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Been Reading That Seo Is Slowly Dying / Changing


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#1 rjohnson

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 03:52 PM

Just wanted to see what your thoughts / comments on this are.

I have been reading that small webmasters will not be able to compete or make any profits in the next years as search engines like google will only rank relevant sites. In other words, the idea of chasing links via blog postings, or directories, etc.. will be completely discounted (if not already) by google in the near future. They will only consider aspects such as branding, offline strategies, conversions, etc...
So only the big companies with millions of dollars will be ranked.

A little history on myself, I am new to the SEO world, and I am just starting to learn and apply the ideas of "more inbound links" with relevant anchor text , is what google needs to see. Am I starting something that is not going to lead me anywhere? Just wanted to see what the pros here think, and can maybe shed some light into all of this for me.

Thank you

#2 EGOL

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 04:50 PM

In a competitive environment the sites with the resources will have an enormous advantage (if they use their resources wisely). As more people and companies enter the field the competition cranks up. A few years ago a few links would win top positions in SERPs that require thousands today. Links will not be the currency of rankings before you know it.

I would like to toss out a second idea related to this competition... the use of search engines by people is going to decline as major sites with deep content become better known. If you go to WebMD instead of search when you want medical info, or if you go straight to wikipedia to read something you are abandoning search.

So the small webmaster is going to compete in search but in many instances his potential visitors are going straight to a content site.

I am close to 60 years old and if I am lucky I will still have a site that gets traffic when I retire. If I was young I would not count on a career in search - because (and this is yet a third idea) something new will replace the internet as we know it.

However, I think that I can make a buck from new content created today... so I am working really hard to get my page up.

#3 rjohnson

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 06:20 PM

Thanks Egol,

so maybe i should concentrate really hard on working with the current techniques for achieving high rankings, because the "new SEO" will take a few years to actually be used by google and other search engines. And yahoo will probably be steps behind google regarding the new SEO. Over the last few months, with my efforts alone in a highly competitive keyword, I have gone from being in the 800 position or 1000 position to 150th position. And in another highly searched word, im in position 40.
They still bring me 0 traffic though. I'm just confused as far as what and where to spend my time or money.

#4 projectphp

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:17 PM

If there are SEs there will be SEO.

I have been reading that small webmasters will not be able to compete or make any profits in the next years as search engines like google will only rank relevant sites

:rofl: That is kinda a massive insult, and is saying small websites aren't relevant!

They will only consider aspects such as branding, offline strategies, conversions

Explain to me how to quantify "branding" in an algorithm? I have no idea who told you this, but they are full of the brown stuff!

A little history on myself, I am new to the SEO world, and I am just starting to learn and apply the ideas of "more inbound links" with relevant anchor text , is what google needs to see

Wrong perspective: google DO NOT want to see that. Not at all. that smacks of manipulation. What Google wants is to find algoriothms that accurately refelect the way the Internet is. In the past, that meant more links and anchor text were positives, but that changes over time if people overdo it. Be careful of tryign to hard to b what teh SEs want you to be, and simply try to create the best site you can.

The key to ranking better is siomple: provide good, quality content that uses words peoples earch for, and seek out links from sites as relevant. Simple in theory, very difficult in practice :)

#5 EGOL

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:22 PM

We have not done linkbuilding for over a year and a half. Instead we are upgrading content so that visitors engage it more4 and creating new content in a steady stream. Rankings are up everywhere. Content creation is the new form of linkbuilding that some people have know for a long time.

#6 projectphp

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:22 PM

In a competitive environment the sites with the resources will have an enormous advantage (if they use their resources wisely)

And large companies never do.

The efficiencies that come with large businesses, such as the fact there is one webmaster per 1000 employees rather than 1 per 30, mean these people are always busy. Always busy. And that means they can't react quickly, or usually very well. It also means that the various stakeholders are not always across what is going on, like a former client of mine, who had a brand new website thrust on them with no warning one day, complete with an all flash home page, and the removal of hundreds of really good and useful pages.

The Viet Cong were so effective during the Vietnam war, despite less of everything, because they used their small size to their advantage, and Guerilla warfare is now standard military practice for small armies fighting larger ones.

Online, the same is true for smaller companies, who can react faster, better and with more purpose, due to far less bureaucracy.

#7 bwelford

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:27 PM

Well said, projectphp. Let's hear it for Guerrilla Marketing.

#8 A.N.Onym

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:23 PM

As a matter of fact, just in another thread going on at the moment Ammon sheds light on this matter.

However the promotion market changes, there always will be those, who will want to conquer and control it. The SEOs will change. So instead of worrying what to learn and what to do, learn what is most effective (value) and work with it. The essence will remain forever, but the form (meta tag optimization, directories, social media, content type, etc) will change.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 15 May 2008 - 11:25 PM.


