Friday, May 29, 2015

Are the SEO agencies ready to transform into Relationship Marketing Firms?

What? Why the hell should SEO agencies do that? A quick look at the road ahead for SEO will tell you why it is a survival of the “most adaptable”?

SEO as we know is so different from the one we knew 5 years back and it will be totally different 5 years from now. How exactly it will shape up depends on God and Google! But what we do know are certain trends that will go on to form the edifice of tomorrow’s SEO. So what are they

    1. Google will be your personal search Tailor: Google has already recognized that every person on earth is different and thus needs a tailor-made search result. The always-logged-in devices will keep pouring in megabytes of data about every person, so Google can customize to its heart’s content. 
    2. Internet should be and will be about PEOPLE: And not machines, crawlers or submitted links. A bond has to be established between people and Institutions for content to gain some authority.

It is keeping in view of the above 2 factors ( and several others), that I feel SEO agencies should now look at transforming into Relationship Building organizations. The sub questions for this are,
1. Can the guy who submits the links actually call-up, chat or even meet the other guy?
2. Can your content writer actually blog and build a real-world relationship with other bloggers?
3. Can you wear a creative hat and come up with awesome content ideas that fuel the brand itself and not just a targeted keyword link?
4. Are you (or your SEO agency) willing to meet the real customer and understand his language and preferences instead of sitting endlessly on keyword mining apps?

And the last one is like the image alt text for the main question….
5. Are PR Firms capable of delivering more effective SEO results for a brand?

Well, PR firms are most naturally positioned to build relationships. But are they ready to add all the technical capabilities required of an SEO agency?

We truly are living in exciting times!  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Content Discovery and the SEO Conundrum

About 2 years back, the trend of calling SEO as DEAD started. Many blogs made nice page views with catchy headlines. But now the scenario is quite different. The SEO experts and researchers are genuinely confused on the future course of their profession. 

There is almost a vertical split among the practitioners. SEO Agencies are already beginning to see varied results for their optimization efforts. Apart from the Hummingbird update, there are at least 3 key factors affecting discoverability of content on search engines and elsewhere on the net. 

1. You are a digital native...already : This is a "No-Login, No-Logout" age. People end up clocking their search preferences and even buying patterns with Google. This makes it easy for the search giant to personalize SERPs, thus negating any effect the agency guy might have on the buyer's search patterns. 

2. You are in a hurry to eat:) Or drink Or Shop or Rest. Enough has been said about mobile search. One thing we may forget
to remember is that people have different search patterns on mobile  for the same set of services compared to desktop / tablet search. The fact that you are "on the go" dictates you to finish the search and find the results faster. 

3. You like that App in the corner of your smart phone::) Restaurants, Taxis, Hotel Reviews, Caller Details, you name it and there is an App for it. It's like saying "good-bye Google, see you soon". And you do see Google soon, for it is too big to ignore. But the discovery of content is now no longer the monopoly of Google. All the more pressure on Google to ensure SERPs stay relevant to the user's context of search.

SEO will not die ( not so soon), but will evolve to become something that the agencies are not inherently capable of delivering with their existing tools.