How to survive the Death of SEO.
2010/11/08 2 Comments
After SEO’s terminal coma in 2009 we carefully watched how marketers, advertisers and corporations coped with their loss.
Some moved to Social Media Optimization or Social Content Optimization while others moved towards ‘community’ management which is interesting as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn maimed independent communities before we started our SEO death watch.
New Community Rules
Community spaces have always been one of the best marketing investments any company could make by creating a space for people to share experiences, content, expertise and stories. Done well the community spaces were like a very cool house party where the host would decorate and offer the best drinks and finger foods to set the mood and the party goers would create the buzz. A great host couldn’t lose and at the next party there would be more people than space.
Some companies, like envious hosts, tried to copy successful communities but missed the ‘intangible’ values needed to make a party or a community successful–freedom and inspiration. Community by design rarely succeeds for one simple reason, it is meant to benefit the host rather than the attendee.
Communities are after all software applications and the ability to motivate people to create content by typing, editing and tagging is a difficult task. Design and venture capital is critcal but luck may be more important.
Did the SEO Eco-System Kill the Party?
The old SEO ‘eco-system’ included advertising agencies, SEO services consultants and various other brokers that re-intermediated internet transactions and profited handsomely from their ability to stand between buyers and sellers. Watching them adjust to the rise of ‘Social Media’ may help us determine how to align our products to people with content in this brave new world where people flit between Social Media software applications according to their own needs without heeding marketing messages or advertisers, old media or new.
Risk and Corporate Executives
Risk is a big problem for corporations who plan their work and work their plan and up until recently the ‘myth’ was that Social Media was a risk and mis-understood by corporate executives though in early 2009 marketing and advertising budgets were moving to Social Media faster than Amazon could acquire web sites to protect their sales volumes and SEO assets.
Diaper.com–How Low can SEO Go?
Diaper.com is Amazon’s latest acquisition, is it a sign of the times? It is interesting to note that diapers appear to be sold on Diaper.com rather than the diaper manufacturers and re-intermediation is profitable despite the internet myth to the contrary.
Community by Design
If you believe that corporate communities can compete with Twitter or Facebook or perhaps ‘shape’ how Social Media audiences see their value have a look at this;
We look forward to seeing if community by design will fare better than SEO though our experience is that it is difficult to influence the value communities place on content. This challenge is very clearly illustrated by watching how people change the words they use to describe questions or find answers while using search engines.
Even if your company built a ‘perfect’ website that described a perfect product the search engines would probably no longer rank your site highly on their SERP or search engine results pages after 90 days because the words used in search engines would no longer correspond to the content on your web site. SEO or search engine optimization and the mechanics of determining which sites rank highly would take over and drop the ranking of your site, if it ranked highly at all.
Resonance is Temporary
Twitter’s Resonance model is a bright light in the blight of internet spam and communities over-run by packs of network marketers re-selling Amazon product because it is resistant to spam and depends on trust even if temporary communities are created by followers or ‘likes’. The key element to resonance is its temporary nature and that a follower or like today is closely linked to a Tweet or content. The same people won’t have the same influence if the content changes tomorrow which means spam doesn’t stick.
Temporary communities mean that community by design doesn’t pay which is difficult for corporations and marketers alike but apparently good for community members as evidenced by Twitter’s meteoric global rise on the back of mobile phone technology.
Mobile Phones and Communities
Mobile phones present an interesting opportunity and threat to Social Media platforms and marketers alike as users won’t stand for hundreds of SEO results so we expect SEO to decrease in value as more people chose mobile phones as their interent and Social Media interface of choice. Communities may also be smaller by necessity as it is difficult to view large amounts of content and follow many people on a mobile interface.
Communities and Innovation
Crowd sourcing and X-prizes have been a boon to marketers and have leveraged the global reach of the internet to create huge values for corporate sponsors and stimulated future investments in the hundreds of millions of dollars by comporations like GE, CISCO, Nokia and others.
Community spaces created for innovation have been successful though they have not been communities by design.
Future Community Innovation
We are currently exploring the intersection of Resonance, Innovation and Communities and welcome inquiries from innovators who wish to explore the space.
Nick Trendov @SpeedSynch