#9 BillSlawski

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:44 AM

Been Reading That Seo Is Slowly Dying



The SEO of 1998, and the SEO of 2003 are different than the SEO of today, though unfortunately, there are many, even amongst those who practice SEO as a trade, who hold on tightly to yesterday's SEO. SEO isn't dying, but rather is evolving.

I have been reading that small webmasters will not be able to compete or make any profits in the next years as search engines like google will only rank relevant sites.


Search engines have been trying to "only rank relevant sites" for years. That's their aim, and it hasn't changed, though the methods that they use have been evolving. Having a business that can compete isn't necessarily related to the size of the business as it is to knowing where to compete, and understanding the climate that one is competing within.

A little history on myself, I am new to the SEO world, and I am just starting to learn and apply the ideas of "more inbound links" with relevant anchor text , is what google needs to see.


SEO should be part of a whole effort - build a business that people want to do business with, make it search engine friendly so that search engines have no troubles finding and indexing it, gain links by submitting to directories that provide traffic, create content that people find engaging, interesting, persuasive, and linkable, do things that are newsworthy on a local scale or a larger scale, show off your expertise and credibility. A successful online business does more than throw up a cookie cutter website that's like thousands and thousands of others, buoyed only by inbound links and relevant anchor text.

Rankings in search engines are less important than traffic to your pages, and conversions that keep your business open and profitable are even more important. It can really help to understand how the Web works, and how search engines might treat your website, and learning about SEO can help you do that, but don't lose focus that your goal is to bring the right people to your website, and not to rank for certain terms in search engines.

Online, the same is true for smaller companies, who can react faster, better and with more purpose, due to far less bureaucracy.


That's true only if a smaller company will take advantage of those advantages. :)

When you attempt to compete head on against giants, it's likely that you will be swallowed whole. Instead find the opportunities that large companies ignore because it doesn't make economic sense for them to compete in those niches, or because they can't react quickly enough.

#10 Black_Knight

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 12:21 PM

the use of search engines by people is going to decline as major sites with deep content become better known. If you go to WebMD instead of search when you want medical info, or if you go straight to wikipedia to read something you are abandoning search.

It might seem that way, EGOL, but where do you think the best informed editors of those resources become best informed?

Researchers will continue to use search. They were the first to adopt search, and will be the last to abandon it. The smart SEO will simply adapt to the changing usage-patterns of search, just as they have done over the past decade and more.

Of course, a lot of SEOs are not really that smart, and simply attempt to copy the smartness of others, leading them to apply the right tactic in the wrong place, and the wrong tactic in the right place...

Its a bit like 'niche' marketing. We've all been talking about it for years, but there are still SEOs who think that just means going for the specific product name, model number, etc. They don't understand when, and more importantly still, why people will search for the exact make and model of product they want.

Example: When someone is searching for the precise make and model of a product, it is almost always to find the best price. They already visited other resources just to learn the make and model number. Now they are shopping for the best deal on that specific product.

So, if your client doesn't have the buying power to undercut, or at least compete on equal price terms with, the massive chain stores and the stores with the kind of bulk-buying discounts that the mega stores can get, then you won't easily convert any of that traffic looking for 10 places that offer the make/model they most desire just to get the best deal on it.

Many SEOs choose the wrong niche, because they don't really understand what the niche is about, and what motivates that niche market. Such people base their keyword selection on competition and traffic numbers, without a thought to what the keywords tell them about the mindset, motivations, and conversion value of the traffic that would use those keywords.

There's plenty of life in SEO for the future, although the nature of the game is constantly evolving. Giving thought to the future, and what it will bring has always been a part of what sets aside the professionals from the moonlighters. One of many future developments is the huge upsurge in the mobile internet, and how motivations of people searching while on the move, out in the street will change things.

Its not hard to imagine a near future where you use the camera in your cellphone to picture a barcode and can instantly perform price comparison online right while you're in a high-street store, to find third-party reviews of the product, etc. In fact, I think that as more people adopt the mobile internet, image search will become bigger and bigger, but in terms of matching an image you capture on your cellphone with images online to learn more about the things you see.

Computers are not going away. Instead they are getting to be more powerful in the data they can store, and smaller in size, thus massively increasing the need for smart search to perform information retrieval. Only the patterns of use change, really, and the experienced SEO is already familiar with that.

#11 rjohnson

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 06:52 PM

you'll have to give me a couple of hours so i can swallow and interpret all of this valuable information.
Thanks guys

#12 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:12 PM

I have been reading that small webmasters will not be able to compete or make any profits in the next years as search engines like google will only rank relevant sites.


It has always been the goal of search engines to rank relevant sites. It is our goal, as SEOs, to enable the search engines to understand that our sites are relevant to the query (if indeed they are).

