Posts Tagged ‘seo history

20
Jun
11

ICANN Haz (dot)Cheezburger

ICANN haz .cheezburger?

ICANN haz .cheezburger?

ICANN, the dark and diabolical secret society that controls all internet names and naming from their Lovecraftian lair  somewhere deep beneath the Matterhorn, has unleashed a new terror upon us: unlimited third-level domain extensions.

You didn’t think .com, .net, .edu, and .gov were all there is, did you? Surely, you’re already using all the new top-level domains they’ve introduced since 2004, right? Of course, you regularly find yourself typing blahdeblah.us, blahdeblah.jobs, blahdeblah.ru, and blahdeblah.asia, don’t you. Well, if you love those extensions, you are gonna swoon over this next round:  Unlimited. Third-level. Domains.

That’s right, kiddies. ICANN haz .cheezburger!

Or .coke, .ibm, .google, .nytimes, .wendys, .you-name-it. All you need is a $185,000 application fee, and proof that your new .domain is useful, necessary, and yours by right.

Since ICANN is a “non-profit” (if “self-funded”) operation, we’re sure they initiated this earth-shaking plan purely out of concern that the internet was growing short of usable territory, and NOT because every time they approve a new set of third-levels, every company in t he world feels obligated to snatch up all the new variations of their brand name. And not because every Fortune 5000 company in the world is going to immediately pony up the $185k for their new vanity plates.

They did it for us.

In case you wonder, here’s what this latest hold-your-breath-ICANN-announcement really means.

Nothing.

Seriously, nobody cares. Because nobody types URLs into the browser address box anymore. Nobody goes anywhere on the net that didn’t start with a link from somewhere else: a search result, a bookmark, a link in an article, a link forwarded in a joke email by a goofball co-worker. The biggest impact unlimited domains is likely to have is a surge in new SEO company marketing materials.

ICANN haz nap now?

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.