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The Death & Rebirth of SEO

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Rand Fishkin's presentation from Webcam, Bend, OR on September 30th, 2011

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The Death & Rebirth of SEO

  1. The Death (and Rebirth) of SEO<br />RandFishkin, Bend Webcam 2011<br />
  2. When I Started in SEO…<br />
  3. 2001: A Crazy Search Landscape<br />Via Bruce Clay’s classic search engine relationship chart: http://www.bruceclay.com/serc_histogram/histogram.htm<br />
  4. The Algorithm:<br />(Keyword Use + Anchor Text)<br />X<br />PageRank<br />Simpler times. Spammier times, too.<br />
  5. SERPs All Looked Like This:<br />Via Google’s 10th Birthday post: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/09/google-time-machine-web-in-2001.html<br />
  6. SEO Meant a Few Fundamentals<br />Make good content, make it accessible, target the right keywords… That was pretty much it!<br />
  7. And a Lot of Link Building<br />Links were pretty much everything once you got a crawlable, keyword-targeted page set up.<br />
  8. Or, More Often, Link Spamming<br />Even I bought some of these back in the day…<br />
  9. Fast Forward 7 Years<br />Google celebrated the year with a TCP/IP protocol reference: http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-01-01-n53.html<br />
  10. Google’s Dominating<br />Via http://searchengineland.com/comscore-new-google-high-new-yahoo-microsoft-lows-though-both-rise-in-raw-searches-13784<br />
  11. Local/Maps is on the Rise<br />Matt McGee charted the astounding rise of Google Maps/Local starting in 2008: http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/charting-the-undeniable-growth-of-google-maps/1046/<br />
  12. There’s a Few New Protocols<br />The Sitemaps.org homepage literally hasn’t changed since February of 2008!<br />
  13. But Not Much Else Has Changed<br />In early 2009, I wrote a post about the shift in importance of algorithmic factors at Google: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-googles-rankings-algorithm-has-changed-over-time-<br />
  14. Jump Ahead… to 2011<br />
  15. It’s a Whole New World<br />Image via http://gizmodo.com/5478787/the-most-accurate-highest-resolution-earth-view-to-date (which is pretty cool, BTW)<br />
  16. SERPs Rarely Look Like This Anymore<br />It took me serious time to find a query this sparse<br />
  17. They Look Like This:<br />Google’s instant answers are getting more detailed and sophisticated, as illustrated by http://www.google.com/search?q=nfl+schedule+2011<br />
  18. Or This:<br />News results, shopping results and video snippets + the new, shrunken sitelinks for the top result<br />
  19. Or This:<br />Awesome!<br />
  20. Or This:<br />Personalization and social sharing dominate the page because I’m logged in.<br />
  21. There’s Rich Snippets & Schema.org<br />There’s a good post by Rich Baxter on Schema here: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/schemaorg-a-new-approach-to-structured-data-for-seo<br />
  22. Rel=Author<br />Good advice on how to get it set up here: http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/how-to-implement-rel-author<br />
  23. Video Results<br />Google on how to create video XML sitemaps and appear in these results: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=80472<br />
  24. And Social Annotations<br />Not only are the results annotated with the share / social data; they also outrank the top result<br />
  25. SERPs Are Almost Always Personalized<br />Search history, social networks, previous clicks and more impact personalization + rankings<br />
  26. And Geographically Biased, Too<br />Geography impacts both search result ordering and search suggestions/instant<br />
  27. Search Barely Requires Typing<br />BTW – I tried this same search from Portland vs. Yoder, and “Fox News” is not a top suggestion, but “Firefox “and “Fred Meyer” both are <br />
  28. Misspellings are a Thing of the Past<br />A few years back, there would be entire sessions at conferences on SEO for misspellings<br />
  29. Instant Answers are Everywhere<br />Google even offered instant answers as to the sexual orientation of celebrities: http://gawker.com/5844769/google-will-now-tell-you-which-celebrities-are-gay (but the feature appears to have been removed)<br />
  30. The Algorithm Has Changed, Too<br />Check out Dr. Pete’s Algorithm History guide: http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change<br />
  31. We Had Vince<br />Aaron Wall did some excellent analysis on Vince here: http://www.seobook.com/google-branding<br />
