A recent comment from SEO guru Adam Torkildson is raising a few eyebrows with a comment that Google is effectively killing SEO as people know it now. He stated to a friend that Google is making the current SEO industry obsolete.
External and Internal SEO
There are two types of search engine optimization. Internal SEO accounts for roughly 15% or more of the process. This is the act of designing your site so that it will rank highly in Google searches. External SEO once meant writing blogs, press releases and articles that include embedded backlinks that lead readers to your site. Because of strategies in social media, SEO is changing at a rapid rate.
White Hat versus Black Hat SEO
While black hat SEO practices are a bit villainous, white hat does some of the same things with a more subtle touch. What would Google prefer? They want real, relevant content online that people will enjoy reading and pass on to their friends. It is in Google’s best interest to deliver relevant content, or they are not performing their job properly. Even the term SEO on its own means to affect search engines so that your content will be ranked more highly than it would be if not altered.
Google’s Penguin Release
Mr. Torkildson was proven at least partially right when Google introduced its “Penguin” release. This is their code name for an algorithm that decreases the rankings on search engines of companies that scheme for better ratings. Google changed their weights on SEO from just backlinks toward social media shares, tweets and “likes”.
What Does This Mean?
Originally, Google acted as though it believed that if you link to something online that it must have content that is considered valuable. Now, it seems as though Google believes that if you share content through social media, that it is more relevant. Of course, social media likes and tweets can be faked, too.
The Bottom Line
Technically, the only genuine SEO may be writing, videoing, recording or designing content that is of actual benefit to the people who read or view it. When you generate new contact and put it everywhere online to promote your site – that is a fake way. This is a huge part of SEO history, both white hat and black hat.
Marketers who are overly aggressive are the ones who spoil the game for everyone else. Telemarketers, email spamming, predictive dialers and now SEO tactics intrude on your ability to just read what you want to read. Seth Godin once said that all marketers are, in fact, liars. If you need to do a lot of advertising to change the perception of potential customers, you are probably spinning the advertising to be biased on your behalf.
The new SEO rules are all about social “shares”. Those cannot be as easily faked. With the most recent changes in policy, Google knows everyone once they have been in the social realm. They can tell which people are fakes. Mr. Torkildson did a test last year by creating one thousand fake accounts, and they were all banned.
To this day, Torkildson doesn’t know how they found out about the fake accounts. Google uses Twitter’s data and Facebook’s internal API allows them to see social signals, making them more important to Google’s algorithm.
What Happens Now?
Now may be a good time to employ old-school PR. Public relations has made a 180, since the buzz you create online is so much more important now. How much value do you give your followers in return for the buzz they create about you? Once again, great content is the goal, in articles on premium WordPress templates, as are communities of people who follow you.
Businesses who answer direct questions on their Facebook or Twitter accounts can stay on top of their reputation and their brand. In addition, “real content” is more important than backlinks and keywords.