Team Enablement

Content is a Flat Circle: How Search Is Like True Detective

Spoilers ahead…

Like most of you, we at Conductor were pretty obsessed with True Detective. It had it all: week-over-week intrigue, the pervasive struggle between good and evil, and the McConaissance. So as I sipped a cold beverage (Lone Star, nothing snooty) and slipped into deep thought about the beautifully dark TV tapestry laid before me, I started to see the parallels between True Detective and the world of search…

The SEO Team: Rust Cohle


With a perceived tendency toward being reclusive and often stringing together sentences that almost nobody in the room understands (any sentence with the word “canonicalization” in it), the SEO practitioner is like reluctant hero, Rust Cohle.

Like Rust, the SEO must investigate and piece together information to solve problems. When your site gets decimated by a manual penalty or an algo update, you need an SEO detective that can quietly assess the damage and draw conclusions from the most subtle details.

This site seems to be part of a bad neighborhood. It’s like I can smell the spammy links. Bad redirects. Content from some sort of auto-generated repository. This website is the work of a meta-psychotic.”

The strengths of this character? Great attention to detail and can produce amazing results that are incredibly artful when done well. The SEO can take searchers on a journey through multiple avenues that few other channels can pull together as effectively.

The downside? While it may not take the ten years it took to solve the case in True Detective, SEO results are often not instant. But that’s why you should partner with…

The Paid Team: Marty Hart

MartyHart copy

A bit more brash and aggressive in tactics, but effective in producing results when they’re needed, the Paid team more closely resembles the other half of True Detective, Marty Hart.  Like Marty, the Paid team is focused on quick results.

The paid team deals in the world of available hard data that can target people ready to buy right now. Well-liked and respected around the water cooler, the paid team members are certainly an important piece to your web presence efforts.

The strengths of this character? Fast results. Very linear, bottom-line thinking.

The downside? Aggressive and sometimes overzealous approaches in paid can get expensive. But like Marty says, “A man’s game charges a man’s price…”

Does this mean Google is Carcosa? Is Matt Cutts the Yellow King?!

yellow king notebook

It’s always the same, right? Produce better content. Don’t be linked to shady sites. Every time a big algo update hits, people are scrambling to figure out what it means and if their site will lose unspeakable amounts of market share. Sometimes, they find themselves on the losing end (and feel a bit frustrated).

At the core, the algorithms are all getting at the same thing (surfacing better, more relevant content), and they generally do reward the sites that manage their web presence thoughtfully and thoroughly. (Yes, I see the irony here as I write a blog post that is 80% True Detective references.)

Generally, though, it is true that the updates lead to a better user experience. But much like the “flat circle” concept, we can be assured that every single time our world is introduced to a new form of penguin or panda, we will all scramble over and over again.

A Good Web Presence Team Will Lead You Out of Carcosa


As Search progresses, it is increasingly clear that the real winners will be the ones who understand the way the ecosystem really works and hire good people to attack complex problems. Best of breed search teams already are generating more revenue for their organizations through paid and organic co-optimization, and the next steps will be to understand how content performs outside of traditional search rankings.

No channel in search should exist in a silo; that’s because searchers use multiple channels and have conversations on their own terms. That’s why we believe the concept of web presence management will lead digital marketers to success.

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