Since then many have said that yes SEO is dead. As Google has changed time and time again. Over the next few weeks I will be chronicling some of these deep changes that are effecting your website and your social graph right now.
Its a Social World In a nutshell Google blinked. And much of that has do with the velocity of content being created in the social media. Facebook, Twitter and more. And now the new kid on the block Pinterest is digging into the Facebook Traffic.
Its about the data. Google's and Facebook's business is not search and Social. It is datamining. While Google has been changing many have complained that Google is no longer relevant. That is the point of search relevancy isn't it?
Google's job is guessing at your and my behavior such that they can serve us relevant advertising.
Google grabs that data through all the data it gets from your cookied searches, visits to websites with adsense, analytics etc, your signed-in behavior, and your Google Plus behavior and your Android phone locations and behavior.
The world just got smaller. Do a search in New York and chances are real good that Google will serve you local results having to do with services in New York. Google Places dominates the local searches with at least 4 results. Often times number 1 of yesterday, is now possibly 8.
Littered within that search will often be images and videos. We ran a post years ago that some day Google will be the new Yellow Pages. That day has come.
Disinformation. Google has succeeded largely from incredible public relations to compliment their just good enough search engine. With their online personalities, they have been able to spread vast and complicated concepts to misinform what is/was actually going on.
The more things change the more they stay the same. Google has always been about links, then the title tag and matching h tags. This concept has not changed. Its just that there is less of the same coveted prize called organic search results for you to grab.
Less competitive terms are easy as they have always been and the super competitive keywords will continue to be difficult to get.
Links have expanded in their definition. Links are 80% of the game. But now you have likes, Google pluses, and other social markers that Google desperately is trying to track. I call these social noise makers.
One reason Google has moved forward with Google Plus as an answer to Facebook, and recently adding SearchPlus Your World is that they were being blocked out of tracking social graphsof the biggies Twitter and Facebook.
Additionally local citations, or your business name, address, city, zip and phone weigh heavily for your Google Places (local) ranking. They serve the equivalence of links in local search.
To make things more crazy. Your website will need to adjust for mobile phonessome day soon as more and more searchers are using mobile phones to search the web. Soon to out number desktop searchers.
The long term answer is to get strategic and hire a firm like Spider Juice Technologies who can help you get your arms around the changes, while not getting swallowed up by all the marketing hype.
Step 1 is to embrace the fact that you must become a publisher of your own unique content, ghost written content, curated content, and collaborated content if you are to survive in this ever changing online environment.
Because the fact is. Google simply doesn't need you anymore.
Google released Google Buzz last week. And it is well, all the Buzz. At least with the folks who care about these things.
For I, a search engine optimizing dude, it leaves me a bit numb as I consider buzz as :
a. another social networking platform to worry about.
b. another way for Google to track behavior.
This whole discussion is precluded however by Google's changes over the past month or so.
Personalized search is when Google feeds you search results based on your past behavior. So that you will get the sites you visit the most as your top results for a search query.
This is goofy to me since I use Google to find new URLS not old.
Well good ole Google has made personalized search the default as opposed to you having to opt in. Now in order to not have personalized search you have to opt out. Most folks are not aware of this.
As stated Buzz comes with privacy issues since you are actually signed into Google Mail to use it. Google has taken some steps to back off of some of their intrusions one of which was a ready made circle of friends.
It will be interesting if folks really accept the Big G as nothing more than a tool for the geekey. For those multi task social broadcasters Ping.fm has already added Google Buzz.
I have over the years poo pood the hype of social this and social that. 2.0 this and that. User generated content. The so called conversation.
Suffice it to say, that in a sentence 2.0 to me is nothing new. It is very good MAC make-up on WEB 1.0 and even WEB 0.5 ;-) I know that's two sentences.
The biggest value of whatever it is, is that it is a marketers dream. See any real people socializing for the pure joy at Facebook? Not much. But boy we are all twittering and poking wondering where the dollar is.
However, as I have done, and many in my circle understand is that what the social media is great at is getting a message syndicated quickly and exponentially.
I have also posted that over the years that if you want to watch the future of the net, then watch the political races. In 2004 we saw Howard Dean do miracles for his career on the net. (Seriously, how can a guy who is Governor of a State that does less business than many metros become as powerful as he has become so quickly?).
Well, watch the Obama campaign as they are gearing up to man a web "propaganda" machine to get the word out. I am not a fan of the guy, but I am a fan of good marketing. This I cannot wait to watch!
The mistake they need to watch out for however is singing to the choir. If they wish to expand their base they need to not do what most of the real estate conversational blogs are doing. They need to target their prospects specifically by going into their social hangouts online and winning them over.
They also need to get their large base of social posters energized to spread their message. This will be interesting to watch.