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If you've been following the digital marketing blogosphere for the last week, by now you've probably concluded that SEO is dead because within 3 months there will be no more keyword data in Google Analytics. Right? Its the end of SEO. No more measuring. No more valuable data. Its Adwords or nothing.

Let's just stop the madness right now. This is a load of BS. Yes, as usual, Google has shaken the SEO world to its core. In case you haven't noticed, these major shake ups happen, at least, once a year. What does it mean? It means we evolve. Is this a frustration for marketers? Sure! No one likes change and with so many scam artists in the SEO industry, this will make it very difficult for shoddy SEO companies that provide pretty SEO reports that don't mean much to continue on the way they have... unless of course they're just going to completely fabricate reporting, which I suppose isn't out of the realm of possibilities given the loose ethics already being employed, but I digress... SEO isn't dead.

So why all the doom and gloom? You know the old saying in news media, "if it bleeds, it leads." Its an attention grabber and not to mislead you, this is an important change, but thats all it is -- a change. The way we measure will change. The depth at which SEO's will need to research and compile data will be more involved. Reporting valuable metrics will become more time consuming. But those of us providing a real SEO service are already well on our way to sorting this out -- AND IT HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET! So, you can take a deep breath and stop panicking.

Wondering about the solutions in the works? Rand Fishkin of Moz has already begun to trudge the path. You can see his suggestions in this short video.

Still not convinced? How many times have you heard SEO is dead before? You know what happens every time people write that SEO is dead? SEO company's website traffic spikes through the roof and leads pour in. Don't believe me? Here is our website traffic for the last 7 days. This is all a direct result of the pandemonium surrounding Google's latest shake up.

The real question is what to do as a business owner to make sure you're ready to compete in the new SEO landscape that is fast approaching. For one thing, call your SEO company. Ask how they are preparing for the shift ahead.

Look at the reporting you've been receiving. Is it solely keyword based? Are there metrics on specific landing pages? Do you get reports that show the actual content created by your SEO company? Does reporting connect the dots from keywords, to traffic, to landing pages, to leads, to conversion? Is your SEO company talking about shifting focus from high level metrics to conversion based metrics? If not, why not?

Here are some questions to ask yourself as a business owner. Is your SEO company, just an SEO company? SEO isn't a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy consists of many components of which SEO is one of them, but the should be part of a greater overall strategy and those components should all be tied together for the purpose of definable goals that can be measured and held accountable. If you're just "paying for SEO," then you're probably missing the boat.

OK. Crisis averted. Let's get back to business. Dealers, what are your challenges with SEO or your SEO company? Sound off! We're here to help!

Original article posted on Wikimotive's blog

Views: 1875

Tags: Google, SEO, Sky is Falling, Wikimotive


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Comment by Ryan Smith on September 27, 2013 at 9:19am

LOL... SEO best practices are industry-independent.  Integrated search marketing strategy may vary among industries just as it varies among agencies, but the strategic framework is also industry-independent.  I'll agree that auto industry savvy is important to understanding the client's needs and for speaking their language when discussing tactics and strategy, but there's nothing magically-unique about dealership marketing that you have to be from the dealership world to understand or to perform for them competently as search marketers.  It's just marketing, technical standards and conversion science.  Part of our roles as consultants or even as in-house marketers is to become conversant in a new industry and understand what will and will not work due to legal, political or cultural complexities specific to their industry.

What the automotive SEO industry needs is less of this exclusionary, divisive, inculcated, pretend-insider posturing, and more open collaboration and humble submission to the latest thinking on search marketing best practices like the rest of the marketing world.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 27, 2013 at 8:21am

One of the most interesting things I got out of AutoCon 2013 in Las Vegas in speaking with Brian Pasch and JD Rucker, if you're an automotive retailer, NEVER EVER go with an SEO company that doesn't focus all of their efforts on automotive. I believe Pasch owns this site.

I'm actually surprised by the lack of comments and best practice explanation on the point of the article.

Comment by Ryan Smith on September 27, 2013 at 8:15am

My my my...

I'm new here, but I'm pretty stunned that anyone on this board should have to defend any gaps between their best-practices philosophy and their best effort on a client site in some particular set of unknown circumstances.  

Sometimes it physically hurts a little to let go of whatever it is that we'd like to do for a site that we can't do for whatever reason, knowing what an improvement it would be. Unfortunately that's how it works in the client-services world.  What's important is to aim high and hit your target when you get a shot, and don't bally-hoo about the ones you didn't get to fire at.  As the character Edna Mode said in The Incredibles, "Never look back darling, it distracts from the nooowwwww...."

