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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Google Killed the SEO Star

Yes, Google killed the SEO star. Sing along:
In my mind and in my browser bar,
We can't redirect we've gone too far,
Universal search came and broke your heart,
Put the blame on Mayer
You are an SEO star
You are an SEO star
Google killed the SEO star.
(If you're too young to understand the reference, see here.) Did Google just kill SEO? Or, did it suddenly create brand new opportunities for SEO specialists? John Andrews thinks so: "What does it mean for search marketers and SEO's? More business, of course. More specialization, as well." Sahar Sarid suggests Map Engine Optimization (MEO) as a subset of SEO (See my previous post, 3 Steps for Inclusion in the New Google Plus Box, which is related to MEO).

I think universal search creates more of an opportunity for PPC specialists than SEO specialists. As Google search results fluctuate and change more frequently, the paid ads (AdWords) will actually become more "steady" than the SERPs. Regarding the fluctuation of Google SERPs, Steve Rubel notes:
What you might have missed, however, from the official word is this nugget. The giant web index that some 60% of online world uses to search is now assembled in real time. This means your search results could change frequently depending on the daily impact of live web content.
This sounds quite a bit like Technorati's notion of "Live Web" results. Perhaps "Google Killed the Technorati Star" would have been an equally apt title for this post. Then again, Technorati's managed to survive even after Google launched their own blog search and then incorporated those results into core search results. I wouldn't count Dave Sifry out just yet.

There were a couple of items from the universal search press release that I think are worth noting. First:
Google is also in the process of deploying a new technical infrastructure that will enable the search engine to handle the computationally intensive tasks required to produce universal search results. The company is also releasing the first stage of an upgraded ranking mechanism that automatically and objectively compares different types of information. As always, Google™ search results are ranked automatically by algorithms to deliver the best results to users anywhere in the world.
Since the AdWords ads are a "type of information" I wonder if we'll eventually see inline ads? The sponsored ads at the top (up to 3 are shown) are already inline, in a sense. With the switch from blue to yellow, those ads blend in more with the core search results. Will the Google algorithms eventually decide that a PPC ad is more relevant than other forms of information and insert an ad in the middle of a page? After all, Google distributes PPC ads via domain parking. Those pages are often 100% ads. No, I don't think Google should treat ads like content. I'm just pointing out that they already do. But, Google is not search engine spam, right?

The second item I found interesting from the press release relates to the context of search keywords. This aspect of universal search might prove the most useful:
New dynamically generated navigation links have been added above the search results to suggest additional information that is relevant to a user's query. For example, a search for "python" will now generate links to Google Blog Search™, Google Book Search™, Google Groups™, and Google Code™, to let the user know there is additional information on his or her query in each of those areas. As a result, users can find a wider array of information on their topic, including data types they might not have initially considered.
Webmasters who rely too much on traffic from Google will likely be rather worried with the universal search changes. The Google Webmaster Central Blog was quick to offer the same, generic advice they always provide: "create valuable, unique content that is exactly what searchers are looking for." Yep, Google killed the SEO star. Sing along...

Apogee Tags (tags for SEM stars - geez, now I'm humming Moby's "We Are All Made of Stars"): , , , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger merjoem32 said...

Interesting post. I am new to Internet marketing but I can tell that your info and views are useful. I am still unfamiliar with universal searches but the links you offer ill help me fan a better understanding.

Wed May 23, 02:49:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you wish you improve your knowledge of "internet marketing", simply sell your soul.
or, more easily, you can just flush it down the toiler

Wed Jul 23, 09:27:00 AM EDT  

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