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The SEO State Of The Union – Mozcon 2013

Alan Morteby Alan Morte

This year’s Mozcon was nothing short of spectacular. For those of you who didn’t watch the live web cast, or view the slides, I’m going to sum up the top takeaway of the conference, and bring the Mozcon experience to you, through this post.

When Rand first took the stage on day one, it was clear that, as an industry, we need to change; we’re not moving fast enough.

Here’s Rand’s top five points

• Web marketing is becoming brand dominated.
• The Internet is growing, and becoming more crowded.
• The social sector is fragmenting, yet search isn’t.
• Now more than ever, there is a concerning increase in data hoarding.
• We’re live in an ever-growing multi device world.

As an SEO, what does this mean for you?

It means that it’s time to stop gaming the system.

We need to become aficionados of providing end-to-end value and a sense of belonging across all devices.

As SEOs we too often focus on Google and meaningless ranking positions. We need to start caring about the people who actually drive the sales, who pay the money for the products and services.

The real question is, why don’t we care about the whole experience for the user? After all, they’re the ones who keep us all in business.

Google Is Tired Of Crappy SERPs

Google’s tired of crappy SERPs that lack value because the algorithm is being gamed; they’re doing something about it. There are eighty-five new features to be exact, most of which take away visits and value from our sites.

(For a full break down of all the changes I recommend that you watch beyond ten blue links.)

So what does this mean for us?

How To Not Die a Painful, Slow, Black and White Mammal Filled SEO Death

Become transparent, with everything.

Transparency allows our companies and clients to focus on what they do best; providing an unmatched user experience, through products or services to keep our customers coming back, time and time again.

That’s not even the best part.

If we’re transparent with everything consumers might possibly be worried about, product related, service related, or other, they’ll talk about it. Please remember, this is the Internet, people share their opinions. Just give them the channel to do it.

Problem Two Solved: Building A Community Online

Just like that, we’ve incentivized customers to interact with our brands outside of buying a product or service.

Win!

We need their feedback; it will make our brands better. It will make our customers feel like they actually matter, and they should. We’ll be providing them with a sense of belonging because they’ll help craft the very products and services that they love!

Problem Three Solved: Getting Google To Love Our Brands

Now, instead of focusing on building a ton of keyword rich links, or putting out loads of “Unique” crap content everywhere, Google will see that we’re actually building a brand, that we’re actively involved with a community, and that we’re actually doing real company shit.

Real Company Shit Dominating The Future Of SERPS (#RCS)

As Google continues to push forwards in being more proactive in understanding what you need before you ask for it, it will take brands and their reputable communities into consideration first; not the first ranking for “Pay Day Loan” or “Buy Cheap Viagra”.

Let’s just be honest, I can’t wait for the day when Google weeds out the entire fly by night businesses and scam sites on the Internet. They’ll actually be returning results that are driven by valuable community interaction and brand transparency, not some SEO gaming the system.

Argue all you may want, comment with all your hatred of the new 85 features; but can we really be mad at Google for these changes?

These changes actually provide great value to the user, collectively, something that SEOs and Online Marketers suck at.

*Illustration by Ghergich & Co.

 

Alan Morte

Alan Morte is the President and Co-Founder of Three Ventures Technology, Inc. He's heavily involved in digital marketing and analytics. However, he's pretty approachable too if you have questions, just tweet him on twitter! Google | @alanmorte

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  • http://anthonypensabene.com Anthony Pensabene (or Content Muse when dressed in costume)

    thanks for leaving rand’s top points. i was going to go to his preso, but i had something better to do.

  • http://twitter.com/AlanMorte Alan Morte (@AlanMorte)

    Anthony, no problem! Glad I could help save you some time.

  • http://thedsmgroup.com Jason Diller

    great post Alan… I wasnt at mozcon…but I feel like i just had a beer with Rand.

    Nice work.

  • http://twitter.com/AlanMorte Alan Morte (@AlanMorte)

    Thanks Jason, that was the goal! Feel free if you watched any presentations or videos of the speakers and have questions! Twitter usually works best…

  • http://promotingyou.org Denise Grier

    I like it!

  • http://www.skiusainc.com SKI USA

    Thanks for summarizing the points Alan. While the branding and engagement metrics for ranking websites may be a great way to improve both the web as well as user experience, it may be something that would benefit the brands immensely.

    Small businesses and businesses that are on a shoestring budget will find it harder to market their businesses.

  • http://gravatar.com/friebj99 Justin Friebel

    Short and sweet. Thanks Alan!

  • http://twitter.com/AlanMorte Alan Morte (@AlanMorte)

    SKi USA,

    I think the problem with small businesses is that they’re afraid of looking small.

    Something we have to take a look at is the fact the it’s not just about how much money you spend; it’s about engaging with the user.

    Small businesses need to stop worrying about being overpowered by large brands and focus on doing the little things that matter. If you’re a small business, you’re usually personality driven, not organizational. So that funky, unique culture that you have, needs to be a visible part of your online experience.

    Small businesses often have the best engagement rate on social because they know their customer best. The ones who don’t, usually don’t put much time into it. What’s 30 minutes a day? A TV show. Cut that out, start being social.

    Now let’s debunk the second half; great content.

    I to often hear, ” We don’t have money to invest in content.”. That’s crap. Ask yourself, “What do my customers always talk about? What’s the part of my business that is the most popular?”. If you’re a painter and it’s how to choose colors, make a piece of content on color psychology and choosing a color for your next project. Go to your local Junior College or University and hire a freelance, their cheap and eager to prove what they know.

    In my 10 years of experience, the problem with small businesses are that they’re afraid to look small and always focus on a “Brand” name instead of being creative and unique.

    Remember, people buy you because of the service / experience you provide. What makes your company unique is what you need to be pimping.

    Side note: Local businesses you need to be using http://yext.com and http://www.neustarlocaleze.biz/. This will get you on all the major listing sites: Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Neustar is more specifically for apple maps.

    • http://www.facebook.com/transformationalcoach Doug Holt

      I couldn’t agree more – especially with “What makes your company unique is what you need to be pimping.”

      Nice write-up!

  • http://twitter.com/AlanMorte Alan Morte (@AlanMorte)

    Denise and Justin, thanks, glad I could help you two out!

  • http://twitter.com/AlanMorte Alan Morte (@AlanMorte)

    Thanks Doug! Please feel free to ask any questions or voice concerns if you’re a small business. I’ll be more than happy to help you find solutions and provide insight.

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