Why A SEO Switched To Macs & OSX

The SEO and digital marketing world is a funny thing. We are all often tied up in our own self importance, trends, preconceived notions of what is right/wrong or ethical/unethical… It gets to be a bit much quite honestly.

There’s no secret that I have some experience in the spam game… It’s a space that is basically dominated by windows on the low end (GSA, Scrapebox, Xrumer) and linux on the high end (in-house developed scripts). There’s really no room for OSX in this landscape.

Sure, using something like parallels you can run windows (or any other OS) on virtual machine. Of course while this is a great asset in some ways, it’s not a perfect solution. I’ll speak more on that later…

But with these things in mind – the fact that most link building software is developed specifically with Windows in mind and all of the link-heads speak only in Microsoft terms there would seem to be no motivation at all to move to Mac and it’s somewhat vacant OSX landscape.

The Tired SEO

After having done this for so many years… quite honestly you can only keep doing it for so long before you eventually being to fatigue. Whether it’s mental fatigue, physical fatigue or what I’ve come to call ‘Soul Fatigue.’

I found that my ability to produce work had been deteriorating over the past 18 months or so and I just couldn’t stay focused. I had every excuse to mind you… I’ve found Google’s new directions to be somewhat stimulating and in combination with the challenges that they have presented link spammers, the field of study is fresh and interesting.

But none the less, my eyes hurt. My anxiety over Windows 8.1 mindless “Fuck you I’m auto dimming now” display utility and split personality OS made me not even want to turn on my computer.

Sure I still had Windows 7 machines, but… it’s old. I don’t mean in the sense of being outdated or not performing well – I consider Windows 7 to be one of the best operating systems released, ever. But it’s… old. I’m use to it and not in a comfortable way…

More in a sense of it choking the creativity right out of me. Point, click, open, type, publish, close, kill-my-soul.

The truth is that I began hating what I did on a daily basis.

Wanna Buy My iMac?

In my social circle I’m pretty well established for being someone with a thirst for anything that technology oriented.

I enjoy the click of a keyboard and the animation of a app opening. I’ll spend hours playing with the newest iPad and not because of any great software change but because of how it’s new over-powered processor snaps through applications ‘so much faster’ than my 11 month old iPad.

So it might not come as a great surprise that when someone bought an iMac and couldn’t make the adjustment that they would turn to me to find a buyer.

Now, I had no interest in Mac’s. I was in the SEO uber-society where I disregarded Mac’s as something hipsters in Panera’s or Coffee Shops would use to annoy PC users who would later claim that ‘Those darn Mac users are using all of the bandwidth.’

As it would turn out however, this iMac was 6 weeks old and had the best hardware that was still currently available. Being someone who is always open the negotiation I decided to flirt with the idea of buying it just to resell it… so I hammered him on the price and ended up walking away with a $1900 iMac for $400.

Like A Virgin, The Very First Time

So I brought the big white box home and let it sit in my living room for a few days. I really didn’t even pay it much thought to be honest and then one day my Vaio decided to go into a screen auto-dimming hissy fit.

Now, if you’ve never heard me complain about Windows 8 and auto dimming, just take my word – it’s the kind of hate that might be considered legendary by some standards…

Enraged, I snapped my laptop closed and poured a short glass of my favorite Whiskey. Took a sip, rubbed my eyes, leaned back in my chair and looked at that big white box.

“What the hell? Why not?” I took the shot of Whiskey down and cleared a space on my work desk. I suspiciously unpacked the iMac wondering what the hell I was even doing and why I would want to subject myself to even more frustration this even considering what just happened with the Vaio.

Once the monitor – well entire computer as it turns out – was up on the desk and the batteries were in the fragile feminine looking keyboard (which I initially used as a frisbee against my chair) I spent the next 10 minutes looking for a power button.

[enter glass os whiskey #2]

I refused to even look at the Vaio at this point and sure as hell wasn’t going to read the manual so I pulled out my S5 and Googled the solution. Boy did I feel like as ass for having not noticed the power switch but if you have even been in this scenario, I’m sure you understand where I was coming from. And if you haven’t ever looked for the power button on an iMac, I won’t ruin the surprise. Just go to a local Best Buy and see if you can find it easily.

Oh, This Is Interesting

Shooting down the next glass of whiskey I saw that familiar White apple on the screen in the familiar crisp detail that I had come to recognize from my iPad’s retina display.

I looked down at the keyboard with suspicion for no more than 4 or 5 seconds and when my eyes returned to the screen the OS was already loaded and almost taunting me… as if to ask why I had the nerve to make it wait…

I was suspicious of this appearance of readiness so I sat there and waited another 15-20 seconds and nothing had changed… Was this thing really ready to go? Was I missing something?

