Cracking Social Media: SEO Will Become a Relic of the Past


Saturday, June 9, 2012

SEO Will Become a Relic of the Past

combo of work on SEO it still took 2 hours! Good thing I am ALL ORGANIC!8 Predictions for SEO in 2012

Prediction #1: Bing Will Have a Slight Increase in US Marketshare, but remain <20% to Google's 80%+

According to Comscore, Bing + Yahoo! have ~30% market share in the US to Google's ~65%. I personally think these numbers are relatively bogus and put much more faith in those generated by sources like Statcounter (which look at traffic sites receive rather than queries performed by a sample audience). Statcounter shows Google at ~82% and Bing+Yahoo! totally to ~16%. I'm guessing those numbers will be pretty similar come January 2013.
The biggest reason, IMO, isn't necessarily just brand loyalty and inertia for Google, but their continued superior performance on long tail queries (note: plenty of the comments in the linked-to Reddit thread are worth a read to get a sense of how "early majority" searchers feel).

Prediction #2: SEO Will Become  a Relic of the Past

Already, we're seeing more eyeballs on SEO and social media marketing  but in 2012, I believe we'll see SEOgo into a social fade, just as SEO without link building did from 1999-2000. It's not just that social signals are making their way into the ranking algorithms (in both direct and indirect ways), but also that organic SEO is becoming much more favorable to google The social, "sharegraph" is chipping away at its ability to illustrate what's new, interesting, useful, relevant and high ranking, in fact I am sad to admit it as I made a fortune on SEO last year so far this year all of my non seo are the money makers especially Pinterest but they do have an seo ranking.
This trend could well be part of what finally weakens the title of SEO and forces those of us who've used that name to describe our profession for over a decade to migrate to something broader.

Prediction #3: Google Will Finally Take Stronger, Panda-Style Action Against Manipulative Link Spam

One of the major weaknesses of Google and SEO (and Bing, to be fair) is their continued over-reliance on links as an overwhelming ranking signal. Just recently, I took up a friend's offer to point some obviously shady links from sites Google should clearly be discounting at several webpages. We saw dramatic results within 24 hours - #1-5 rankings that have sustained for several weeks (more news on this experiment to come). This shouldn't be the case and Google's webspam and search quality teams know it. Google is taking a shut you dot ask questions later approach.
Linkspam Panda
In 2012, I believe Google's search quality folks will roll out algorithmic changes in how they value low quality links that help them regain pride in their work. The embarrassment and quality gap caused by link spam is egregious and, if left to stand, gives competitors an opening while simultaneously weakening searchers' trust in Google's results. Just as "content farms" took their hits in 2011, I think link spam's up for some blows in 2012.

Prediction #4: Pinterest Will Break into the Mainstream

The last 4 years have seen Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Tumblr all break the 10+ million users mark. In 2012, I give Pinterest good odds for doing the same. Pinterest is also the first major social network where the gender balance heavily favors women (which is, IMO, a great thing).If you can build an established Pinterest account call me up!

(above, my sad attempt at a Pinterest board)
Because of this breakout, don't be surprised to see lots more posts like these showing marketers how to leverage Pinterest to help share their content and find potential customers.

Prediction #5: Overly Aggressive SEO Firms Will Result in Mainstream Backlash Against any SEO.

There are some pretty crazy things going on in the search advertising world right now. To wit:
On my laptop (which has fairly impressive resolution), I can only see a single organic result, and the paid search markup is incredible. Star ratings, seller reviews, prices and individual items, photos and featured brands are all dominating the page.
Google's own "comparison ads" in the credit/finance world push organic results down even further, as the Google product still allows for three additional full size ad slots above the organic listings.
Perhaps the most aggressive of all is Google's new ability to insert a logged-in users email address automatically into PPC ads, as pictured above. These are still rare, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them roll out in greater force.
My prediction is that in 2012, we'll see the start of "paid search blindness" being studied, reported and impacting the engines' bottom lines. Organic results still garner 80%+ of all clicks, I expect that to rise.

Prediction #6: Keyword (Not Provided) Will Rise to 25%+ of Web Searchers

Despite Google's statements that missing keyword data will stay below double digits, I'm predicting that by December of 2012, we'll be looking at a quarter of all searches coming from logged-in (and thus, keyword-anonymous) searchers. Google's working hard to get adoption of Android, Google+, Google Apps and Gmail, all of which will increase the percent of not provided searchers.
While I wish this program would roll back (as there's clearly no real privacy risk or they wouldn't provide the data to paid advertisers), Google's the 800-pound gorilla and the marketing field's counterpoints, while far more valid, likely won't play as well in the media. Google's not the way they've been trending of late.

