Google pushed it’s algo update in the UK this weekend, it leans heavily towards ranking big brands highly in the SERPS over the teeny tiny guys who took years to get there. Just one click of the mouse and boom, Big Brands up, people who have invested huge money in their rankings obliterated.
It’s a sad day for sure as it spells the beginning of the end of traditional SEO. If you though SEO was hard before, it has now entered a whole new dimension and the gravitational forces are ten times stronger. Many of the weaker SEO companies will be wiped out which will release some of the clients back into the SEO market. (Good for the better ones, bad for average ones with families to feed)
Sure many SEO tools are free, but links are not getting any cheaper and building a brand can take years and a good chunk of change.
I’ve put out my feelers as to how to turn your little website into a giant that can compete with the rest of them, and the answers I have been getting back are less than encouraging. Most people are saying “forget the short-tail, focus on the long-tail”. While this is a solution, it’s a pretty bad one as it means we’ll be targeting less traffic, just to stay alive. Personally, I will not stop targeting the highly competitive keywords, as I don’t want to miss out on that traffic. I will turn some of my sites into “amazing brands” and let them compete with the traditional companies that now occupy the lucrative spaces on Google.
I’ll be creating jaw dropping sites, with super content and usability along with incredible tools and then marketing the hell out of them. I think YOU CAN still compete with the big names, but you have to be highly creative and work your ass off to get those authority links. (This is obviously ideal for Google), and the long term future of your sites.
So don’t panic, there is hope but you’re going to need to sit down and work out a hard hitting strategy along with some aspects to your site that are very interesting for your visitors.
Social Media is still relatively new and not understood very well and being successful is still something of a “dark art”. I think a lot of “social media experts” consider themselves a kind of artist. They write or build something pretty creative (if it’s going to be successful) and then promote it. If they get the mix of creativity and interest right whilst following the rules that you need to appeal to Social Media geeks then it will probably be a “success” and garner a high volume of traffic.
That’s kind of how these people sell themselves, “We’ll create something awesome and it’ll go popular and get a bunch of traffic and maybe some bloggers will link to it” – and that’s where it ends for most people selling their “Social Media Expert” services.
There is usually one vital element missing: Business. What’s the point or the end game? Well, I found a unique blog which makes sense of all this stuff and actually brings a side of sense and reality to social media.
The blog owner and writer is called Derek Showerman, looking at his blog and playing a bit of email Ping Pong, he seems to be a very switched on kid *ahem* (okay, he looks too old to get asked for ID) with an excellent business grounding who’s going to do great things in this crazy world of Social Media.
Social Media needs good people like this in the industry, this is for two reasons:
1. There are too many people that don’t know how to produce a good ROI for a client.
2. We need people that know what they are doing to produce positive results which will be good for the ecology of Social Media and bring a lot of good work in for the industry as a whole.
Happy Social Media Marketing!
Google is tweaking is algorithm as it does regularly, we seems to get one of these “large” shakeups every two one three months now, where the results are significantly mixed up.
However, I can’t believe what’s going on at the moment is going to last, the results are truly weird and have some irrelevance creeping in. For example:
1. A number of US based sites creeping in financial based searches and ranking well, this is totally pointless in the UK as we can’t buy their products.
2. Duplicate results for the same search on the same page. eg: “SEO” on Google.co.uk
This may just be testing, and this post maybe largely irrelevant tomorrow, but I do hope it changes soon.
We had a conversation in the office on how to get certain widgets, gadgets or any other “viral material” viral. We discussed various explosive techniques which would ensure that the project would be a roaring success and would get a gargantuan amount of media attention.
We decided to call it “Mauve Hat SEO” – now everyone has a particular take on what colour their particular hat is, and to be quite honest, there are way too many “White Hats”, “Black Hats” “Blue Hats” and every other colour under the sun. However, I seriously doubt anyone has reserved the “Mauve Hat” peg. Nor will they want it or have the guts to wear it.
In order to obtain the right to wear the special Mauve Hat, you need to use an interesting technique to get your “viral” project started. Now, what you have to do is the following:
1. Murder someone – Preferably, someone that does not deserve a place on this earth. E.g.: Mugabe, Bin Laden etc.
2. Carve the URL which needs promoting into the chest of the now deceased person, don’t forget to include the obligatory “Made By:”
3. Call the media and alert them to the body.
This should ensure that your URL gets worldwide exposure and your viral project is a success.
EDIT: Seth has done a post here explaining why you need to be different to get the results you require.
Thanks to Aaron for original hat picture.
If you’re a small business and need customers desperately, you’re much better off targeting your website towards your local area. This is because as a very small business you probably do not have a huge Internet marketing budget and 6 – 12 months before the traffic and orders start to come in.
I often see successful small websites that are catering to small customers, that seem to rank really well without breaking the rules. Sites like this will do very well in my opinion in picking up highly targeted customers through long tail and relevant traffic. Who cares if they don’t appear for vanity terms, as long as it delivers the right traffic.
Place your most important products on your page and the areas that you service, it’s basic and simple, but you may just be amazed at the results it garners.