What the Princess Bride teaches us about SEO

Whether you’re crushing on Cary Elwes as the Dread Pirate Roberts or simply love watching a good sword fight, it’s hard to deny that The Princess Bride is easily one of the Top 10 Cult Classics of our generation.  That said, The Princess Bride can also teach us a lot about Search Engine Optimization too.  No really, I swear on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, this film can help you reach the top on Google!

Inigo Montoya Princess Bride SEO Google Page 1

Chick’s love a good sword fight

Cary Elwes and Inigo Montoya himself, Mandy Patinkin, spent most of their downtime during the films production learning swordfighting skills for the films many fencing scenes.  This dedication to a specific talent, a specific skill is a great example of a little energy investment that goes a long way.

We can take this and easily apply it to the SEO world.  What are your talents?  What are your skills that help you stand apart?  Inigo Montoya and the faux Dread Pirate Roberts were both extremely skilled swordfighters, but were it not for their skill, perhaps the film would not have been as memorable.

What makes you memorable?

As I’ve always said, “if you’re worth talking about, you’re worth linking to.”

Every business, every person, every team is unique when set beside another, and these differences are where we can find opportunities to build links to our site.  You don’t have to be a master swordfighter like Inigo Montoya to have won an award for racing model cars or have biked across the country for charity.

Who are you?  What makes you stand apart?

Focus on that, wave your Purple Cow freak flag, and use that to build relationships, earn links from bloggers, and prove that you are someone of consequence.

Play To Their Ego

Ego can be one of the most valuable tools in an SEO’s arsenal, and Princess Buttercup’s one true love knew to play to the kidnapper Vizzini’s ego in order to outwit him.  You don’t need a battle of wits (to the death) to play to someone’s ego.

Networking, blogger outreach, relationship building, and all of these avenues to building valuable links are helped along with a little ego bait.

Going back two years now to when Image Freedom first got started, I wrote a glowing review for 37Signal’s BaseCamp software.  37Signal’s posted my kind words on their blog, and just like that, one of the best links I’ve ever built was created.

Consider creating content, a review, a love letter, anything that might gain the affection of your intended audience.  I’ve fed carefully worded tweets to Dave Ramsey fans knowing they’d retweet the fiscally savvy URL I was optimizing.  I’ve dropped peoples names in blogs, knowing that they’d want to share with their Facebook friends that I’d mentioned them here, etc.  It’s all about the Ego Bait.

Miracle Max Playing to Their Ego for SEO

Inigo Montoya baited Miracle Max’s ego to get him to revive Wesley hoping that Wesley might embarrass Prince Humperdinck, who had embarrassed him.  Ego is a great way to get someone to drink from your poisoned goblet, and in a much less deadly way, can create for you extremely valuable backlinks.

Don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head

Whether your father was slaughtered by a six fingered man, or you’re eternally joined by the bonds of love, you can easily learn from The Princess Bride and other cult classics how to earn more backlinks and in turn improve your rankings on Google.

Have fun storming the castle.