What do you think of when you think of online marketing? Blogs, Facebook, Advertising, SEO? The majority of online marketers will sell you on SEO plans. The idea is that search engine ranking is based on backlinks (links around the web referring back to your site) – and most search engine marketing is based on building links to refer back to your site, in an effort to increase your rankings in the search engine, and thus the amount of traffic you get. The sad news is that this approach is no longer effective.
Earlier this year (and into late last year) Google started implementing a series of changes to how it determines the value of a website related to a key phrase, and therefore how that site ranks within it’s search engine. The original design was great for determining how your interests relate to content – the problem was that it was easily exploitable. The second problem is that we have moved into a world where a link means nothing.
This is primarily due to the advent of the iPhone, the quick expansion of smartphones into our lives, and the level of interaction that individuals have in a social context online. Facebook – as well as other services like twitter – has dramatically changed how we interact on the Internet, how we treat content, and how one can determine the meaning and value of an individual website or piece of content.
The prime example of this is the “like.” No longer do people create links to indicate their interest, now they indicate what they like, and share what they find interesting. These are activities pushed forth by services like Facebook and Twitter (retweets, mentions, etc), and recently Google+.
The changes that have been happening over the last 6 months have turned Internet marketing on it’s head, and have put many of those “Internet marketers” who relied on so-called seo, out of business.
To counteract the increasing un-relevance of how search was conducted, Google pushed more towards a socially indicated calculation of interest. That is, if a website or piece of content is good, then people will indicate it is good, and will share it with other people. The Internet has gone from being created by webmasters and marketers, to being created by the users.
If you want to get yourself traffic in this day in age – if you want to rank in the search engines, get attention on social sites, etc – then you need to think in a much more overall general strategy. Stop thinking about SEO and keywords – stop trying to get that top ranking in Google.
The best strategy now is simply to make great, helpful content, and to spread that content everywhere.
This sounds like a lot of work – but to be straightforward, it’s far less work than the typical link building strategies. All you need to do is create amazing content – this can be articles, videos, podcasts, and things like info graphics.
As I have said before, the best thing you can do for your own market is to create great content and participate in it – this is now the only way to proceed. If you take any other strategy, then you are effectively burying yourself in a dead system.