Prediction #7: We'll See the Rise of a Serious Certification Program

The search/inbound marketing industry is in sore need of a program that helps early talent in the field become mature professionals. Today, SEMPO, Market Motive, Inbound Marketing University (from Hubspot),Search Engine College and a variety of others provide this service, but none of them are yet at scale or universally respected by hiring managers and companies in the field.
It's hard to quantify what "the rise of..." means. Thus, I'll predict that by year's end, at least one industry certification has 5,000+ users on LinkedIn (currently, Market Motive leads the pack with ~1,700)

Prediction #8: Google Will Make it Very Hard if not impossible to Do Great SEO Without Using Google+

Google's just started to add Google+ brand pages in search results, They're leveraging Google profiles for rel=author tags. They've made Google+ circles and +1s visible in SERPs. In 2012, I think this pattern becomes a concerted effort by Google to tie promotional efforts in organic results to the Google+ login/verification system. This will not only encourage/force usage of their social network, but give them a much greater ability to tie social, ranking and visibility signals together (and probably fight spam + manipulation, too). Gear up and get a powerful Google plus NOW!The negative is that Google's probably going to get even more data about ALL of our online behaviors, making themselves an even more overreaching and powerful force on the web than they are today. We just have to hope they'll also become more benign, though more power rarely leads to less corruption.

Why a plain search for your site’s SEO rank won’t work.

Standard Google search results for your SEO rank cannot be trusted.
See all 4 photos
Standard Google search results for your SEO rank cannot be trusted.
Source: © 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
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© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
Like many online authors, you write on the Internet to gain an audience and make a little bit of money. So you carefully research high-traffic, low competition keywords to include in your online articles. You then perform Google searches on your postings to observe their rankings. If you’re lucky, your effort reaches one of the top 10 results for your keyword. Naturally, you assume that from such a lofty perch, your article will bring in visitors as well as money from their Adsense clicks and affiliate purchases.
And yet, none of that audience or money ever materializes. That’s because what you perceive as your site’s rank on Google may have nothing to do with reality.
Standard Google search for the keyword "banana"
Standard Google search for the keyword "banana"
Source: © 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Try This Experiment

To prove my assertion, call upGoogle Search on your browser. Type in banana and click the Search button. Look at your top nine results. Now click the graphic on the right, which shows the results from my Google search. Compare your list with mine. (Note that I arbitrarily picked nine results because that's all my screen could show that I could capture for the graphic.)
Depending on where in the world you perform your search and the time you do it, your results may be radically different. Even if your searches contain some of the same websites as mine, they may be in a different order. In fact, if you try the same search on different computers in the same house at the same time, each will show different pages.

What You See is What You Want

Everything you do online is tracked, correlated and analyzed. While these practices smack of Big Brother and bring cries of unwanted control from naysayers, the reasons for them are far more prosaic. Internet marketers want to make money and the most efficient way of doing that is to tailoring their offerings to what the potential customer wants.
This is why after you look for books about lawnmowers at Amazon, your browser sprouts ads for gardening equipment. Or why as a woman of mature age, you don’t see sales for moustache trimmers or birth control but instead find banners about Medicare supplements.
Most large commercial websites, such as CNN or Google, are sophisticated enough to show you only what pertains to you. If you publish online articles, those articles will always rank higher in related searches than those you didn’t write. In reality, your writing may be invisible in other people’s search results, but you would never know it.

How It’s Done

The process for customizing websites is highly technical and is how many high-priced consultants and techies make their enormous salaries. A big part involves reading the cookies generated by your browser movements.
To thwart this, you may diligently remove all your cookies, and use Incognito or InPrivate mode to travel the Internet highway. But your location is out of your control. Your Internet Service Provider knows where your computer is and broadcasts that information to the web. By simply matching the information previously gathered for your location, websites can know that it’s you.


