Go is a Japanese board game that is very simple and complex at the same time. The game is played with simple black and white stones and the board is made up of a grid. By placing your stones where the lines intersect you take up territory. The goal is to control more territory than your opponent. Your mind must move from working on a micro level where you might be battling to remove an opponents piece to the macro level where you must look at your overall spread of stones. Here are some similarities between the game of Go and Internet Marketing.
Connections Are Key
In Go a stone has four liberties. When these liberties are taken up by your opponents pieces then the stone is removed from the board. Laying your stones side-by-side connects them making it harder for your opponent to remove the pieces. The same is true for Internet Marketing where the more connections (links) each piece (blog post, podcast, video, etc.) has to other pieces the more likely it is to be found and “live” online. Interlinking between pages of your website or getting other people to link to you mean your pieces have a better chance of living.
Always Think Micro and Macro
If you spend too much time with one particular area of the Go board (for example with trying to capture stones) then your opponent may be able to take over more of other parts of the board. It is just as important to take some of your turns in micro battles such as capturing stones as it is in macro battles such as placing stones in empty areas or challenging on other parts of the board. The same idea of micro and macro is true for Internet Marketing as well. If you spend too much time optimizing pages or getting your newsletter to be perfect you miss using some time on new areas such as creating a mobile app, looking into podcasting or other medium that your competition has yet to explore. These other areas are empty places within the Internet that your competition is leaving open for you to claim.
Simple and Complex at the Same Time
Go and Internet Marketing are simple and yet complex at the same time. There are simple ideas, such as optimizing title tags and interlinking between pages, that offer a fundamental base. Much like Go, the complexity of Internet Marketing comes from the interplay of outside elements and the ever changing landscape. Each moment of play offers subtle insight into how to improve and take advantage of small changes that leverage some tactical advantages.