Leveraging SEO to Run With the Giants

Paul Mah

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a niche that has steadily gained attention over the years, especially among senior executives. In a nutshell, SEO is all about tweaking one's website to feature more prominently within the search results from search engines. (You can also check out my post "A Simple SMB Guide to SEO.")


I recently had the opportunity to pose a number of questions to an SEO expert. David Mill is a veteran in the online publishing industry who has operated the online marketing agency MediaCo in the UK since 1999. You can find the full interview here.


I was very curious about the importance of SEO for small and mid-sized businesses. After all, there are probably much better ways for SMBs to invest their limited resources, right?


Mill pointed out that businesses of all sizes stand to benefit from search engine optimization. When quizzed whether there is a minimum "cutoff" point at which SEO will start to yield diminishing returns, as in the case of smaller businesses, Mill wrote:

In fact, if their websites appear higher in the results, it can help small and mid-sized businesses compete with larger ones. The return on investment in SEO is ongoing and will actually increase as more people use search engines to source products and services.

So while I would caution companies against betting their entire marketing and publicity budget on SEO and sprucing up their websites, the truth is that properly directed investments in this direction can better position smaller companies to compete.


As someone who frequently has the opportunity to communicate with companies launching new products or services around the world, I can say with certainty that appearances can be deceiving. I have come across more than one company that I eventually found to be much smaller than I thought. Looking back, I realized that my initial impressions were often formed with a tastefully designed website - and one that ranks high in Web searches.


Unfortunately, research from as recent last year has shown that SMBs are not taking to the Web, much less attempting to optimize it. Perhaps it is time that SMBs pay more attention to this area and use SEO to better compete with larger companies.


In the meantime, Mill is also the author of the book titled "Content is King: Writing and Editing Online." You can find an excerpt, "Writing for Search Engines," in the Knowledge Network.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Feb 17, 2011 8:44 AM Kotly co Kotly co  says:

Nowadays, seo is very important. There is no you in Google, you're not at all. And the best, if you were in the top ten.

Feb 22, 2011 3:25 AM Carly13 Carly13  says:

I believe that SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) will only continue to gain strength. The reason for this is that it is an ever changing game. Every time Google tweaks their algorithms SEO companies have to work feverishly to find what else works. The game has them on their toes at all times. With the popularity of social media gaining strength I believe we'll see more "weight" being shown on tweets and facebook comments. Google has begun to recognize that most people trust their friends advice more than any other authority. So it makes sense that for each specific user and each specific search more weight would be given to what an individuals searcher's friends are saying, delivering results pertinent to that individual and not just a blanket result. There is so much that can and will be done in the this market. It's not going away any time soon.Carly S.

Feb 25, 2011 7:10 AM Technika grzewcza Technika grzewcza  says:

Great article about SEO and SEM.

Mar 23, 2011 9:12 AM seo seo  says:

"In fact, if their websites appear higher in the results, it can help small and mid-sized businesses compete with larger ones.  The return on investment in SEO is ongoing and will actually increase as more people use search engines to source products and services."

i definitely agree, but seo becomes more and more hard. The factor "time" also, is many times forgotten by many people. Also with the comming of social media's like facebook, people find it easier to get their feet there, cause it's inexpensive and based in classical marketing techniques.

Mar 23, 2011 9:23 AM seo cyprus seo cyprus  says:

That's the magic of google. One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. With a well designed and optimized site, your small business can match the image and professionalism of a larger company.

Mar 28, 2011 10:14 AM Cincinnati Website Design Cincinnati Website Design  says:

I think if you want to compete with the 'giants' you really need a lot of experience first and then you HAVE TO outsource a lot of things and think outside of the box or at least be creative. It is getting harder and harder day by day.

Apr 26, 2011 1:33 AM ??tta??t?da ??tta??t?da  says: in response to Cincinnati Website Design

Cincinnati it is true that it is getting harder and harder day by day but trust me my friend, if you are experienced and you have a team working with you, you can overpower and compete against giants. Everything is about "purpose" and teamwork

Apr 29, 2011 1:54 AM ?atas?e?? ?st?se??d?? ?atas?e?? ?st?se??d??  says: in response to Cincinnati Website Design

I understand your point but if you outsource a loth of things first you will have to pay. Second, you will not be that impressed by the work you outsourced if you want the best results. That means that the only thing that can compete is the hard work and the knowledge.

At least, we believe the same. It is getting harder and harder day by day.

May 1, 2011 4:31 AM ?atas?e?? ?st?se??d?? ?atas?e?? ?st?se??d??  says: in response to ??tta??t?da

Hello "??tta??t?da". I think i will have to disagree with you. Why this? Because, even if you are experienced and you have a very good team working with you, the "giants" will overpower you because a team is based on "numbers". What i mean is that "giants" have big money and they will purchase many teams working on one or more projects. But i agree with you that "everything is about "purpose" and teamwork.

Jun 17, 2011 7:21 AM F?t???ta??a F?t???ta??a  says: in response to ?atas?e?? ?st?se??d??

Hello "?atas?e?? ?st?se??d??",

I think that you are definitely wrong and thats because after the Google Panda algo change, even if the giants "buy" many teams and put them into work for some SEO projects, that WONT be enough cause of quality-control.

Now, time to time Google is changing many things. They implemented the "+1 button" too. That means, they will take control of the SEO and in some time they WONT let anyone "cheat" them.

Thats only my opinion.

Thanks for this article.

Aug 8, 2011 9:40 AM aeroporika eisitiria aeroporika eisitiria  says: in response to F?t???ta??a

The +1 button is definitely one of the biggest changes in Google as they officially said that it will count for search engine rankings. I only hope that they will manage to cope with facebook

Aug 31, 2011 12:44 PM d????????? ??afe?? d????????? ??afe??  says: in response to aeroporika eisitiria

I think that we must try + 1 out of seo at his beginning because its a new technology and we dont know how it will affect search engines. I have allready a site that i use only + 1 for testing.

Sep 1, 2011 7:42 AM ae??p????a e?s?t???a ae??p????a e?s?t???a  says: in response to d????????? ??afe??

Unfortunately the Pand Update has not been implemented fully everywhere. In our Country, Greece, there are some shameless blogs that just copy and still get higher rankings that the original source.

Sep 5, 2011 8:30 AM f?t???ta??a se ste?e? f?t???ta??a se ste?e?  says: in response to ae??p????a e?s?t???a

Google + 1 its just a test dont try to make better your seo with something that we simple dont know...

Oct 13, 2011 1:59 AM Simon74 Simon74  says: in response to ae??p????a e?s?t???a

Duplicate content will kill them...wait and see....

Dec 21, 2011 4:06 AM a?ta??a?t??a a?t?????t?? a?ta??a?t??a a?t?????t??  says: in response to Simon74

Duplicate content is the first and the bigger mistake for SEO.

Jan 12, 2012 7:59 AM ae??p????a e?s?t???a ae??p????a e?s?t???a  says: in response to a?ta??a?t??a a?t?????t??


Jan 16, 2012 8:47 AM f?t???ta??a f?t???ta??a  says:

That's the magic of Google!!!!!

Jan 16, 2012 11:02 AM ae??p????a e?s?t???a ae??p????a e?s?t???a  says: in response to f?t???ta??a

You are absolutely right..Google is magical..

Jan 16, 2012 11:07 AM ae??p????a e?s?t???a ae??p????a e?s?t???a  says:

you are absolutely right Carly13.


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