The fact of the matter is that we aren't necessarily in control of client implementation of our recommendations.  Sometimes we're lucky enough to have tactical control, and the rest of the time it's about the client education and not exceeding our time budget on a project.

Speaking of time budgets, I'm further stunned that anyone in this business has the time to waste calling out other marketers on any perceived hypocrisy when instead they could be either consuming or creating something helpful.  That kind of behavior is difficult to perceive as anything other than a form of professional insecurity, wherein bravado simulates confidence, and transparently so.

That kind of nervous energy is better spent honing your craft.  Do the work.  Read the blogs and forums.  Attend the search conferences.  Listen, ask questions, and learn.  This may be new to auto industry veterans, but expert search marketers interact within a very cooperative community (both online daily and at conferences), and it's a big tent; a long tail; an economy of abundance.  Too abundant for reptilian-brain thinking, and we all know it.

Moving on...

Thank you for this article Tim.  I don't think I've seen a lot of panic among seasoned SEO's/SMI strategists in response to this news (outside of a few well-timed, traffic-grabbing displays of righteous indignance), but this is certainly an important reminder to stay focused on the goals and guidelines of Google's Search Quality Team and their counterparts at other engines, rather than attempting to game a continuously-evolving algo that's become so complex it now qualifies as a chaos system, with all the bizarre and marvelous epiphenomena that go along with it.  Playing the game presented by the parameters of a chaos system isn't a nefarious method of interaction with such a system, it defines interaction with such a system.

Also, speaking of other engines, Bing has climbed into a not-insignificant market share, and brought high-converting, largely unsophisticated yet demographically-attractive visitors along with it, and they're still passing referrers.  Just wanted to let you guys know. :-)

Lastly, here's some other constructive reads on the new rules of the search optimization game from some respected sources:

Comment by Paul Rushing on September 26, 2013 at 9:03pm



Comment by Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 2:50pm

proof reading is always a must and still, things sometimes slip through.

Comment by Paul Rushing on September 26, 2013 at 10:13am

You probably want to proofread it too before it is syndicated even more. It does not reflect well on a company that offers blogging services to car dealers. 

(I had to delete my original because I did not proofread. HA)

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 26, 2013 at 10:03am

Our new services will include a "build your own private blog network" service and a "build your own web 2.0 blog network" service. These services will be centered around building authority blogs by leveraging the ranking power of aged private domains and authority web 2.0 domains. For the private blogs, we buy high PageRank, aged domains with existing authority in your niche and publish quality articles on them with links back to your money site. So not only are you getting highly relevant content, you are also getting highly relevant domains. They are designed for moderate to tough keywords but you can of course use them for less competitive keywords too. The web 2.0 blogs will be structured exactly the same as our private blogs, the only difference will be that they will leverage public web 2.0 and blogging website authority (such as blogs, etc.) instead of private domain ownership. We're launching this new service because we anticipate that there is a high demand for such services. The majority of SEO and link building companies out there, whether the client is aware of it or not, will sell them links in private blog networks which they own, not what the client owns. This means that Google can easily buy into such networks and penalize all sites which have links within those paid networks. This does happen, we see it all the time. Our private blog services are very unique because they allow the client to own THEIR OWN blog networks instead of having their links placed in risky private blog networks owned by SEO companies which are practically open to the public/Google. We realize that this new service wouldn't be as profitable for us as it would to place clients links in our own networks like most other SEO companies do, but we don't believe in selling services which might work today but not tomorrow and would eventually inevitably harm our clients websites in the near future. The reason why I am making you aware of our new authority blog services is because if you have multiple clients in the same niche (automotive), it would make perfect sense for you to start building your own network of automotive blogs.

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 9:58am

We allow them to syndicate our content. So its not true scraping. There is a difference in the way Google looks at purely scrapped content and content that is syndicated in relevant places with citation.

I am more concerned about the conflicting authorship, which we will be fixing shortly. Thanks for sharing the imagery!

Comment by Paul Rushing on September 26, 2013 at 9:52am

If Scoable scrapped it why did they reattribute (is that a word?) it and add an addtional anchor link for "Automotive SEO"? 

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 9:51am

No different than this article appearing on our blog, ADM, DealerElite and Driving sales. 

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