  32. And May Day<br />Barry Schwartz summarized the impact as described by Matt here: http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/022293.html<br />
  33. And, of Course, Panda<br />Some good analysis from Cyrus Shephard here: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/beat-google-panda<br />
  34. Brands Can Now Dominate Entire Pages<br />Nothing but Apple.com from top to bottom<br />
  35. Some are Dominated by Google Itself<br />http://www.seobook.com/google-eats-their-organic-search-results<br />
  36. Social is on the Rise Like Never Before<br />Via http://searchengineland.com/top-internet-activities-search-email-once-again-88964<br />
  37. In Social, Fragmentation Appears Certain<br />Users:<br />50mm<br />750mm<br />200mm<br />120mm<br />10mm<br />Users:<br />14mm<br />Millions<br />14mm<br />6.5mm<br />This growth is a big reason why I’ve changed my tune on social media marketing and now strongly endorse it for almost every business: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/everyone-should-hire-social-media-experts<br />
  38. What’s More…<br />
  39. Search No Longer Works in a Vacuum<br />Earning a click in the SERPs is merely one step in a greater process.<br />
  40. It Lives in the Broader Inbound Funnel<br />Eloqua’s content grid does a great job exploring where content sits in the marketing funnel: http://media.eloqua.com/images/The-Content-Grid-v2.jpg<br />
  41. But is Nearly Useless By Itself<br />Via http://www.seomoz.org/blog/tracking-the-roi-of-social-media<br />
  42. SEO from 2001-2008<br />
  43. Make the Site Search-Engine Friendly<br />Via http://www.seomoz.org/blog/4-essential-seo-infographics<br />
  44. Target Keywords<br />Via http://www.seomoz.org/blog/perfecting-keyword-targeting-on-page-optimization<br />
  45. Build Links<br />Via http://opensiteexplorer.org<br />
  46. Good Enough<br />Yep; it really used to work.<br />
  47. That SEO<br />is Dead.<br />
  48. You Might Rank<br />Before you even do that, make sure you’re choosing the right goals: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-6-goals-of-seo-choosing-the-right-ones-for-your-business<br />
  49. You Probably Won’t Convert Well<br />Unless the rest of the funnel rocks, SEO is in a rough spot: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/winning-the-seo-battle-at-every-step-of-the-purchase-path<br />
  50. You’ll Probably Lose to Better Armed Opponents<br />A great post on brand building: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/09/minimum-viable-personality.html<br />
  51. Winning in 2011 and Beyond<br />
  52. (Old School) SEO Can’t Be Our Only Strength<br />http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-responsibilities-of-seo-have-been-upgraded<br />
  53. SEO Cannot be Purely Tactical<br />We need a strategy<br />
  54. SEO Can’t Win the Web Marketing Battle Alone<br />http://www.seomoz.org/blog/a-checklist-to-choose-which-internet-marketing-channel-is-right-for-your-business<br />
  55. SEO Today Encompasses Everything We Do on the Web<br />
  56. 5 Questions for Modern SEOs<br />
  57. Are You Working w/ An Organization that Believes and Invests in Inbound Marketing?<br />Poor Fox Mulder. He just never believed in video recording or photography.<br />
  58. Where Does Search Live in Your Funnel?<br />Via http://www.bigpictureweb.com/blog/2011/8/29/ten-ways-to-show-inbound-marketing-roi-with-multi-channel-fu.html<br />
  59. Where Does SEO Live in Your Process?<br />A few representational org charts via http://www.bonkersworld.net/organizational-charts/<br />
  60. What are Your Competitive Marketing Advantages?<br />The day I got the NES advantage joystick was the day I beat Contra. Because auto-fire on the “B” button was essential to winning that game.<br />
  61. #1: Product<br />http://thinkgeek.com ‘s positioning and product selection naturally intersect with a sharing-heavy demographic, creating a virtuous cycle of inbound marketing.<br />
  62. #2: Community<br />At http://etsy.com the community powers the marketing of the brand, including the linking and sharing critical to great SEO + social media reach.<br />
  63. #3: Content<br />The http://blog.okcupid.com blog does a fantastic job sharing useful and interesting content – that’s helped them earn #1 rankings for incredibly tough terms like “online dating.”<br />
  64. #4: Distribution<br />By aggregating jobs from across the web and powering thousands of job boards, http://simplyhired.com has built a remarkable presence web-wide.<br />
  65. Where Does SEO Live in Your Process?<br />If SEO isn’t part of the process, you’ll always be playing catch-up and begging for resources to fix problems rather than executing as you develop and innovating.<br />
