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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 Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 9:40am

What exactly is it that you think we did, Paul? Our content get's picked up by a number of places, soshable is one of them. Soshable takes all of our content, I think. I also see our articles on Alltop and techcrunch and other places (granted with less frequency.) 

We are also, constantly submitting removal requests to websites that scrape our data and place it on spammy sites. Google also realizes that sharing of content happens which is why it is appropriate to cite the original article.

Comment by David Addison on September 26, 2013 at 9:37am

What's the problem with a backlink on Tim's well written piece of content.  He put thought into producing a nice piece of content and it is worthy of a backlink.  This is different than the SEO technique that we see all over the Internet.  What makes it different?  It is well written, comes from a person of authority, and provides value.  The page ranks well.

In my mind, this was not what Tim was describing.

Comment by David Addison on September 26, 2013 at 9:20am

Paul, links are still very much a factor in determining search engine rankings.  I bet that we all agree. I think that the linking game is a dangerous one.

Herein there is a good point.  A number of SEO (don't like the label) firms have moved to a different optimization approach/philosophy.  Some have not.  Both approaches work.  One approach Google and Bing endorse.  The other (e.g. manipulation), they do not. Moreover, the engines are hard at work attempting to thwart aggressive manipulation. 

My firm has moved on. 

The "new" ways of SEO are not as turn-key and they are more difficult to monetize.  Real SEO takes smart employees that cost professional wages. That's the real reason that so many cling to the old ways.  Building a huge volume of backlinks... and manipulation is easy money.  It is a cheap/inexpensive technique.

I say that it is BAD SEO.  The OLD SEO is dead.

Comment by Paul Rushing on September 26, 2013 at 9:01am

Tim you did it on Monday of this week:

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 8:58am

Paul what I am suggesting is that SEO's need to move away from exactly what you describe. Are some still doing what you describe? Hell MOST are still doing it. We did at one time! But its a waste of time. The elephant in the room here is the difference between causation and correlation.

Because someone is doing something bad and still having success does not equate to causation. A thing doesn't trigger a trip to the penalty box. Its a series of things in the context of the many series of other things and the proportional relationship to those things that trips the Google hammer. 

Is Google perfect at detecting fraud? no. But they're getting pretty damn good. And bottom line, they're going to keep getting better. So if there if you can have lasting success that takes a little more time isn't that a better way of serving your client than sitting in a room, sleeping in 3 hour shifts and building and testing a bunch of spammy crap that might work for a few months?

Fortunately, we never paid for a link. But even we had to remove a ton of crap press releases and other junk when penguin and panda first came on the scene and it wasn't even really that bad compared to the mess other SEO's found themselves in.

Once it became clear that content really was king (in practice and not just in preaching) we made the decision to change as a company and never look back. Does it make us better? Well, I think it does. Do we still have to test and analyze and change, sure. But we'll never have company wide rankings obliteration like some others out there because the core of our approach is content marketing and not SEO. We also won't get you on page one position 1 in 24 hours. We think tangible results in 30-45 days is a solid proof of concept. We also understand some companies will advertise guaranteed top of page one for $199/month and that some people will believe it. We don't need all of 'em. Just the right ones.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 26, 2013 at 8:43am

Plain and simple, path analysis. We're able to measure 3rd party site backlinks and how they lead to conversions. 

Comment by Paul Rushing on September 26, 2013 at 8:42am

Links are still very much a factor in determining search engine rankings. I can show you multiple example of where links are the only ranking factor.

I have never been a proponent of exclusive link building. It all starts on the site with user experience being the primary consideration. 

I have looked at the link profile of many domains in automotive, vendors and dealers. What I see amazes me.

Some are still buying sitewide links on "white hat" looking blogs, using spammy social bookmarking services and dropping links in anchor that provide ZERO value to the reader but only serve to manipulate search. (Think a social media blog ;)

Nothing wrong with that if it is working, but lets not preach one thing and execute differently.

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 8:37am

I agree, Alex, that research and analysis are very important. I think the use of the data is frequently poorly executed. If its coming from the standpoint of, "OK we need this many more of this kind of link and we'll put some stuff on this site or that site," then no. That is the wrong approach. Its not natural and will be flagged as such. 

The research and analysis that shows you need to increase certain things needs to lead to a meeting about what kinds of content tends to generate the natural production of the missing element so that it can happen organically. Maybe its a blog post syndicated in social media. Or a needed increase in citation to a particular page that links in chain to a series of other pages so simple discussion in social media can influence the citation. Maybe its technically oriented and a forum discussion about your automotive SEO strategy is going to do the trick.

The key is its not about the singular "thing" that data indicates, its about recognizing what is needed and producing practices that lead to a non-manipulative approach to that thing by creating something of value about that thing that will naturally be shared and linked to.

This is arguably much more difficult. But it is also far more effective.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 26, 2013 at 8:29am

In terms of backlinking, diversity (domain and anchor text) and page authority are key. Obviously, this needs to be executed using a strategy (research and analysis).

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 26, 2013 at 8:22am

Great discussion, btw. Thanks everyone who is contributing! 

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