Friday, April 5, 2013

What SEO practices reveal about Theory Of Constraints

[Disclaimer - this post does not address SEO how to. To learn SEO - follow my affiliate link and view the offer there]

Intro (skip this paragraph if you'd like to get right to business, it's the background story)
It's funny how things roll about. I am a bit obsessive about this blog's statistics (I'm an Industrial Engineer by nature - I obsess about all my graph-able data), so I noticed when a new referral URL showed up on my list and went over to check the site, maybe there's some new Theory of Constraints content for me to enjoy and share. Well, what I encountered was a total surprise. It was a 1-page static site built in Blogger in order to promote a "get rich blogging" offer. Seems the owner encountered my blog and liked it, so she linked back to it. I am, of course, much obliged. And so I came face to face with this offer to get all the inside info of making money by blogging. As you can see, I am not ashamed to admit I'd like to make a bit of extra padding from this blog, so the offer sparked some interest in me. Normally, though, I would brush these kind of offers to the side, assuming they were aimed at making someone else rich... I know not what was different this time, other than the very low risk associated (1$ for the first 7 days), but I decided to risk it. I enrolled to the website and started looking over the information it offered. It was a complete, step-by-step guide to building marketing blogs to create affiliate income. I liked what I saw and decided to stick around there for a bit and even became an affiliate of his offer (you can find more info through my affiliate link, please note I have no plans to promote it in this blog, this is just FYI). Going through all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques and trying to apply them for Theory Of Constraints I started seeing some disturbing patterns. After some more research here is what I've come up with.

The Facts
Almost a year ago to the day, in this post, I pointed out that the interest in Theory Of Constraints is on the decline. Well, there has been no improvement since then, as this graph shows clearly:

Note - the number 100 represents the peak search interest.
Before I went off to dig deeper I checked if there is any search term predominant within the Theory Of Constraints world and this is what I got:

All things Theory Of Constraints are more or less equal in the interest they have been generating in the last few years.
Using the analysis tools over on Google's Adwords website, I found that 'Lean Six Sigma' generated 800 keyword combinations. Of these, over 200 combinations that are in high demand for PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns and over 300 combinations are searched 6,500 times a month or more. Using the same analysis for all the Theory Of Constraints topics combined I generated only 100 keyword combinations. No combination was in high PPC demand and the top 8 most searched combinations were either not relevant (they were actually relevant to lean six sigma) or suspected as such. Running a Google search on "Lean six sigma" yielded 19.5 million results. Running a Boolean OR search containing the words "Goldratt", "Goldratt the goal", "Theory of Constraints", "Critical Chain" and "Thinking Process" yielded 26.8 million results. I also did a few searches of  global terms that could be relevant to Theory Of Constraints such as "process improvement" or "project management" and there is no Theory Of Constraints content to be found in the results, paid or natural, in the first few and critical pages.

My Thoughts
Assuming the internet, as reflected by Google, is a good representation of reality then, clearly, the information is out there. Not so many are interested in it and, it would seem, no one is trying to generate the interest. This leads me to the assumption that the Theory Of Constraints community has become a closed community. This means that even if we, as a group, are happy and willing to accept new comers the group is still experiencing a "negative birth rate". Which is weird, since Theory Of Constraints practitioners are not working in the community, they are distributing the knowledge to companies outside this tight knit group. Perhaps that explains the leveling of the interest visible in the graphs from 2009 to the present. I have no answers here, I just know what the data is showing and I'm trying to relate this to the reality I am encountering.  So, yes, newcomers are accepted happily but they are aliens, which feels weird and uncomfortable, leading them to opt out.
Should this trouble the Theory Of Constraints community? I think it should but is it my prerogative? If we, as a community, want to change this around, we should, of course, do that by using the TP tools. After all - we all want to practice what we preach. I can't decide for the whole community, so, just for now, I'll leave it at that and only share my basic intuitive reactions, perhaps they will come in handy in the future. First, is the need to regenerate wide interest, which requires we look at Theory Of Constraints through the new audience's eyes, with the inevitable conclusion that we must and stop using our jargon when talking to them. Second, to my humble opinion, is the need to create a multiple stream of smooth and easy processes that lead from laymen to proficient. My personal experience shows that every time I look for ways to progress I find that, other than self learning everything (with or without a mentor), almost everything is either too basic or aimed at specific populations such as top managers and therefore at such a premium I can't afford  Why aren't there mid-way options?

This was a hard post to write. Not because it required research and analysis, but because I'm stepping out of my comfort zone. I am posting this knowing that some who may read it will not agree with me, that some may feel hurt or angry. While I tend to shy away from such uncomfortable situations, I decided that, since Theory Of Constraints is important to me, this is worth putting out in the open. Please feel free to comment or reply to me privately with any piece of information that I may be missing. I'd love to come back here just to say I was wrong. 
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