It was probably only 6 months ago that My Little Pony: Friendship is magic came into my life, but I can’t deny that, as a grown man in his late 30s, I like the show. My name is Jim, and I am a brony!
Anyway, for those not familiar with the show, this set up what the first episode is about
Anyway, Twilight Sparkle rushes to tell Princess Celestia and, she is told to stop reading those dusty old books and is sent to Ponyville with her little dragon Spike to check on the preperations for the Summer Sun Celebration (with me so far??)
Twilight Sparkle arrives in Ponyville and she is introduced to the six ponies in charge of various parts of the celebretion; Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity who all want to be Twilight Sparkle’s friend. Worried that Nightmare Moon is returning, she wishes to research the elements of Harmony. At the end of part one, Nightmare Moon appears and the sun doesn’t rise.
Determined to restore balance in the world, Twilight Sparkle and her new friends, seek out the elements of harmony is a scary forest and Nightmare Moon puts obstacles in their way to stop them.
Long story short, this is how it ends:
So, by recognising the Elements of Harmony in her friends, Twilight Sparkle was able to summon, the most powerful element, that of magic, and defeat Nightmare Moon restoring balance and daylight back to Equestria.
So let’s break down these Elements of Harmony and try to apply them to SEO and search marketing, let’s start with the first pony that Twilight Sparkle meets:
Pinkie Pie is the quintessential party pony, you can see that by her balloon cutie mark, she is always upbeat and unlike the other ponies, she bounces rather than walks. Pinkie Pie can teach us three things.
Applejack is a country pony who lives and works at Sweet Apple Acres, Ponyville’s apple orchard and cider making farm. Applejack is a reliable and hard-working pony, although headstrong about doing things on her own. She tackles the annual apple harvest all by herself while her brother Big McIntosh recovers from an injury in the episode Applebuck Season, she represents the element of honesty.
We can learn a lot from Applejack. SEO suffers from being an industry that’s coupled with a lot of mistrust, we can be seen as shady, however there has been in a shift in the industry of late to try and become more open and honest. Honest SEOs with good advice are becoming easier to find and they’re no longer keeping their secrets in caves.
Also, Applejack’s work ethic is something to be admired and emulated. What people don’t realise is that SEO is hard work because not only do you have the long tedious hours of link building, the meticulousness of technical SEO, you also have to keep up with a field that moves faster than most. The world of SEO changes on a daily basis and we as search engine marketers have to keep up, we need to make sure we’re ahead of the curve and that is a lot of hard work, watching Google like a hawk, reading blogs and tweets every day.
Fluttershy is a female Pegasus pony and probably one of my favourites ever since Jessica Nigri did a photoshoot as her. She lives in a cottage near the Everfree Forest and is an animal caretaker, the most prominent of her charges being Angel the bunny. She represents the element of kindness.
You can get a lot from SEO if you keep the element of kindness in your heart, think about what you can do for others, look for ways to help people online and build relationships rather than build links. A good relationship and empathy can give you much much more than a single link and it’s worth remembering that.
As her name suggests, Fluttershy is a very shy pony, when she first meets Twilight Sparkle, she can barely get her name out, but when she needs to be, Fluttershy can be quite brave. Our industry has changed somewhat and some people who are more at home staring at a computer screen full of code have had to adapt to outreach and speaking to new people. For some people, this can be hard, if you’re a naturally shy person, keep Fluttershy in your hearts and minds when doing outreach, if she can overcome her shyness, so can you.
Rarity is a unicorn pony who resides in Ponyville. Rarity works as both a fashion designer and as a seamstress at her own shop, the Carousel Boutique. She has a white Persian cat named Opalescence. Her personality traits consist of elegance and generosity, for which she represents the element of generosity.
There are two things that Rarity immediately gives us, she loves everything elegant and beautiful and although beautiful design and SEO don’t always go hand in hand, it’s much easier to optimise an attractive site, and by attractive, I don’t just mean on the outside (although getting shares for a nice piece of design is always easier) and Rarity knows that beauty is more than skin deep. A beautifully organised site, with a well defined structure with proper semantic mark up is much more beautiful to an SEO than one that is aesthetically pleasing.
Also, being generous with your time online pays off, spending your time helping others will pay dividends
Rainbow Dash is a Pegasus pony. She is responsible for maintaining the weather and clearing the skies in Ponyville. In Sonic Rainboom, Rarity and Princess Celestia both declare that she is the best flier in all of Equestria. She represents the element of loyalty.
I must admit, loyalty, although an admirable trait is a difficult one to equate with SEO, Good SEOs are loyal to our industry, they’re loyal to their customers but on a day to day basis, a sense of loyalty will not give you any major SEO advantage so I will just say this.
Be loyal (if you can) to Google’s webmaster guidelines, try to keep your hat white (or as light grey as possible) and you will be rewarded by never falling down the rankings (assuming Google haven’t messed up)
Twilight Sparkle is a unicorn pony and the main protagonist of the series. After the events of the first episode, she moves from Canterlot to Ponyville in order to continue the study of friendship under Princess Celestia’s tutelage, and regularly maintains correspondence with the Princess. She lives at the town’s library along with her assistant, Spike, and her pet owl, Owlowiscious. She represents the element of magic.
SEO magic is a truly rare thing, when everything just lines up and true magic occurs, we use the word awesome a lot in our industry but rarely are things actually awesome, they’re quite good, or fairly cool. So let’s amend it to mean exceptional.
When you do something truly exceptional, it’s the best kind of SEO. The kind that requires no actual marketing. Put all your energies into creating something truly exceptional and true SEO magic, the most powerful of the elements of harmony will occur.
I didn’t realise it when I started this post but it became more and more obvious as I wrote it, but the My Little Pony Elements of Harmony and the SEOMoz TAGFEE culture have an awful lot in common, if you consider the 5 tenets of TAGFEE, they are 5 of the 6 Elements of Harmony:
Transparent & Authentic: Applejack – Element of Honesty
Generous: Rarity – Element Of Generousity
Fun: Pinkie Pie – Element of Laughter
Empathetic: Fluttershy – Element of Kindness
Exceptional: Twilight Sparkle – Element of Magic
So can you be an effective SEO whilst still holding true to the teachings of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? I’m not sure I have an answer to be honest, but keep Ponyville in your heart, love and tolerate everyone and everything, be honest, hard working, generous, kind, loyal and fun and you too can hopefully summon SEO magic
We’ll end with this:
Thanks for reading everypony