The SEO Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com The SEO Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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Be Kindly Advised: This presentation features an above-average quantity of Rand’s personal opinion & perception

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Major Shifts in SEO (of which most folks are aware) 5

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1) Far More Diversity of Result Types

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2) Cannibalization of Traffic-Referring Queries

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3) Google’s Backtracking on Transparency Under the Guise of Privacy Via Not Provided Count

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4) Google+’s Overwhelming Influence

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5) The Long Awaited Dominance & Bias of Search Results Toward Brands is Here Via Mozcast and Techcrunch Growth of ~27% over the last 2 years

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Subtle Changes to SEO (that not everyone might know) 4

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“Custom content spending on production and distribution rose to 43.9 billion in 2013… …New results on “social content” and “SEO content” formats shows 81% of respondents are creating content explicitly for use in social media.” - Content Council Survey 2013 2013 actually had 11 months of YoY growth vs. 2012 (though none of these were higher than +12%) 1) Content Growth Exceeding Query Growth Search stats via Comscore and AJ Kohn on G+; Content stats via Content Council; Ad cycle & content graphic via Rand’s Blog

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2) On-Page’s Impact Growing After Years of Shrinking Instead of carefully keyword-matched content from sites like eHow & Journeymart, Hummingbird has helped Google “intent-match” and return more valuable (though less classically “SEO’d”) pages

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3) A New Philosophy/PR Approach to Spam 1997-2011: Spam is our problem 2012-2014: Spam is your problem

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4) Introduction & Acceptance of Machine Learning to Search Quality Algorithms Search quality filters Sites G don’t like Any & every signal New Algo Signals that correlate w/ bad sites Quora thread with Edmond Lau’s response here

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Ways the Industry is Taking These Changes 3

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Anger, Distrust, Resentment, & Retaliation Young fools. Only now do you see the folly of retweeting “sick burns” on Matt Cutts as your primary mode of defense.

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Modification of Strategic Approaches Many of Dr. Pete’s weekends were burned to bring us this information.

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Reject and (or) Ignore Hey, if I want to buy some links, your job is to shut up and sell me some $%&# links.

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Remarkable Changes in SEO from 1997-2014 2

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The Evolution of Technical SEO What’s insane is that this same pattern holds true for every facet of SEO, not just the technical side. Whoa.

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LinkedIn Members w/ “SEO” in their Job Title LinkedIn Members w/ “SEO” in their Job Description 1997-2010: “I’m an SEO” 2011-Present: “SEO is a part of my job.” Via LinkedIn and Moz’s 2013 Industry Survey

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Quiet Revolution 1

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Increasing Complexity + Perception of Accessibility = Continued Lack of Respect, Influence, and Resources Search Growth Leveling Off + Google Taking Many Queries for Themselves + Increasing Competition = A Need to Find New / More Creative Opportunities New Spam Tactics + Brand Biasing + Broader Algorithms = Decline of Classic SEO (aka keywords & links)

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3 of My Big Takeaways

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We Need to Create Better Expectations (or our teams/clients will continue to demand the impossible) #1

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Early Adopters of New Channels or Tactics Will Earn Outsize Returns (more than ever, it’s paying off to be on the bleeding edge) #2

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Those Who Aren’t Building Brands Will Struggle Mightily in the Years Ahead (The “find & abuse exploits” era of SEO is ending. The only logical strategy today is to be so good that Google looks bad taking you out) #3

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The SEO Revolution Will Not Be Televised Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com