Brand v. SEO

Checking my Twitter feed this morning I clicked a link from Andy Beal Titled Is SEO a dying industry? Which of course grabbed my attention…

Greg starts off by saying:

According to Shoemoney, SEO has no future. I do not always agree with him, but in this case, he is dead right. Let me pull on my flame retardant suit before I explain why.

Although the flame retardant suit isn’t needed in this case, I couldn’t help but think that I was about to read another “SEO isn’t Rocket Science” article… But reading on I have to say I completely agree w/ both Shoe and Greg on this point. While I don’t believe that SEO as a trade / industry is dying I do see how old tricks are no longer useful.

Here is why SEO as we know it is going to continue its death spiral. Search engines are too smart and they have a different agenda. They do not want to reward crummy companies that play SEO games–they want to give the top listings to the best companies. And they are quickly gaining access to the information they need to do exactly that. They will use traffic and buying stats to figure out who the top companies are.

Now I’m sure some blackhats are going to disagree with that statement… I’m sure someone will still find a flaw in the algo’s and exploit it, I mean come on, this is the Internet after all! The more important point that Greg touches on here is the fact that SE’s are looking for Quality… The IBL score (In-Bound Link) may just fade away like the meta tags of yesteryear…

This is fine by me. We have always advised our clients to become proactive, involved, & authoritative when it comes to their web presence. Which means that while your SEO company is working on getting comments on worthless scraper blogs (that do NOTHING for you) We’re over here building something that can & will be used as a resource. This not only builds your brand… but will help your proverbial cream rise to the top of the SE’s.

Greg goes on to say that the rich will get richer and the middle class is about to become obsolete.

Yes, this means that the rich will get richer and the poor will starve for SEO traffic. If you are not in the first category, you had better find a way to get there quick. The middle class is about to disappear.

I wish I could say I disagree… however as most middle class (*see Mom & Pop sites) are focused on PageRank and building a Ton of IBL’s they are missing the bigger picture! You need to get your ‘Brand’ recognized as an authority of any sort. So let’s start focusing on the bigger algorithmic picture. Here’s three things you can do TODAY to start building some authority.

  1. Make an instructional video – Seriously I can’t stress this enough! I have clients that have been ‘meaning to get to it’ for 2 yrs now… meanwhile other start-ups have already taken the initiative and are now being rewarded. Everything can use an instructional video I don’t care what the product is… if you think you can stump me post up a product, idea, service, anything and I’ll find an angle!
  2. Get authoritative links – I really don’t care how you feel about DMOZ… get a link there! Google still uses the DMOZ db as their own directory… how do you expect to get an authority site in Big G if your not in DMOZ? Email them if you don’t get accepted (the last 5 sites I’ve submitted have all been approved in as little as 2 hours! So I don’t want to hear excuses) ;) Of course there’s more to getting authoritative links than just DMOZ… Who’s big in your industry? Could you write something for one of these sites and get a link as an author back to your site? Is there a problem you could solve with a short program or list that would get picked up and have a link back? Yes, links are still important to a degree… however 2,000 worthless IBL’s are going to carry about as much weight as 20 important links!
  3. Start or Join a Community – Try this: Google your product, service, idea, blue widget, keyword and add ‘Forum’ or ‘Community’ hit enter and spend 1 hour today looking through some of the top sites on Google. Now I’m not saying that joining a forum simply for signature links is going to benefit anyone. Go and be a part of the community! Look through the forum for ideas… is there a common question that keeps popping up? Is it something that you could easily explain? Could you start answering some simple questions a few days a week and get a reputation as ‘the go-to guy’ for these types of questions? (building a little authority maybe?) I can’t say enough about community… for those of you that want to know how truly important it is, here’s a GREAT book – The Perfect Store by Adam Cohen. Was a very fast read and the story of Pierre Omidyar Ebay’s founder… his community really blossomed!

So is the SEO industry dying? I don’t know… you tell me ;) I know I’ll always be employed so long as these here internets are up and running – (now that’s a scary thought… no internet! I might have to actually work!)

Oh and a quick show note – no SEO 101 today :( We’ll have a GREAT live show next week when Andy Beal joins us to discuss his new book Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online


David is the SEO Chief in Geek at MIND. He also Co-Hosts SEO 101 with Brian Mark where masses of newbs learn the SEO basics from square one! Have a question? Just ask or @neoblog.

2 Responses to “Brand v. SEO”

  1. Jessica
    May 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    Some interesting thoughts here, Dave!

  2. iBi
    June 2, 2008 at 6:17 am #

    Great reading!
    Will keep those things in mind :)

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