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Learn from the Herd
SearchLove Boston 2014
Matthew Brown – @MatthewJBrown
Prologue: I‟m proud to be a
part of the SEO herd
Forgive me for any trash talk!
Credit: Dvidshu
How we see ourselves
Credit: Dvidshu
•
Closer to the truth?
Information Cascades
An information (or informational) cascade
occurs when people observe the actions
of others and then make the same choice
that the others have made, independently
of their own private information signals.
[wikipedia]
Exhibit A: PageRank Sculpting!
Information cascades = Jackpot for Google
It‟s just SEOs, Matt, and penalties
Don‟t believe the hype
SEO “truth”: Brand will save us!
Reality: You can still get hit, and for good
UK Brands are the latest victims - http://bit.ly/1gRRJI5
SEO “truth”: On-page is dead
Are we seeing
decreasing importance
of on-page factors?
Or maybe it‟s just moved on from strings
SEO “truth”: Authorship is dead
Reality: I want my „SEO Guide‟ ranking!
What about my beautiful metrics?
SEO “truth”: Using markup is suicide
Reality: Google don‟t need ya
This is just a
straight-up scrape
of allmenus.com
It‟s even happening
to your friends 
SEO “truth”: Google‟s real estate grabs are
always bad
SEO “truth”: Any SERP visibility is good
Reality: Don‟t forget about searcher intent!
SEO “truths” are why I yell (and drink)
But I‟ve got 26,000 customers to serve
What have I
done?
What the heck are SEOs up to?
Credit: Jouni Seppanen
Industry Survey Data
Industry trends: SEO not dead, big push to Content
Content! Less focus on links
Adoption of Content marketing tools
Google is the top three
for content marketing
tools?
We hear: Content performance is hard to
measure
“We use GWT, Excel,
Screaming Frog and hack
it all together in one big
spreadsheet.”
Not provided: Scattering the herd
Moz usage data*
*obviously, correlation != causation
Rankings: Consistent, but no huge growth
Consistent rankings usage since Not
Provided. Why?
“Rankings will be dead
within one year”
“I still report rankings,
but as a composite
metric. Not individual
rankings.”
“Rankings are part of my
reporting, but near the
back now”
We hear: Rankings are less important
We hear: SERP visibility is hard to measure
#3 organic ranking. How
much traffic is that
worth?
OSE usage has risen 50% in the last two years
Just Discovered
Links has big
growth within OSE
Fresh Web Explorer & Followerwonk growing
FWE usage is up 40% and Followerwonk 17% in the last 12 months
Hypothesis: The herd is just starting to break
away from „Old Testament‟ SEO
Who‟s leading us?
(my SEO Academy Award)
SEO of the Year*
*award has no cash value
BILL „m-effin‟ SEBALD!
(@BillSebald)
For testing old assumptions - http://bit.ly/MemcTW
And hacking future SERPs- http://bit.ly/1cgMoaE
He‟s IN!
Keep hacking!
Hack together your SEO experiments:
http://bit.ly/1bdY7ZH
Test these on
your own sites!
Hack your visibility - Google ved parameter:
http://bit.ly/1jLKqVr http://bit.ly/1cs4Wll
Hack your competition - Nerdy Data:
http://nerdydata.com/
Hack your competitor‟s strategy - Rival IQ:
https://www.rivaliq.com/
My prediction for our future? PAIN.
Start thinking about your “Future SERPs”
Plan a „non-HTML‟ SEO strategy
KG cards for Google Glass - http://bit.ly/1lsjG9V
Early adoption: Your only option
New tech like JSON-LD for data markup - http://bit.ly/1k52cmx
JSON-LD lets you
send schema.org
markup using
JSON instead of
HTML
If you haven‟t started, you‟re late
Common crawl stats for Nov 2013 - http://bit.ly/1k7Nprm
585 million URLs have
structured data now, up
almost 50% from last
year. Schema.org is half
of the total.
Get Freebase dialed in: YESTERDAY
Roll your own Knowledge Graph - http://bit.ly/1fGAjgM
It‟s all about Google+
Google is rolling in identity layers for everything
The best part: We‟re in the driver‟s seat!
Thanks for letting me rant!

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