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@Peter - point well taken on the distinction between finding and valuing. I did a short stint consulting for a joint partnership with The Blackstone Group, an amazing organizations that very few, the right few, know about.

@Brian - another amazing contribution to taking the thought further. Point 3 about college students is chilling. But consider this: how many companies are managed by people who have pleasing them and not doing what's right by the customer as the criterion for success? Isn't that the same concept in a way? Value is what keeps people coming back, the ability to listen and solve a problem. When you book mark or subscribe to a site, you cease to care where it is in search.

I totally agree with Peter. This article gets me thinking as well...

- Aren't the top three listings on page one household names for which you wouldn't need to search anyway? Who Googles "Facebook" because they don't know where it is?

- If search engines are getting used more to find information we otherwise don't feel is valuable enough to commit to memory, wouldn't that sort of make getting to page one through any means other than organic taboo?

- Could we see college students in the future being told to write their research papers in SEO format instead of MLA, APA, et al.?

I'm something of a non-conformist with one foot in and one foot out of the box most of the time. Stuff like this is exciting because there is a little reinforcement that my working on websites with oddball, non-SEO-friendly domains for which there are no intentions of monetization doesn't mean that I'm doing it wrong.

It's like there's this little voice inside my head defiantly shouting, "You go ahead and follow all the SEO/SEM rules just like every other cookie cutter website out there. You do that. I'm going to continue to build MY website the way I want and THAT'S what will make MY site different and refreshing."

(Hopefully more than a handful of people will keep coming back. LOL.)

Page 1 is important for cold searches and inquiries, so if your business model requires those, go for it.

It would seem that if you cultivate relationships, offer valuable content, and are thus linked and connected, where you appear on the search results page is irrelevant. Through your network, the right people will find you. What's more, your perceived value will be higher this way because of how people found you. People may find content through page 1, but to value the content people trust people in their network/community.

It's not only ok to be on page 2, it may not even matter where you appear in search results.

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