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Learn from the Herd SearchLove Boston 2014 Matthew Brown – @MatthewJBrown
Prologue: I’m proud to be a part of the SEO herd Forgive me for any trash talk!
Credit: Dvidshub How we see ourselves
Credit: Dvidshub Closer to the truth?
Information Cascades An information (or informational) cascade occurs when people observe the actions of others and then make the same choice that the others have made, independently of their own private information signals. [wikipedia]
Exhibit A: PageRank Sculpting!
Information cascades = Jackpot for Google
It’s just SEOs, Matt, and penalties
Don’t believe the hype
SEO “truth”: Brand will save us!
Reality: You can still get hit, and for good
UK Brands are the latest victims - http://bit.ly/1gRRJI5
SEO “truth”: On-page is dead Are we seeing decreasing importance of on-page factors?
Or maybe it’s just moved on from strings
SEO “truth”: Authorship is dead
Reality: I want my ‘SEO Guide’ ranking!
What about my beautiful metrics?
SEO “truth”: Using markup is suicide
Reality: Google don’t need ya This is just a straight-up scrape of allmenus.com
It’s even happening to your friends ? SEO “truth”: Google’s real estate grabs are always bad
SEO “truth”: Any SERP visibility is good
Reality: Don’t forget about searcher intent!
SEO “truths” are why I yell (and drink)
But I’ve got 26,000 customers to serve What have I done?
What the heck are SEOs up to? Credit: Jouni Seppanen
Industry Survey Data
Industry trends: SEO not dead, big push to Content
Content! Less focus on links
Adoption of Content marketing tools Google is the top three for content marketing tools?
We hear: Content performance is hard to measure “We use GWT, Excel, Screaming Frog and hack it all together in one big spreadsheet.”
Not provided: Scattering the herd
Moz usage data* *obviously, correlation != causation
Rankings: Consistent, but no huge growth Consistent rankings usage since Not Provided. Why?
“Rankings will be dead within one year” “I still report rankings, but as a composite metric. Not individual rankings.” “Rankings are part of my reporting, but near the back now” We hear: Rankings are less important
We hear: SERP visibility is hard to measure #3 organic ranking. How much traffic is that worth?
OSE usage has risen 50% in the last two years Just Discovered Links has big growth within OSE
Fresh Web Explorer & Followerwonk growing FWE usage is up 40% and Followerwonk 17% in the last 12 months
Hypothesis: The herd is just starting to break away from ‘Old Testament’ SEO
Who’s leading us? (my SEO Academy Award)
SEO of the Year* *award has no cash value
BILL ‘m-effin’ SEBALD! (@BillSebald)
For testing old assumptions - http://bit.ly/MemcTW
And hacking future SERPs- http://bit.ly/1cgMoaE He’s IN!
Hack together your SEO experiments: http://bit.ly/1bdY7ZH Test these on your own sites!
Hack your visibility - Google ved parameter: http://bit.ly/1jLKqVr http://bit.ly/1cs4Wll
Hack your competition - Nerdy Data: http://nerdydata.com/
Hack your competitor’s strategy - Rival IQ: https://www.rivaliq.com/
My prediction for our future? PAIN.
Start thinking about your “Future SERPs”
Plan a ‘non-HTML’ SEO strategy KG cards for Google Glass - http://bit.ly/1lsjG9V
Early adoption: Your only option New tech like JSON-LD for data markup - http://bit.ly/1k52cmx JSON-LD lets you send schema.org markup using JSON instead of HTML
If you haven’t started, you’re late Common crawl stats for Nov 2013 - http://bit.ly/1k7Nprm 585 million URLs have structured data now, up almost 50% from last year. Schema.org is half of the total.
Get Freebase dialed in: YESTERDAY
Roll your own Knowledge Graph - http://bit.ly/1fGAjgM
It’s all about Google+ Google is rolling in identity layers for everything
The best part: We’re in the driver’s seat!
Thanks for letting me rant!