What John Wooden Taught Me About Search Engine Optimization


John Wooden was a legendary basketball coach. His NCAA record for championships is possibly the loftiest in athletics and will never be broken. Most college basketball coaches aren’t fortunate enough to win one championship, let alone TEN. Wooden has nine consecutive championships plus another one a year later. Plus an undefeated season, no one has done that lately either. Today is his birthday and thought I would commemorate his teachings with a little post about what he taught me about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Although Wooden won more than anyone, he never emphasized winning, he was focused on the process of playing basketball from start to finish. From start to finish started with famously teaching his freshmen how to put on their shoes and socks correctly. Basic but so necessary when you think about it. You will likely get blisters if you don’t do this correctly and then you can’t play.

Focus on what you can control

No one knows the Google search algorithm. It’s a secret. It’s vital to Google’s sustained profitability and it’s good of them to disclose (or at least verify) as much as they do. I hate hearing or reading someone’s rant against Google because they can’t get their site to rank. Search engines are the reason that there is a search engine marketing industry in the first place. Stay focused on what you can control, if you focus on what you can’t control it will be ineffective and negatively affect what you can control. Stay focused on your site and the design. Don’t sweat the Google search algorithm, it’s complicated and you wouldn’t understand it anyway. Focus on the parts that they tell you and do those parts really well.


Not even infant babies get what they want right away, why should you? You think Google should push your infant website to the top of it’s results? Not likely. Sure it can happen, but….that depends.

Adversity is Your Asset

Some people actually want to do the same things over and over again everyday, but adversity can be a good break from the norm. Adversity is your teachable moment waiting to happen.

Little Things Make Big Things Happen

A couple of keywords with the correct emphasis can have an impact. We build links one at a time in this league ūüėČ

Work Does Not Equal Industriousness

This is a big one. We need to be effective and make good use of our limited time and resources. We can spend all day building links or doing keyword research but if it’s not directed it’s lost.

Ultimately, SEO is a process not an event. Data needs to be collected, reviewed, analyzed and then the process begins again. What people search for changes. They change everyday. That’s part of the reason behind this post, it doesn’t hurt if I write a little about one of my few rolemodels and hopefully get a little extra traffic out of it?

Happy Birthday Coach Wooden!!!

If you haven’t seen this video yet (or lately) you need to see it.

[Originally posted October 14, 2010 on keepkalm.com]