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.
Your Search engine ranking positions are always what might be.
Your server logs/analytics are what are who might be interested.
Your lead counts are who would like to get to know you better.
Your Signed Contracts are only a potential sale.
Only a closed escrow puts food on the table.
So often the online webmaster community is taught to look at each of these as one singular event. Without acknowledgment of the larger picture. And of course each of the above bullets represents a whole body of disciplines. We are taught to obsess over small singular actions such that our online marketing is nothing but a series of short lived, poorly executed tactical executions.
Some major minors:
Search Engine Positions: Search positions are nice. But a top position and fifty cents will only get you a cup of coffee (well maybe in 1976, I just paid $1.75 for a large at Mickie D's yesterday). A position is only implied traffic. Folks worry about 1 ranking phrase while my clients and I rank for hundreds. Folks worry about keyword density or proximity. They matter, but not much.
Server Analytics: Look at your visitors. Who are they? How many of them are there? Well analytics do not give names, but they give numbers and behaviors based on keywords. So if you are majoring in just one keyword phrase (everyone loves to major in "city + real estate" ) phrase look at your server logs. You will find you can attract a much larger audience by considering your keywords that people use to find you.
Lead Counts: Conversion. Think of the "tootsie roll pop" ratio. This is where you get into visitor values. How many visitors do you need to get to a lead? If a visitor is worth $20. Then, theoretically you can spend up to $19.99 to get that visitor as a client. But you will not know that unless you track.
The above are what lead to sales and closed deals. Within each are mountains of knowledge bases that can easily waste a lifetime.
However, when you start with the end in mind. That is your business plan calls out for x amount of sales, and y generated online balanced by your own values and objectives. Then you have a start. A target.
Instead, so often we live with the delusion that if "I just rank number one for Happyville Real Estate, then I will reach Nirvana."
Did You Forget Why You Came to The Dance? So often I hear that I blog to give my visitors great information to enrich their lives or at least online experience. BULLSHIT! You are there to make money. And the sooner you admit that the sooner you will make it. Otherwise stop writing it off as an expense as it isn't a business it is a hobby.
But learning this stuff can be fun and exhilarating. I get that. But you have to stay on focus or the web and vendors will steal your most precious selling time.
The web requires you to grasp the big picture or you will get lost. Not only your time will get wilted away but also your money. In order, to succeed on line you must develop a strategy first before jumping into the next big thing.
At http://www.realestateguerilla.com is an exclusive Coaching club where we will work with you on your top down success strategy. Or if you would prefer a private consult, contact Tim O'Keefe today. 310 533 9145. He consults at $500 an hour/minimum 2 hours.
What could happen if the entire U.S. was on broadband high speed internet? Sergey Brin of Google is pushing for a new initiative that would open up the entire country to what he calls "wifi on steroids". This would no doubt put the U.S. at the top of the Nations with Broadband list. Brin says it is shameful that we currently sit at number 15. onthe list.
What this means to you
How about your own television show
No more fights with your cell phone company
You would be able to serve up much larger packets of data to your visitors instantly. True real time interactivity would be possible.
The Government is currently looking at this possibility.
Ford Motor company has found that "40% of consumers will turn to another brand if they cannot find the vehicle color they want".
In fact, Ford Motor Company is moving to a choose your color model of Paint color that is all GREEN. Meaning that it is not only a Eco friendly paint, but many of the colors inply a "green freindly" shade.
Earlier today I was futzing in my log files and followed a link. I visited that site and was amazed that I was in the back console of the website. I had access to emails, editors, personal information. You name it. I immediately took snap shots and sent them off to the owner of the site and the vendor. Interestingly I have not received a reply from either.
This is pretty scary as this is the second time this has happened (that I took notice as I don't take all day clicking all my referral urls). And it was another vendor. I can tell you that both of these vendors are rather well known.
I believe he is probably alerted by email that my blog has been updated. So he followed the link and his visit left a path back to his console. He probably does that every time he follows a link from one of his emails. Here is the letter I sent to the owner and vendor. Names and URLS are blotted for obvious reasons.
You do not know me, but I wanted to make you aware of a gaping security hole in your website. Apparently you visited my site (houseblogger.com), from your web interface.
It gave me a referral in my log files. As you can see right below:
So I followed the link as I often do to see where my traffic is coming from and I was inside your system. I am copying your vendor as I do not think that you wish this to be available to me or anyone else.
Anyway I just thought you should know and rest assured I did not touch anything other than to find your email address and to take a snapshot that you see below. If it makes you feel any better, this is the second vendor that I have seen this.
So be careful, and do what you can to check for this hole.