Google Theming, Gigablast Custom Topic Search, Death of SEO?

My Way or the Highway...
Dave Hawley (who is on my ignore list) recently created a thread to prove that signature links do not count. Given limited sets of data and a desired goal one can, after all, prove just about anything.

DaveN cites the thread stating that he thinks all links will help some, but that he is seeing more theming at play in Google today.

Questionable:
When you know people manipulate information systems and you need to research you should become a Skeptical Business Searcher

New Library:
Internet Archive's Text Archive project will challenge the recently launched Google library.

Search a Bunch of Sites:
GigaBlast allows you to create a custom topic search engine which searches up to two hundred of your favorite domains.

Taking Bets:
Sebastian reviews 2004, and bets that SEO firms will drop like flies in 2005. I have grown to know a good number of SEOs over the past year or so (and chat with many daily). Many come from bright business backgrounds, but it also seems to me that many of us also had exceptionally low points in our lives and looked to the web for something to do when other things did not make sense (I am definentally part of that second group).

I would not bet against the resiliency of internet marketers, especially with how fast and cheaply the web provides feedback. No matter how much search advances people will still make money off SEO services. Some SEOs will always be able to manipulate most any search results, while others will move on to other business roles.

I think niche SEO services (knowing everything about an industry or link building or directory registration or keyword research), more sophisticated SEO services (those who can instantly rank anything or know how to get around any technical problem), and more personalized SEO services (working exceptionally closely with just a few clients) will spread.

General broad SEO services for some random set fee to tons of clients will be a business model that provides less and less value as time passes and search advances.

More clients means more data, but understanding social networks and finding the key things that various web based businesses need to do to succeed longterm is not something that can scale out to work well with thousands and thousands of clients. Most base level salary workers can not do the deep analytical stuff and there is only so much that you can automate or mass produce before it loses value.

Some of the best SEOs work for a limited number of clients and share profit with companies that they help make successful. In the long run it is much more valuable to forge a few strong relationships than to spread too thin. From my experiences usually those who demand the cheapest rates also are the most likely to be bad customers in many many many other areas.

If customer SEO fees and service structure are not customly designed around what their sites need then they are:

  • paying for a package they may or may not need; &

  • probably are not getting the individual attention their business needs to succeed longterm.

Even selling things like directory registration or consulting I have fees listed on my website, but in my mind the numbers are arbitrary guidelines to qualify prospects...really nothing more. In my opinion no legit service price can be given for full quality SEO services without first extensively chatting and feeling each other out.

SEO in and of itself will not go away anytime soon, though many of the people doing it may create interesting new business models and ideas or have job positions that go by some other official name.

Then again I could be wrong ;-)

Do you think SEO is going away anytime soon? How will it evolve? Will customers learn to pay in jars of peanut butter?

Content SEO:
When I moved my other site the DNS propigated through amazingly fast (before I even had the site up - oops). My site was not up when Google crawled it and it still ranked at #6 for search engine marketing. Also here is the cache copy of the page. For competitive terms the actual page copy does not usually matter that much IMHO.

Published: December 22, 2004

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Comments

January 5, 2005 - 1:17am

I reckon the technical side will be taken over more and more by machines.

That leaves the artistic side - copywriting, graphic design, creatives in advertising, human psychology in marketing, etc.

SEO is too much a small part of a wider whole. Very few people will be able to survive on SEO alone IMO. The bills have to be paid, and if you're not SEOing there need to be other aspects of marketing to bring the money in.

I reckon there will be a very few SEO ers working for themselves, and plenty more lodged away in niches in larger marketing organisations.

December 22, 2004 - 5:38pm

Aaron,

I agree it's foolish to bet against SEOs -- of course, as algorithms improve, it gets harder and harder to "game". But there will always be demand for internet marketing, and people will always find a way.

I also agree that as the SEO market develops more, the successful client-based SEOs will tend to move into niche services like building. I myself would like to get more into client-based work, but I've found that my own sites leave little time for side projects :)

Cheers

December 22, 2004 - 5:42pm

>I've found that my own sites leave little time for side projects

As long as you like the topics of your sites you are essentially being paid to learn about things that interest you...which is generally something better than you would get from most clients sites so in the long run you may be better off with few clients. Right now I only have a few.

Kirk VandenBerghe
December 22, 2004 - 9:56pm

Loved how on your...

http://www.search-marketing.info/directories/directories.htm

...page you "buffered" your service offering with:

warning: sales pitch ... end sales pitch

Very cool.

Aloha,
Kirk

December 28, 2004 - 10:49am

Yeah SEO Will stay no matter how much the algorithms improve. For instance there are ten sites offering extensively great information. How will they rank? The SE optimizer decides this, not the search engines. SEO and search engines will go hand in hand forever :)

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