Source: © 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
Of course, every tactic used by ISPs, large corporations and marketers has been countered by clever programmers and mischievous hackers. And this tracking process is no exception. Besides which, even marketers need an objective method of measuring Google rankings. And to do that, they don’t use plain Google Searches.
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to get objective search results is to use a free service like PageWash. It is an anonymous browser that essentially strips all customization information from your browsing so you get an objective view of the Internet. You use it as follows:
  1. Browse
  2. Click a check mark into the options shown on the graphic at the top of this section.
  3. Enter in the Text box if it is not there by default.
  4. Click the Begin Browsing button.
Results from a PageWash Google search of the keyword "banana"
Results from a PageWash Google search of the keyword "banana"
Source: © 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Google through Pagewash

The regular Google website appears under the PageWash header. Enter the keywords or website you want to search in the Google Search box and the click the Google Search button.
Try entering banana as the search term. Then compare the PageWash search results from the right graphic with the previous standard search results. Although some of the listed sites are the same, several of them are quite different.
PageWash enables Google to display results that are considered objective by most SEO gurus and online marketers. This is how they determine the true rank of any online efforts.
Try searching on your own keywords using Google search with and without PageWash. Then report your results in Comments below. You may discover that through PageWash, your writing ranks far above or below the standard Google search.

Alocsin's Related Hubs

Posted by Mary on June 4th, 2012
Every website owner wants a steady stream of visitors coming from the search engines. Additional targeted visitors from search engines means more potential leads, sales, and business.

There are a couple ways to utilize the search engines to get this traffic you want. The options of paid search, or pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and organic search, or search engine optimization (SEO), both have advatages and disadvatages that you should keep in mind when deciding which to use to bring more visitors to your site.

Search Engine Optimization Advantages

  • Cost. Even if you use a trusted internet marketing company to optimize your SEO efforts the cost will still be less than PPC in the long run because you won't be paying for individual clicks to your website.
  • Trust of users. A lot of users skip right past paid ads and click on the top organic search results. This indicates that while people do click on paid ads they trust the regular results more and tend to click those results more frequently.
  • Long term results are better. SEO sets you up for continued success down the road. Time improves search engine optimization as links and content grow stronger and improve your position in the search engine rankings.
  • Works for all search engines. One of the limitations with PPC is that it only is focused on one search engine at a time. With SEO your efforts will help on other search engines, not just google.

Search Engine Optimization Disadvantages

  • Time. Results with search engine optimization can takes weeks or months to see. It is not the fastest route to get visitors to your website.
  • Effort. The effort involved in SEO outweighs PPC. You will have to create and rework content, build links, research keywords, optimize your website and more. It takes more effort to achieve success with SEO.
  • Keeping up with changes. The search engine algorithms change frequently. If you are trying to do SEO on your own it might be hard to keep up. Additionally, what worked years ago won't work today so you have to keep updating your website to stay competitive in the rankings.

Pay Per Click Advantages

  • Time. If you want visitors coming to your site immediately then pay per click has the advantage. Once you set up your campaign with your chosen keywords you can bring visitors to your site that day if you have things set up properly. Pay per click offers instant gratification that SEO does not.
  • Control. You have the control over your campaign unlike with SEO where you do the work and hope the search engines pick it up. If your budget allows it, you have the ability to put yourself in the top spot for your chosen keywords.
  • Set your own budget. With pay per click you have the ability to set your own budget. You can adjust on a daily basis to get the right traffic without going over your budget.
  • Pay only for perfomance. PPC allows you to only pay for visitors who actually visit your site. If you show up in the search engines but your result never gets clicked, what good does that do you? With pay per click advertising you will get actual results for your spending.

Pay-Per-Click Disadvantages

  • Cost. Pay per click can be costly especially if you are in the financial industry or another with costly clicks. To bring in the traffic you want in any industry it can cost hundreds if not thousands per month for the right amount of clicks.
  • No long term benefits. Results from PPC end when you stop a paid search campaign. This seems obvious but it's a huge disadvantage with PPC because when you stop paying you stop receiving visitors unlike SEO where your efforts continue to bring in traffic even after you stop actively working on it.
  • Missed eyeballs. These days some people are skeptical of advertising and others just completely ignore it. This ad blindness means you won't receive as many clicks being in the #1 paid spot as you would in the #1 organic spot in the search engine rankings.
  • Fraud. Unfortunately another disadvantage with pay per click advertising is fraud. Since your ads will also display on third party sites you might end up with dishonest website owners who click on your ad in order to get paid. Google tries to prevent this but click-through fraud does still happen. Additionally you might have competitors who click on your ads just to cost you money.

Finding The Right Balance

Some businesses decide to focus solely on organic SEO, others put all their efforts into PPC, but most find a balance that works utlizing both. Luckily here at RocketFuel we are experienced with both of these internet marketing elements and can help you find the perfect balance. Contact us to learn more!