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What Kind of webmaster are you?
is your approach a roadblock to success

 3:38 am on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok, I started wondering what impact the approach a webmaster brings to this craft might have on the success of their site(s) and/or their clients. I deliberatly left very little midlle ground. Do you recognize yourself in any of these categories and the impact your personality/philosophy has on the objectives of a site. Are you a roadblock to success?

Risk Averse, The Poster Child
You don't actually have any websites, before you build one you need to know everything about hosting, development approaches, caveats(every one of them), things that will get you penalized. designs that convert, the best software to use, etc. etc. ect. You haven't started you site yet because you heard about this thing called CGI and think it might impact the site somehow, you never actually build a site.

Risk Averse, In A Constant State of Fear
You won't make any change to your site(s) because you don't know how it will affect your positions at search engines. You take meticulous care to ensure all of your optimizing is beyond reproach. In fact you constantly ask if something you will be doing, might be doing, just thinking about doing to your site will be penalized. You worry that something another site is doing might harm yours. You rarely optimize anything because you haven't found a definitive answer on what impact it will have on your rankings. You have a sneaky suspicion that only the cheaters are succeeding, but that's ok, you'd rather be absolutely beyond reproach than have to succeed by "cheating", then you return to scruitinizing your site(s) making sure you haven't done anything "wrong". You believe the search engines can see everything you do and regularly review all pages for violations to their TOS.

Risk Averse, And Loving It
You are proud that you don't follow the fads of internet marketing, you're in it for the long term. While everyone is pulling their hair out trying this and that to get their sites better placed (marketed), you just sit back and.... well, you just sit back. It's comforting, if not rewarding. You've had some fleeting success and are reluctant to make any changes for fear of losing what success has been achieved. You would rather have tempered success than risk losing it all by getting too greedy. You know some tricks that could help your sites do better, but you dismiss them, knowing that only results achieved with long term hard work and above board techniques with quality content can be fullfilling. You contribute greatly to the anxiety of "Risk Averse, In A Constant State of Fear" whenever you interact.

Risk Taker, On Pins and Needles
You used to be one of the previous two personalities and inadvertently succeeded with a more liberal design/optimization approach. You believe that as long as everything is in the open it is not spam. Not like those spammers using hidden text or cloaking, or linking lot's of their own websites disguised to look like independent sites. Still you worry with every report you read about banned sites that you may have crossed the line, you look for affirmation that what you are doing is ok. "Risk Averse, In A Constant State of Fear" mistakes you for one of them and assures you that you have nothing to worry about, not like those spammers who'll get what's coming soon.

Risk Taker, and Loving it
You try everything as long as it presents relevant results, you stick with what works and abandon what doesn't. You are not encumbered by the limits imposed by other personalities, you occasionally revel in taking on the tone of the "Risk Averse, And Loving It", you won't cross the line completely, avoiding the techniques you consider spam [enter what you consider spam here] , you consider yourself principled and ethical for avoiding what you consider spam. You tend to think that the search engines can't really spot "blatant" optimization. None of your sites have ever been banned or penalized (black Monday doesn't count).

Risk Taker Extreme
As long as the site presents relevant results, no technique, approach, software, or trick is out of bounds if it helps get the job done. You typically allow the sites to take on the necessary personality to protect your interests rather than imposing your personality on every site. You have sites that would satisfy the most ardent Risk Averse and sites that would make their blood boil. When you hit on something that works you milk it. You view the whole optimizing, ranking, search engine rules, internet in general as a playground. You don't understand anything "Risk Averse, In A Constant State of Fear" says, but you understand everything "Risk Averse, The Poster Child" is asking about. You relate to everyone and no-one.



 4:18 am on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Take a bow Air, what a delightful post. I admit I was once I was a "Risk Taker Extreme", quite good if I say so myself but those were days past. I changed paths and now find myself somewhere bouncing around the middle but without the fear. Once I gave up the Risk Taker Extreme I let go of the fear. I don't see a blissful middle so is there something wrong with me ;)


 4:34 am on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

hmm, easy for me, Risk Averse, And Loving It.

I have a simple large site, just lots of content.


 4:44 am on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

excellent post Air. It's like reading a history of my first few years in this biz. In fact, if you were to read all my posts here in chronological order for the last nearly 3 years you could pretty much watch my evolution from "State of Fear" to somewhere between "Risk Taker and Loving It" and "Risk Take Extreme". OK - so we know where I've come from and where I'm heading on this scale but what does that mean?

Well, when I first started into this business I was doing everything by the book. I could not stand the thought of getting banned or messing up and having one of my client's page drop rankings. Also on top of it all I was still working a full time job because there was no way I could live on what I was making doing web design and seo part time. I would have loved to do it full time but I was too scared to take the leap - or shall we say - risk averse. At least until...

OH NO! It's 2 years ago and I've just been laid off. No more work for the oilman. What to do? I know - I'll take a shot at the independent webmaster/seo life. So now I'm still "Risk Averse" but I've added "Loving It". The lifestyle is great but I'm still having trouble affording it. I tick along this way for a few months just scrapin' by waiting for the riches that are coming my way for sure. I keep waiting, waiting....crap - the bank account dwindling fast gonna have to get a job next month if I don't find a new client or something...I express this a few friends here are WebmasterWorld and...

StickyMail from a friend asking have I ever heard of affiliate marketing and would I be interested in taking a crack selling [insert product here] online? I figure sure what the hell? 10 minutes later I'm enrolled.