  66. How Will You Measure and Improve?<br />Via http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2011/09/automated-seosocial-reporting-using-google-spreadsheets-an-example.htm<br />
  67. 10 Actionable Tactics w/ Examples<br />
  68. #1: Data as Content Marketing<br />Tons of great examples via Kelly Ford’s blog post: http://kellynford.com/2011/09/27/marketing-your-startup-with-a-steady-drumbeat-of-data/<br />
  69. #1: Data as Content Marketing<br />While Kelly shows lots of good ways to use your growth/financial/metrics data, I also love using user/habit/trend data like http://blog.last.fm/2010/12/16/the-data-behind-best-of-2010<br />
  70. #2: Video Content + SERP Visuals<br />For a brief time, SEOmoz held the top 3 spots for “learn seo,” and the video result in position #3 actually earned more traffic/clicks than the top 2 combined.<br />
  71. #2: Video Content + SERP Visuals<br />Getting a video snippet simply requires embedding a video on the page (though standard YOUTube embeds don’t work) and submitting a video XML sitemap file. We use http://wistia.com which is awesome for this.<br />
  72. #3: Thought Leadership + Rel=Author<br />Who needs to rank #1 when you can earn better traffic than the top ranking sites w/ a photo?! <br />
  73. #4: Social Networks for Personalized Rankings<br />Last year, Google used Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter, Quora and several other social networks to show connected content. Today, it’s nearly impossible to find something socially annotated that’s not through Google+<br />
  74. #4: Social Networks for Personalized Rankings<br />More on this: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/social-annotations-in-search-now-your-social-network-rankingsYou can see your socially connected data via http://www.google.com/s2/search/social?hl=en#socialcontent<br />
  75. #4: Social Networks for Personalized Rankings<br />Create Share-Worthy Content<br />Share Socially<br />Win the Internet<br />Earn Rankings Boost<br />More Searchers Biased to Seeing Your Stuff<br />Get Natural Links through Visibility<br />Network Amplification Grows Reach<br />Earn More Social Followers<br />Growing your social network and sharing socially creates a virtuous cycle of marketing/influence.<br />
  76. #5: Link Building w/ Your Social Followers<br />Tactic via Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive: http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/using-twitter-and-backlinks-to-build-links/2011/07/28/<br />http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html<br />
  77. #5: Link Building w/ Your Social Followers<br />You can use Klout or Followerwonk scores (or just follower counts) to order the results<br />
  78. #5: Link Building w/ Your Social Followers<br />Use vLookup in Excel with the Linkscape API to see if they’re linking to you yet<br />How to: http://www.distilled.net/blog/seo/getting-started-with-the-free-linkscape-api/<br />
  79. #5: Link Building w/ Your Social Followers<br />Engage w/ or reach out to sites you want links from<br />This tactic can also be applied to blog commenters, email list subscribers and any social network where you can export a list of your friends/followers<br />
  80. #6: Long Tail SEO via Gamification<br />http://quora.com has been highly effective with this, as have http://stackexchange.com, http://dribbble.com, and even Moz’s own http://www.seomoz.org/q<br />
  81. #7: PR through Social Outreach<br />Starting a relationship over social media is easy and it leads to great press coverage surprisingly fast. Recent example from Moz: http://www.geekwire.com/2011/postit-wars-part-space-invaders-attack-pine-street<br />
  82. #8: Viral-Worthy Content via Q+A Research<br />Places like http://answers.yahoo.com, http://quora.com, http://answers.com, virtually any web forum (http://boardreader.com is a good way to find them) and even Google Suggest are good for this.<br />
  83. #9: Influence Search Suggest through Branding<br />You can see the original experiment here: https://plus.google.com/111294201325870406922/posts/BJJyt6rZ5Ku<br />
  84. #10: Leverage Thought Leaders to Build Content<br />Via http://blog.folyo.me/post/10723370923/how-much-does-a-website-cost The concept is simple; identify leading influencers in your space, recruit them to contrbute something small, perhaps just a few survey answers, then aggregate and share the data. They’ll help it spread.<br />
  85. SEO is Bigger than SEO<br />
  86. SEO is Bigger than SEO<br />
  87. And We Have the Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Adaptability to Win.<br />
  88. SEO: Reborn<br />
  89. Find this Presentation Online:<br />http://bit.ly/seoreborn<br />

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