Suspicious I grabbed the ‘Magic Mouse’ and it’s feel instantly appealed to me but I felt insecure about there by no scroll wheel or buttons… I didn’t know what I was doing so I approached things like an engineer might and began in the upper left corner.

Clicking on the Apple symbol I noticed the open to restart the computer… Still being suspicious of the whole startup process to begin with I opted to do that right away.

Again… in no more than 7 or 8 seconds I was in the OS and ready to rock. I wanted to see if there was something I was missing so I instantly began opening as many of the programs in the Dock as I could to see if there was the obvious performance impairment that Windows machines will typically have during the initial boot and loading stage… even with SSD’s.

There was none… Time to pour that third glass of whiskey.

I Can See, Oh My Dear Sweet Jesus I Can See!

The first thing I did was head to some familiar forums. Why? Not sure. Habit probably. But when I got there… I feel in love.

Everything was easy to read and despite knowing the the CSS/HTML/PHP/JS was all the same stuff the PC was rendering – everything seemed to fit on the page more neatly. Everything was easily to navigate and follow. There wasn’t the terrible eye fatigue and strain that I had so frequently become use to when visiting the same sites on my PC’s – which had wonderful 1080+ displays as well.

None the less, I spent hours reading forums, blogs, things I didn’t even care about just a few hours before.

I jumped into some of my site’s WordPress backends and continued to be equally impressed by the sharpness, user friendliness, the ease with which I could see and interact with on screen elements.

I know to a diehard PC guy, this probably reads like I’m Mac-fangirling, but there really is a difference. A huge difference. Gone was the fatigue and frustration that I was experiencing and it was instead replaced with something strange…

I didn’t just like using the iMac… I actually WANTED TO USE IT. There was something rewarding about using it, fulfilling almost.

As the fifth glass of Whiskey drew to an end and I heard my neighbors car door open and shut I knew that I had been up too late. In one final act of desperation to continue experiencing this new thing I decided to reinstall the OS and put everything under my Apple account.

To process was quick, easy, effortless… I decided that I should come back to this in the morning to see if I really still felt the same way.

Okay, Let’s See What The Real Problems Are…

The next morning I strolled into my office and looked at the iMac, almost in defiance. With all of my mental faculties about me I found myself returning to my strong PC mindset – quickly dismissing my previous night’s experiences as being entertained by a new toy. Surely these things would fade.

Cup of coffee in hand, I flicked the mouse and the iMac was on quickly again…

I decided that the time had come to look into this App store… to see what was in there. Was it all garbage? Was there anything useful?

What I found was a plethora of free or low cost apps that added functionality to OSX that I never would have dreamed of having with Windows. Curious, I began looking for the other big apps I might use frequently and quickly discovered than 99% of what I needed was already prebuilt for OSX.

Within 45 minutes of waking up I had reassembled a work station on my iMac that almost completely replaced my PC and with virtually no effort or cost.

There were a few things I was missing still – notably Notepad++ which I love and Paint.net which I also love. Then there were a few other odds and ends that I wanted, like Scrapebox and the like – but two purchases later I had Windows 7 on my Mac at moments notice, whenever I might need something I just couldn’t live without otherwise.

What MAC Did For My SEO Efforts

Within 12 hours I was now thrust from an existence of not being sure if I ever wanted to look at a computer again to loving using one.

It was bad, so bad in fact that I began to miss my Mac when I was doing normal things – pumping gas, making dinner or being out with friends….

Switching from a PC to a MAC completely changed how I looked at work. I unlocked my stuck mindset, removed the straps of frustration and gave me a new energy towards doing what I knew how to do.

I allowed me to get excited again about exploring these new things that Google was doing and thinking of new ways to tackle problems. All of this only got better of course as the Macbook Pro was purchased shortly there after. Then the Airport Time Capsule that I could use as a free 3TB cloud storage from anywhere I was… (Think about what you can do with 3TB of cloud storage… for free… that is totally yours and nobody else can see.)

Sick Of SEO? Get A Mac

While this post turned into more of a detailing of what I experienced … really what I want to leave with is that if you are feeling stuck by work and maybe even crushed by it… consider making a switch.

I’m not saying to go out and spend $2,000+ on a new iMac or Macbook Pro but check them out on eBay.

Get something with at least 8GB of Ram, a newer i5 and a retina display (<<IMPORTANT!)

See if it doesn’t maybe free you up a little bit and get you moving in some new directions. You might just be surprised…