When we look at the marketing landscape today, it’s easy to see that the technology we need to do our jobs is evolving. The good news, however, is that tactics (link building, keywords, online press releases, search ads) that used to be staples of digital marketing are now being phased out or rendered ineffective. Rather than finding ways to game the system, we’re returning to a place where creativity and strategy rule. And it’s all coming from one surprising source: Google.
For years, Google was considered the company that hated marketing. But in recent years, they’ve embraced what we’ve come to call traditional methods of advertising, public relations and branding to make their platforms and products stand out. (Remember their first TV commercial? It’s kind of fantastic.)
At the same time, the technical changes to Google’s platforms and products make it harder for get rank quick schemes to have an impact. Instead, as this phenomenal post by Cyrus Shepard puts it, “SEO Ranking Factor #1 is Satisfaction.” Making things more complicated for digital marketers, Google’s own search advertising platform has been under fire for being ineffective.
Google appears to have a plan, though, and it involves the offline world more so than it does the online one. How so? Here are three ways:
Google Authorship has one simple premise behind it: Individuals who create valuable content and are considered subject matter experts based on social performance will see their content rank higher is search. Not only will this hopefully stem the tide of bad content that makes it way onto SERPs, it will also make the who just as important as the what. So like the good old days of print publishing and company spokespeople, the person relaying information matters.
Writers should welcome this change especially because the era of low-cost, low-quality content ranking in search is coming to an end. And the value of a true wordsmith should return to where it was pre-Google… thanks to Google.
Bottomline: Anyone concerned with SEO should stop talking about keywords (Google just killed their Keyword Tool, after all) and start focusing on Google Authorship.
Pay Per Gaze
Many people have come to believe that print and outdoor advertising are less important in a world with social media and search engines. It’s true: Measuring the value of those advertising outlets is much harder than it is online advertising platforms.
Google, however, has an answer: Pay per gaze. This recently patented technology will allow Google to track eye movements with a wearable device like Google Glass and charge based on the number of impressions an ad receive, as well as the length of those impressions. Furthermore, the technology could judge a person’s reaction to the ad based on pupil dilation and adjust the price based on emotional response.
Now pay per gaze is likely to be years away from reality, but the idea that we can finally get the real engagement data for print and outdoor advertising could make that advertising smarter and more effective. In the meantime, connecting any advertising you're doing offline to your online systems will help you better measure the value of those efforts.
Bottomline: Don’t hastily abandon or completely ignore traditional forms of advertising. They’ll be back again someday… and they’ll be smarter than ever.
One of the major problems with the technical SEO was that it was so disconnected from real people. Instead of building relationships, we were building links. Instead of making connections with influencers in the media (including bloggers), we were sending out optimized press releases.
All of Google’s changes limiting the effect of old SEO tactics make building up a social network both online and offline more important. Meaningful connections can boost your overall brand reputation and generate quality links that actually mean something. This may be a relationship your customers have with your company’s employees or traditional PR-style contacts that will distribute your content to their readers/followers.
The point is, Google doesn’t want you to build your rank through artificial means; they want you to go back to the days where you get by with a little help from your friends.
Bottomline: In a world where making connections is easy, strong offline connections that you can rely on to support your marketing efforts are more important than ever.