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Michael Martinez said something interesting in a blog post yesterday.

The problem is, as soon as a popular SEO blogpundit shares an idea or strategy with her or her audience, the idea loses value. That doesn’t mean it becomes worthless. It just means the idea loses value. Think of your brand new car depreciating a few hundred dollars as soon as you drive it off the lot. SEO ideas lose value in much the same way.

That’s pretty sage. But what is he saying?

SEO is a game. Popular SEOs figure out what is good strategy and they implement it. It works for them. Then they share it with the rest of the world. Lower level SEOs begin to adopt the strategies that the popular and well known SEOs have shared. Pretty soon, everyone is doing the same thing. Even spammers. That’s when the search engines change their algorithms.

Who are the first people to know the search engines have changed? The well known and popular SEOs. How do you think they became well known?

By the time the big guys figure out a new strategy, everyone else has adopted the old one. But that old strategy isn’t working any more because the popular SEOs have moved on. They’re doing something different.

Here’s the deal. The popular SEOs don’t share their successes right away. They test them first. Sometimes that takes 6 months or a year. Other times, it might take 2 or 3 years before they get around to sharing what they do that works (and you can bet they aren’t telling you everything). By the time they share what they are doing that is successful, those strategies have almost run their course with the search engines. Mass adoption occurs, but the search engines and popular SEOs have moved on.

So what should you make of this? If you think I’m saying “don’t trust anyone,” then you should go back and re-read the post. That’s not what I’m saying.

What I am saying is that you should trust an SEO company that isn’t blabbing all over the Web what they are doing for you that works. You should trust an SEO company that does its own testing rather than just following the leaders. Trust an SEO company that does what’s best for you, not what’s best for them.

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