TNG/Earthling, Inc. :: Not Your Father's SEO

Nothing lasts forever.

This is usually read as a negative statement meaning there is nothing that will endure forever.

But it could also mean that the idea of Nothing WILL last - forever stand the test of time - because it is an idea. This is the interpretation that TNG/E's Bob Sakayama might lead you to in his opus titled "In Search Of Nothing" which he and Rev Sale are creating as a long term SEO experiment that sounds like it might actually be an art project in disguise.

Although their work requires pretty significant technical chops, TNG/E has also simultaneously fostered a creative culture around which the technology thrives. The company was initially formed as a music production service following Bob's stint as A&R/producer for Paramount Records. TNG/E was a recording facility used to produce Bob's music. and was responsible for the original music accompanying many mainstream network programs, ads, etc. TNG/E was also involved with audio storytelling, children's music (, radio programming, cd distribution, web design, data development, content management systems, search engine optimization, and Google penalty remediation.

The success of their search consultancy has enabled TNG/E to grow their capabilities through discovery efforts. They have always provided ongoing support for experimentation and research attempting to understand critical aspects of the website evaluation technology currently in play on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Over several years TNG /E conducted over 2,500 live rank experiments to test the impact on ranks of all the known attributes that have some impact on the search. The results of these tests lead directly to strategies applied to client sites and contribute significantly to TNG/E's competitive edge because in an ever changing environment, updated first hand knowledge is a strategic advantage.

They currently have multiple experiments running. The one getting the most attention is the aforementioned "Nothing" project, where the team is attempting to rank for this search term, one that has seemingly very little commercial value, yet is hugely competitive - search data source ahrefs labels that search "Super Hard" requiring links from 259 sites to rank on page 1. Google shows 7,660,000,000 document address the search for "Nothing". They are attempting this feat by doing what Google wants to see - the most complete, relevant content on the topic, supported by links from authoritative websites. The content being developed includes a very wide ranging document entitled "In Search Of Nothing" which in addition to the definition of the word, includes an analysis of what Google is (and importantly is not) including in their search results and interesting data comparisons related to the search for "Nothing". There's a very clear presentation of the ancient and modern well known philosophers' views on the notion of "Nothing" and how religion - even the existence or non-existence of God - can be derived from their arguments. The document is still under development but in its current state an intriguing read, and a compelling experiment.

Another fascinating experiment underway is a test of Google's stated priority for mobile friendly websites. This makes sense since most people use their phones for searches. So Google advantages mobile friendly webpages over legacy documents not formatted for small screens. But what if one of those legacy pages was the most relevant result for a particular search? Bob Sakayama was challenging his friend Tony Chaskelson to a duel where the weapon of choice was poetry - in the form of insult haiku. He created  Insult Haiku World Cup in which Tony and Bob battle it out - competitive haiku with Olympic scoring for cadence, insult, and rhyme. Cadence is the formal 5 - 7 - 5 syllables. Lack of a good insult scores a zero. The rhyme part is not required for traditional haiku, but is a complexity that makes it more challenging. There are 87 rhyming haiku insults available on this most entertaining sports themed professional competitive match. The page is very relevant for "insult haiku" and was #1 for that search for many years. But when Google's algorithm changed to advantage mobile it fell to #3, behind Reddit and Google pages whose superior relevance is questionable. Bob's experiment is testing Google's ability to suppress a result on the basis mobile non-conformity alone. The theory is that there exists a wealth of valuable information that has become inaccessible because Google hides it, instead promoting less valuable content that is mobile friendly. 

TNG/Earthling has been providing enterprise SEO since 2001. But the company, run by Bob Sakayama, has a long history of involvement in other creative and technical enterprises. This is in every sense a non-traditional enterprise. They do no marketing outreach or advertising, and do not even support a corporate website - a couple of their former sites, and, are both still live but have not been updated since 2014. Their business is driven entirely by word of mouth referrals which says a lot about their clientele. They will not take on a project that competes with an existing client, so they turn down work. They're definitely not a traditional SEO agency.


Gella Sales
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