To make a long story even a little bit longer... The first month I'm enrolled I make $157. Slowly I start adding more sites and breaking more "rules" and - funny thing - making more money.

So what is the end result? It would seem for me that my approach to webmastering/seo had been holding me back. The further I move up the risk ladder the more money I seem to make. Let's put it this way: In June I made as much money as I made all year at my last job and I just had 5 sites hit with PR0 and I've never been happier.:)


 5:37 am on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Had not considered a reverse chronology paynt, I figured the typical path might be like Oilman's. I'll bet you're the exception.


 6:09 am on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oilman, i'm with you on this topic. I keep hearing people crying about getting kicked out of google for this or that. Or how there competer is using different skeems to get over on the SE!

Here's me 2 pennys on this topic.

#1. If your not cheating, your not tring. And its only cheating "if" you get cought.

#2. (google PR0 me and its been 6 month's) First of all, mirror that site on a different server, link site1.com to a "new" domain name and new links(maybe even some of the good links that are clean from the o.g. site. Next, site2.com with the original damain, robot.txt.get the hell out of here. Guest what, your back in google agian and your PR is shooting up faster that a junkie fresh out of jail.

#3 I heard some of you in here talk about "blackmonday" well guest what, it just may come(while your waiting to get back in google from some dumb ban) and with SE's on such shakey ground, you never know who next so, I say treat this seo business like a day at the race track, pick your horse, head to the betting line and if someone has a heart atack in front of you in line, step over him and get your bet down becouse, once that window closes and "the race starts without you", you can't win. You have to be in it to win it!

#4 Last but not least, growup, this is BIG business for companys and "most" everyone who is really trying to win is doing "whatever it takes to win". And yes, even some of us in here who claim no foul are guilt too.

I know some here will get all mad at me for saying the truth but, "don't hate the player, hate the game.



 3:41 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>some here will get all mad at me for saying the truth

That's the interesting thing in all this, whatever approach you use you likely believe it to be the "truth", but how does it stack up against the results you want or the expectations of your clients.


 4:03 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

how does it stack up against the results you want or the expectations of your clients

This is where you state right up front what you are capable of, what your focus is and then have the good sense to attract clients that match up to those skills.

Youíre right air, I have changed directions. I started in this industry back when it was web warfare. We were guerilla web warriors and what fun it was. Iíd spend hours each day feeding the frenzy. For those of you who missed it there was a two-hour turnaround for knowing where you rank. We built these killer cloaked pages and played with every trick in the book and it was the biggest rush.

About six months or more before Yahoo dropped Inktomi for Google I had started researching Google with a vengeance. I still havenít worked out all that I discovered but through that I found Webmaster World and Brettís ideas on themes. It fit exactly with what my research was showing me and I couldnít stop.

Itís still a rush and a ride but Iím confident because I believe in research and I trust what Iím learning here and have been able to share. Iím still finding my niche though but no air, I donít feel Iíve gone in reverse. More for me itís an evolution.


 5:04 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

We need more feedback on this great post. It's to soon for it to go away now.


 5:18 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Risk taker, and loving it!

Game on! I'm up for most anything as long as I don't think it short changes users and I don't get caought ;)



 5:51 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I started off as a "risk taker extreme". But settled down to a "Risk Taker, and Loving it" as I landed bigger clients (more to lose ). Getting some solo stuff going now.. and I plan on taking that to the extreme..


 6:13 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Risk Taker, and Loving it

Always stay on your toes, and constantly challenge your techniques.

Always except change for what it is - and adapt.

Always push the envelope without risking integrity.

Always be aware, and well researched.


 6:32 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Risk Taker Extreme

Air, it's somehow unsettling to have one's entire online personae distilled into 6 sentences. What is this, Psych 404? Impressive insight in that post!

I confess, at the core, I'm still RTX. But now, I've focused more to "betting with the system." I'm not risk-adverse, but the more I've learned about search, the less risk I have to take in order to provide them with what they want.


 6:40 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

How about "risk blind" or just plain naive? That's where I started.

Just a sense that I could use the web for myself and my customers, doing whatever I thought would work. I didn't think up anywhere near all the methods that I later read about (some of them absolutely amazed me) but I did think up a few, with never a thought that I was taking a chance.

Only when I ran into trouble did I start looking for forums and getting input. Brett had the straight talk, from what I could see. In fact, the only really straight talk I could find - so here I landed.

I'm not so naive these days - I'm mostly a "risk taker and loving it", all except for that "never been penalized" part.


 7:49 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Itís still a rush and a ride but Iím confident because I believe in research and I trust what Iím learning here and have been able to share. Iím still finding my niche though but no air, I donít feel Iíve gone in reverse. More for me itís an evolution.

I'm with Paynt. Used to be a one day turn around with infoseek where you could play your skill with all kinds of SEO tricks. But now that Google is king, it requires a different kind of temperament.

brotherhood of LAN

 7:56 pm on Aug 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Risk Taker, On Pins and Needles

Sounds like me. I'll go as fast as the rest of the traffic is going- and I won't get stopped for speeding :)

Mind you, I don't know a fraction of the techniques many others know- so my idea of a risk is probably not as risky as the next webmasters


 4:52 am on Aug 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Got two speeding tickets in the past year and I don't drive fast.

Also two PR0 sites, one AV boot, one Ink boot and I don't spam.

I sleep well and my blood pressure is low.

Go figure!

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