Posts Tagged ‘death of seo

14
Feb
12

Is Google Building Skynet?

I'm sorry, Dave, I can't complete your search just now. Please try again later, after you've calmed down.

Well, here it comes.

We’ve been predicting for some time now that Google will pretty soon render SEO as obsolete as phone cords by evolving some serious cognitive abilities.

While this sort of thing has been tried before (WolframAlpha does kind of a pretty good job of understanding the question), the new push by Google into the realm of artificial intelligence will be the One that Changes Everything.

Why this one? Because if anyone has the resources, the brain-pool, and the profit motive to create our new Digital Overlord, it would be the Goog.

Read on, future Eloi.

Google Knowledge Graph Could Change Search Forever

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22
Aug
11

What Would One-Page Google Results Mean for SEO?

We came across this article at Web Pro News yesterday and it really got the old “what-ifs” rolling.

Google May Start Serving All Results On One Page: Good for SEO?

The gist of it is, some folks have spotted what look like some test page layouts that may indicate Google is thinking along the lines of a single, infinite scrolling search results page.  First, to be completely accurate, Google have not indicated in a direct way that they plan to do this anytime soon. The page layout stuff they appeared to be testing are things like sticky navigation—so no matter how far down the page you scroll, the left nav and the search box (and maybe even the AdWord ads) stay in same places. That change would effectively make an infinite single-page results page possible.

What’s not addressed is how they would manage to load those results cleanly, or how much of your browser’s cache they’d use, or whether they’d use all that new page real estate to increase the number of AdWords displayed, or just what they’d do.

Nevermind. All we’re interested in here and now is what effect on SEO all this might have. Here are a few things that popped into our infinitely scrolling minds:

  • Every website would now be—at least technically—on the first page of Google’s search results. The only way to judge success would be keyword rank. And we hate keyword rank. A lot of marketing copy would have to be changed….
  • Would it change search engine user behavior? Currently, the vast majority of searchers rarely go past the third or fourth result anyway. But if there were millions of results on page one, might that encourage folks to go a little deeper?
  • What if they also added more sort features to the ones they have now (price sorts, alphabetical sorts, geographic sorts—all sorts of sorts are possible). Would that not make the job of SEO really, really, really hard?
  • And what would happen if you searched “www”? Would the internet explode?

Just a few thoughts. We’ll let you know if we hear anything else.

16
May
11

SEO and the Web Filter Bubble

I’ve mentioned this sort of thing beforecustomized, personalized search results based on what engines and websites think you want to see. Which means that everybody’s search results are different. Which means that you can never know just exactly where you will show up for any individual person’s search. And so far, there’s not a damn thing you, as a search engine professional, can do about it.

This is what will kill SEO. And the web. And probably everything else we hold dear.

Brought to you by TED. The smartest place on the planet.

08
Mar
11

Google Chrome’s Game Changer

Last month, Google (sort of) quietly added a new feature to their signature browser, Chrome. And although it may not sound like all that much, this wee tweak has some definite ramifications for SEO and the entire practice of search marketing.

It’s just this.

Eh? How is that a big deal? Well, imagine first that this capability becomes widespread. Then imagine that you are a professional SEO with a fat contract from, say, BF Nickel’s Company, and you spend a year optimizing all their pages for search. Next, let us further imagine that these pages—while optimized perfectly—are somewhat sucky in terms of usefulness. Now, finally, let us imagine that 50% or so of all the potential customers of BF Nickels click on that little “Block” link. And suddenly, all of that SEO work is flushed like so many deceased goldfish. Because once a search result has been blocked, it will never show up in that particular person’s search results again. No matter how well optimized it is.

Think BF Nickel’s is going to extend your contract for another year?

More on Chrome’s New “Blocklist” Extension

Google’s New Chrome Extension Blocks Sites
Chrome Users Can Now Block Certain Results
Google’s Personal Blocklist

22
Feb
11

SEO Is Headed for Boot Hill

Ten years ago, the internet looked like Tombstone, Arizona, 1880. Google owned a big old silver mine,  saloon business was booming, and SEO was dealing Faro.  Faro seemed like a pretty good job to get in on—a sort of fair, sort of fixed game with few rules and lots of money, and the dealers had a major advantage. They knew how the game worked. All anybody else knew was that there was a big pile of money on the table.

And if you were an SEO back in the wild heady days of the early millennium, you were sitting pretty. The companies that were quick to adopt search optimization tactics kicked their competition’s butts all up and down the web. There was no distinction then between the shades of your hat. If you had a good strategy to get your client top rankings, you won.

I worked for a company that sort of invented DNS cloaking. They were selling top five Google listings like a commodity. Any company who could pay the per-click, could actually expect top ranks. Money poured in. The Faro dealers started branching into other games like Yahoo paid listings, GoTo’s (soon to be Overture to be Yahoo Search Marketing to be Billy Clanton) rank for bid model, and a host of other lame-brain wanna be Cowboys with dollars in their eyes and no sense in their heads.

Until Google decided to clean up the town. First they shut down the obvious crooked games like the cloaking enterprise mentioned above. The cloakers adapted. Instead of shell-game redirects, they switched their focus to the paid and bid listings. But the Faro games continued. Some the dealers turned honest, offering a fair game with decent odds. They could still help your keywords rank higher, but it took time and was not completely certain to succeed. Other dealers  moved to the back alley and continued to ply their fast-bucks, Lady-Luck’s-a-hooker game.

And now we have a Faro industry dealt by hats in various shades from white to black and all the grays between.

Oh, it is a good game. White hats make a nice living. Grays make out a bit better. And the black hats in the alley are still cleaning the suckers out. Too bad it won’t last.

In fact, I think we’re about to see the OK Corral of search marketing. And the Marshal’s name is Watson, along with his brother Wolfram Alpha.

Search optimization thrives for one reason only. Search engines all rely on some complex algorithm or another to rank search results. The algos are so complex that it takes a specialist (SEO) knowledge to game them. And they change often enough that the specialists have a steady base of new and returning clients.

That’s great, as long as it lasts. But, what if search engines get really really smart? What if they get so smart that they can actually understand what you mean when you ask for “paris hilton photos” based on your history, your search behavior, your gender, the context of your day’s searches, and even your facial expressions? IBM’s Watson just demonstrated that computer programming can solve for human intent. Wolfgram-Alpha has already demonstrated that computer programming can return knowledge instead of just references.

Which means, of course, that in the very near future, algorithmic search engines will cease to exist, shut down by a bigger, smarter, tougher dealer—the intelligent search agent. Who will understand what you want and deliver it. And no Faro dealing SEO will be able to manipulate that much more complex game. Honest, actual content will be the only game in town.

And the last SEO Cowboys will be shot down like dogs in the street.




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