Search News: The Ten Search and Social Media Plagues Part 2

Today we continue with a special Passover treat, the Ten Search and Social Media Plagues. For those of you rusty on your Old Testament, check out yesterday’s post or Wikipedia. Suffice it to say that God was ticked off at Pharoah and the Egyptians for keeping the Israelites (led by Moses) enslaved. He sent ten nasty plagues their way at which point they finally relented and let the Israelites take off, though not without inspiring at least one Universal Studios thrill ride.

Yesterday we gave you the first five, here’s our final five Search and Social Media Plagues:

6. Incurable boils (Unwanted Search Results)


The sixth Egyptian plague was a nasty skin disease usually translated as boils. If you see anything resembling this or have been out partying with Dennis Rodman you’ll know what I’m talking about and you’ll see your doctor toot-suite.  In the search and social media world we know this as:

Unwanted Search Results

Yeah, sounds like no big deal right? Just like looking in the mirror and seeing an ugly red pustulent outburst on your face, looking at your search results and seeing something untrue, horribly negative, or confusing can kill your chances of ever connecting with others normally. What’s worse is that social media sites can often outrank a badly optimized website, as can news sites. One bad news story can haunt a brand for years, not unlike an incurable boil.

7. Hail (Knocking Pages Out of Search)


Plague number seven is kind of par for the course here in the northeast United States. In Michigan it’s called beach weather. Yup, hail – destructive little iceballs knocking out the Egyptians satellite dishes, knocking whatever cattle survived the last six plagues upside their heads and denting Acuras. In our world this is like:

Knocking Pages Out of Search

Whether you bought the hype about search engines seeing flash now or you moved sections of your site without SEO and redirecting properly, you have to watch out for those little balls of ice, knocking your site out one page here, one page there, until you have the search engine equivalent of Shane MacGowan’s teeth.

8. Locusts (Content Exhaustion)


Locusts are horrible swarming grasshopper-like insects that descend on areas in huge, light-blocking numbers, as they apparently did in Egypt. Worse still, they eat crops ravenously and only move on once they’ve stripped the land bare. In our world, we call that:

Content Exhaustion

There’s nothing like launching a website or a new blog and getting an influx of visitors in the first weeks and months. Those visitors need to be feed though, to keep them coming back or staying put – just like disgusting locusts. If you have nothing new to give them, off they’ll fly to some other website or blog – all the SEO and social media outreach in the world can only get you so far if you don’t have new content to offer.

9. Darkness (Website Overload)


The penultimate plague was a real humdinger, darkness.  3 days of darkness, kind of like what I experience after a Glenfiddich bender. So what’s our equivalent?

Website Overload

This is some bad mojo and it’s what happens when you drive lots of traffic to your site through a search or social media campaign, but your servers aren’t prepared to handle the influx. Down goes your site faster than Apollo Creed in Rocky IV.

10. Death of Firstborn (First in is Often the Last to Succeed)


The final plague was the death of all the firstborn sons (what’s up with that, firstborn girls weren’t good enough to die?) in Egypt. So that was a real bummer and finally Pharaoh was like “Go on, get out of here.” In our world this is like:

First In is Often Last to Succeed

The first engine to do paid search? Ask Jeeves. Remember Alta Vista, way before you Googled anything? How’s that Friendster account holding up? Yes, sad but true that the pioneers online are often left in the dust by others who take their good idea and expand on it – or even simplify it down to its essence.

So that’s all for our plagues – hope you enjoyed the upbeat holiday-themed topic!

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them here or check out Reprise Media folks on Twitter.

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