The Tragedy of the Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons (or the Tragedy of the Unregulated Commons) is a mental model developed by Garrett Hardin, rooted in economic theory. The "tragedy" refers to a set of individuals who, acting rationally, independently and in their own self-interest can create a situation where they destroy the collective's long-term viability by depleting a common resource. 

The original example referred to individuals sharing a 'common' parcel of land for herding or fishing. If an individual utilised the common area more than their fair share, they may receive an individual benefit (a few more fatter animals or a larger catch), but if all individuals made this decision, the common land would be overgrazed or overfished ultimately leading to it's destruction.

The theory is often seen as an example of emergent behaviour, or the outcomes of individual interactions in complex adaptive systems.

In essence then, there is a failure to think long-term in favour of quick and immediate gains.

So what are some examples in Marketing & Advertising?

Understanding SEO Right Now: Part 2

Understanding SEO Right Now: Part 2

This post picks up from Understanding SEO Right Now: Part 1.

In Part 1 we established the history of Google, and where it is heading. But what is relevant for us right now?

A few key points and refreshers from my previous post and some general concepts:

Search Engines use algorithms to rank websites by subject and relevance. The criteria for evaluating websites are commonly referred to as Ranking Factors. Google calls theirs PageRank.

Understanding SEO Right Now: Part 1

Understanding SEO Right Now: Part 1

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a hugely important part of digital marketing, but is often one of the least understood tools available to a marketing team. On the one hand, the evolving nature of search engine algorithms have meant that the SEO mindset has needed to change quite rapidly, while at the same time SEO practitioners have often made the practice seem like some complicated dark art. This post tries to clear some of this up so we can understand what we should be focused on.

As a note on this post, while there are a number of Search Engines out there, I am almost exclusively focusing on Google. It is by far the dominant engine, and represents the biggest opportunity to marketers (at least in the Western world).

What is the goal of SEO?

There is no disputing the impact of Search. It has not only redefined how people find and use the worlds information, it has become so reflexive and essential people would fundamentally struggle to live without it.