I came across this Forbes.com blog post titled: “The Death Of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content” via Twitter and immediately felt the need to read through it to find out the author’s thoughts about the SEO industry. The second sentence of the article actually got me hooked:
“Google is in the process of making the SEO industry obsolete, SEO will be dead in 2 years.”
I was expecting to read a gust of anti-SEO vociferation but much to my surprise, some of what the author (Ken Krogue) said made sense. I shall summarise his article here in a few bullet points:
- Internal SEO – the mechanics of SEO, comprises of about 15% of the entire SEO process – I agree.
- External SEO which used to entail writing articles, press releases, blogs, comments, and content with target keyword “backlinks” comprises about 85% of SEO – agreed
- External SEO is now changing because social sharing (likes, shares, tweets and 1+s) are emerging as important ranking signal - agreed but links are still the most important ranking factor. Content that successfully gets social media traction with a reasonable amount of reshares would in-turn get written about and linked from blogs and other sites. The backlinks to content shared on social media sites would ultimately improve a site’s search rankings. We wrote a blog post about the impact of social media on search rankings a few weeks ago.
- Google’s objective is to deliver the most relevant search results to searchers or they are not doing their job - 100% agree but Google is in a life-long battle against spammers or gamers.
- Ken implies that old style Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by means of acquiring backlinks is a artificial means of “gaming” Google’s search results - well I agree & disagree with Ken here. Backlinks fuel search rankings; so getting backlinks as a dividend of strengthening your brand online cannot been seen as “gaming” Google’s results. Link spamming however can be viewed as ‘gaming’ Google
- His conclusion is that generating real content (articles, images & video) that is beneficial and focused towards an audience and not search engines is the way forward - I agree but what is fundamental to content creation and publishing content to the web is the knowledge of how search engines work. I draw parallels of knowing how search engines work to knowing traffic rules or the highway code before attempting to drive.
My Thoughts: An Over Sensationalised Headline on Forbes.com
Creative & Ethical SEO
Would Your Business Exist Without Google?
Search marketingGoogle accounts for either less than 40% of traffic OR 40% of revenue for our most successful clients.
How many people are searching for your brand online?How many people want to find your business because they seek your goods or services to add value to their lives or help their businesses bottomline?
Top Brands Are Winners both Offline and Online
The questions you might ask now are that:
How can a brand be developed online &
How does Google determine brands?
- How many people search for your company name in comparison to other companies in your industry? (Use Google Insights to compare search volume)
- Do you have active Social Media profiles?
- Do ‘authoritative’ publishing sites in your industry mention or link to your website?
- How often and to what degree is content that you create, shared on Social Media platforms?
- Do you use multiple marketing channels that all point back to your website (see below)?
How to Rapidly Build Your Brand Online
Creativity is key to building a brand online and the key metric to success are the number of searches for your brand name.
Looking at their link graph, they have acquired 37,938 backlinks (dare I say ethically) over a 4 month period from ‘authoritative’ sites like Fastcompany, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Lifehacker, Mashable and serval other high profile sites:
And their rankings:
As at the time of writing this post, their rankings on Google.com were:
- “cheap razors” – #2 on Google
- “mens razor blades” – #6 on Google
- “razor blades online” – #6 on Google
- “men’s razors” – #15 on Google
Not bad for a company that started operating in March 2012.
Going forward, an SEO strategy now involves building a well thought-out keyword-centric site, excellent user experience and site navigation as well as and most importantly: creating well above average content both onsite & off-site. Onsite content would keep your audience ‘glued’ to your site, whilst off-site content would attract an audience to your site.
With Google’s roll out of the Panda & Penguin updates and the unnatural link penalty – the corner stone of SEO has emerged to be content marketing, which must be creative, social, viral as well as technically adept. Links are still the most important metric to rank sites – the method towards acquiring links has changed from a rather laborious and mechanical process to a much more fluid creative focus in a bid to gain viral attention and mentions. If you are not creative as an SEO, you may want to consider working with creative professionals to assist in the content creation phase of your campaigns.
Best of luck building your brands online.