen to feel that women in business are scrutinized to no end. The point of the would-be article was never to tout my opinion or look down on any one, rather to pose some questions about this particular theme that I've noticed.

I greatly value knowing that some of my fellow women peers in the industry feel that this article wouldn't do anything but ruffle feathers. This is precicely what I set out to uncover. I do feel that the article has potential to be very controversial, which is why I wanted to sortof gain a consensus prioir to deciding to write on the topic, which I was planning to write from an unbiased perspective.

After "Bragg's" (for short) comments, I was really leaning towards focusing on many of the questions that he presented, such as these, which I think are great pieces of food-for-thought:

With so many SEO firms and consultants, how does one stand out?

Do choices in personal branding like the ones that you describe have the potential to to limit the audiences that an internet marketer might provide? Do they have the power to call more attention to the services that they offer to audiences? Is being pink or oozing "girl power" enough to stand out, or should a unique distinction go beyond differences in gender or appearance?


It's been really interesting reading many of your comments, and I appreciate all of the candor. Though this is the first post where I've really shared my personal opinion on the matter to some degree, I will now take the opportunity to say that I believe in supporting, not criticizing my peers in business, especially women. I also believe karma applies in business as it does everywhere else.

I know that when I support, I am supported, and when I criticize, I am criticized.

I regret if this topic has caused any hard feelings, especially given it's personal nature for women, but am glad if it has encouraged some women to ask themselves questions which will ultimately benefit themselves and their livelyhood -- whatever those questions might be.

#36 Respree

Respree

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5901 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:01 PM

I also believe karma applies in business as it does everywhere else. I know that when I support, I am supported, and when I criticize, I am criticized.


I think that's a great attitude. I happen to believe the same. Bah, with all the people who call that superstitious mumbo jumbo.

Your first return-from-hiatus post has turned out to one heck of a doozy, Megan. I hope there are many more to come. Thanks for starting this thread. Its been an interesting discussion.

Edited by Respree, 18 October 2007 - 09:02 PM.


#37 danielleg

danielleg

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:46 PM

Thanks for the welcome, Kim. I really appreciate your feedback. I was pretty much forced to join the forum when I read this thread.

I don't see myself as simply a combination of various girl parts, and I don't use the gender aspect in this aspect to market my blog. I don't want people to read because I am "a chick". I want people to return to my blog because I am interesting person who is proud of who she is expresses herself well on various topics. I don't every use a sexy aspect. I am not a hot young teen... I am a hot woman in her twenties but I don't want men lusting after my sexy SEO bod on the internet.

Some women like pink, others don't. And some men like pink too.

#38 projectphp

projectphp

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3935 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:54 PM

I don't see myself as simply a combination of various girl parts, and I don't use the gender aspect in this aspect to market my blog.

Ahem, I.. stunned silence... stunned... well.... nope, stunned ;)... have a look at the attached image, and maybe you can explain how the statement above matches up with that.

I don't want people to read because I am "a chick".

Why not? If they are reading, do you really care why? Why people start will never be why they stay. All is fair in love and marketting, and use whatever you can, I say.

I think this is an example of the message has been lost in the propoganda. It was never "I don't want to be judged on my looks/gender/race/clothes" (Rubbish, that is why you look after your appearance, look feminine/masculine, where expensive clothes etc), it was supposed to be "I don't want to ONLY be judged on my looks/gender/race/clothes". The difference between the two is massive.

That said, if you truly don't want to be judged on any one, specific thing about yourself, and by proxy don'twant to use that thing as a marketing tool, then really, you shouldn't even mention that thing. ,There a host of things that are irrelevant to a themed blog, and mentioning them is using them to market yourself.

When I read a blog, the last thing I ever read is the author's name (if at all), so gender is not how I judge a post, but if the main logo features your gender prominantly, then IMHO you are very much making an issue of it and, yes, using it to market yourself. And that applies to everything someoen mentions, not just gender. From sexuality, to religion to interest groups, unless these are the topic of your blog, you choose what to expose, and surely do so for a reason.

Again, I personally see no reason why everything shouldn't be used for marketing yourself. Your ethnicity, your gender, your sexual persuasion, your alma mater, all of it is something to take advantage of. After all, isn't that is why we form communities; so we can help out other like minded people? IMHO it is no more or less authentic to promote a fellow SEO than a fellow woman, but I do think one needs to be honest that we are, indeed, using these things :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • whatthe.png


#39 danielleg

danielleg

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:45 PM

I was referring to the fact that "Hot Young Teen SEO" would be a bad label. I did not say that I did not use gender to market and brand my blog, I just don't use it with reference to being "hot" and "young", or promoting the "sex sells" idea.

I am a fun playful person, and my blog is pink and has a bear on it. Even if I took the word "girly" off the header, it would change nothing at all. I would have to change the design of my blog entirely, but then I wouldn't want it anymore.

#40 SEOigloo

SEOigloo

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2100 posts

Posted 19 October 2007 - 12:03 AM

This discussion keeps being interesting.

Hi Danielle,
Welcome to this forum. I'm glad you came and gave your blog as an example, as we'd yet to see one here.

Frankly, I'm not seeing the sexual aspect of this example at all. It looks more child-like??? Is that the word I mean? All the pink, and all that. It kind of reminds me of the 80s...My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake kind of thing. Is this the point?

Maybe, like Kim, I am a generation or so too far off to know what this pink business is about. I wouldn't know visiting your blog whether it was being published by a kid, a woman, a guy, unless I noticed your name.

Are your clients predominantly young people? Do they 'get it' as far as you know, in regards to the message of the pinkness? I'm curious. Particularly as you state that you are attempting to cover the waterfront locally for the services that you provide and that you live in a conservative town. Does presenting a non-conservative image work, if this is the case?

Thanks, again, for taking the time to tell us about what you are doing.
Kind Regards,
Miriam

Edited by SEOigloo, 19 October 2007 - 12:05 AM.




RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users