What do you get when you combine literature with SEO, almonds, and liars dice? In all honesty I have no idea. But we made a valiant effort to do just that in our Big Leap SEO meeting today.

Velocity and SEO

The inspiration for the subject matter of our meeting came from the book Velocity by Dee Jacob, Jeff Cox, Suzan Bergland. The characters of the novel discuss different strategies for efficiency which can easily be applied to SEO or any business model. What it boils down to is four main points.

  1. Lean – Like lean beef, the idea here is to eliminate all possible waste. In our almond production line we wanted to make sure that when we finished there was a minimal amount of almonds on the table. We didn’t want a pile up to occur anywhere.
  2. Six Sigma – This is about eliminating variability. Ideally everyone should be working consistently and at the same level. In our almond example we eliminated variability by making the minimum possible roll on the dice a 4.
  3. Theory of Constraints – You have to optimize the production line around the weakest part (the constraint), then you can make sure that the slowest part of the line is always working at maximum efficiency. In our almond game, everyone was rolling two dice and had an equal potential to do work minus the constraint, who only had one die.
  4. DBR (Drum Buffer Rope)
    • Drum is the constraint, you have to make sure it is always at maximum efficiency.
    • Buffer is the idea of starting the constraint with extra work. That way it always has work to do. If the line before constraint falls behind, the constrain can still work at maximum efficiency.
    • Rope implies communication between the constraint and the supplier so that more work isn’t sent out than the constraint can do creating more waste.

So we got our almonds and our dice and set up our assembly line. Each of us would roll the die, pass that number of almonds to the right, and repeat the process 20 times.

At first we all rolled one die each and ended up with twice the amount of waste we started with and somewhere around 60 almonds at the end of the line.

Next we gave everyone two dice except for the constraint, that was me. We also set up a buffer of starting me out with 12 almonds. Our line was able to move a lot more almonds but there ended up being a huge pileup before the constraint. Better production, but much more waste.

Our solution to that problem was to implement the rope. Every time I rolled the die, I would tell that number to the supplier so there would never be more almonds on the table than I could handle. The result was maximum output and minimum waste.

So to apply this to search engine optimization we discussed our constraints. We at Big Leap can submit way more articles than we produce. So we realize our constraints, balance that with our workload and proceed forward with maximum efficiency and minimum waste.

Thanks to the authors of Velocity we have an effective business model, and a really fun game to play in our meetings.

Phil Sanders