SEO is changing, yes. But then, it has always been so. And it will likely always be so. It is our job to change as needed. It is also our job to recognize that even though some things change, some things stay the same. We must know what we need to do in order to keep up with the changing technologies, but we must also keep in mind what needs to remain the same. Technologies may change, but the underlying core principles rarely do.

I'm sure marketing has changed much over the past 10,000 years or so, but I can pretty much guarantee that some caveman or cavewoman somewhere, in the distant past, used some marketing skills to persuade a tribe from a far-off region who were searching for warm clothing, that their furs were better than the neighboring tribes. That same caveman or cavewoman's descendant might be visiting this forum right now, and may own a web site that sells fuzzy bunny slippers. While times have changed, the underlying principles of marketing have not. Customers will still be searching for the fuzzy bunny slippers that are best for them, and the webmaster had better know how to reach that customer - wherever they may be searching - be it in an annual regional tribe gathering, or a high-tech search engine.

The only constant is change. Or something like that. :)

#13 JohnMu

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:52 AM

This discussion is one of the reasons I love this site :). Many great comments have already been posted.

Marketing to me is all about setting expectations: "Buy this / do that, and then ...... (something good will happen)." SEO to me is all about marketing to search engines, about setting expectations for search engines: "List this in your search results and your users will be happy" or "List this because it's really, really relevant and important for your users."

If you "fall" for a product/service that doesn't deliver close to the expectations that they set in their marketing, you're not going to fall for it a second (or at least a third :) ) time. If a search engine notices that it's falling for content that doesn't deliver close to the expectations set with regards to SEO, it's going to work on recognizing and ignoring that. If you constantly have to adjust your SEO efforts because the search engines aren't falling for it anymore, perhaps the problem is not the SEO part ;) .

Another part that plays a role in SEO -- and which will always continue to play an important role (in my opinion) -- is making content usable for everyone, including those dumb search engine crawlers. Search engines are in some ways the lowest common denominator when it comes to understanding content. If they can understand it, chances are most other users can as well. How will that change over time? Like Ammon mentioned, some things will certainly change somewhat, but keeping the content usable for search engine crawlers will help make it usable for users all over -- including those who have to use translation / transformation tools to view it.

So getting back to the original posting: sure, parts of SEO will change, other parts will stay the same. Having great, unique and compelling content will continue to be important no matter how SEO changes. If you have great niche-content that is usable for everyone, chances are you aren't going to have to keep up with every change made by the search engines.

John

#14 Black_Knight

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 11:31 AM

To expand John's point one step further, one needs to remember that behind the 'dumb' number-crunching of an algorithm, no matter how complicated by layers upon layers of meshed algorithms, there lies a team of brilliant people.

They build and tweak, balance and adjust the algorithms to place sies they recognize as high quality at the top of their sample searches. Only once an algorithm consistently places higher quality above lower, improving the results in human-checked testing, is that algo deployed.

So at the end of the day, you can help quality sites to be recognized as such by SEO, taking away some of the rough edges that were holding it down. You can turn a good site to a great site in a way that the engines recognize, and that is SEO.

Alternately, you can try to spot the loopholes, looking for the odd lower-quality sites that somehow slip into high positins, and identify the 'blind spots' in the algorithm, the areas where the maths is still far simpler than human judgement, and then seek to exploit those blind-spots, the loopholes, in order to place a lower quality site higher than it deserves. That too is SEO, but it is always doomed in the long-term due to those people behind the algorithms.

It therefore comes down to a simple dichotomy: You can make your site into the kind that hundreds of brilliant scientists are building and tweaking their search engine to push to the top; or you can make your site the kind that makes them realise the algo needs improving because it should not rank highly.

The dichotomy is whether you sneakily make the search engineers themselves work to promote your site, or make them personally work against you.

#15 Joshua Sciarrino

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 03:45 PM

When you attempt to compete head on against giants, it's likely that you will be swallowed whole. Instead find the opportunities that large companies ignore because it doesn't make economic sense for them to compete in those niches, or because they can't react quickly enough.


This speaks to me greatly and I something I was thinking about adopting. Thanks a ton.

Edited by Flying Monkeys, 26 May 2008 - 03:46 PM.


#16 TryMeOut

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:42 PM

I highly doubt that Google would advocate more established sites in their database and leave the new players out. If its so - whatever happened to fair competition? :)

IMO, SEO isn't dying - it is just continuously changing.

#17 Joshua Sciarrino

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:30 PM

One thing I heard from a video from the Web 2.0 conference was that 'we will be seeing a transition from going to website TO having these experiences on our desktops.'

Like instead of having to go to faeebook, you just access your messages, pictures, etc. through your own desktop. I saw one in beta but can't find the link.

Definitely something to think about...It might not directly effect SEO but over time probably will have an impact.

#18 Neticule

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:47 PM

As long as there are search engines, people will be optimizing their sites for them.



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