Your Influence List Can Suck It By Jessica Miller-Merrell on July 21, 2011 / Social Media Learn how best practices for hiring & onboarding freelance & contract workers on 5/18 webinar at 1 PM EST by clicking here. Whether it’s your Klout score, Empire Avenue stock price, or your placement upon a coveted influencer list, online influence matters. And to achieve online influence one must have a presence using social media, content creation and curation through blogs and publications, and possibly search engine optimization. The number of people you engage, influence, and establish real relationships with online. Having good and relevant content helps but doesn’t always matter. My big beef with determining online influence is that it is never consistent and penalizes the game player. And yes, I said game players. If you think it’s something else you are sorely mistaken. Penalizing the game player is like disabling the cheat codes because that one kid in junior high was smart enough to figure them out. Here’s an explanation from an influencer list that did just that. For this round, we experimented with the keyword cloud. It’s become apparent that the lists are vulnerable to SEO style tactics. That means that we needed to change the keywords we used to get more specific. From now on, the keywords will change with each iteration of each list. When measurement changes, appears random or even fixed, one tends to lose faith in the credibility, prestige, and usefulness of such honor, measurement, or mention. Companies are now using influence measurements like Klout scores to make hiring or candidate selection decisions. I find this very problematic, and yet it’s a part of life. Most things in life can be bought. Influence is no different either through the experience in being an expert, use of search engine optimization, or cold hard cash. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Other times it’s not. Using SEO technologies to establish yourself online is not easy. In fact, SEO has been a focus of my personal business strategy in 2011. The problem is that online we are relying on computers to determine levels of influence using scientific and programmed methods. Except these programmed methods, don’t always give the results that we expect and so we modify them to suit our needs. Online influence is a game so if you are in the business of generating lists, be honest, upfront, and forthcoming about your methods. And if online, except components of these measurements to fall victim to SEO. Failing to do so is like having your students study for a test on American geography when the test is really about Europe. If you are researching online influence and trends, expect that SEO will play a role because without keywords and content online, you have a whole bunch of nothing. Without SEO you are effectively searching blindfolded on the internet. Photo Credit Upl.