August 13, 2007
Framingham, Mass. – It’s been four years since High Rankings®, a search marketing company that optimizes websites, bringing in more targeted traffic, conversions and sales, launched its insightful and popular High Rankings Forum. In that time, High Rankings Founder Jill Whalen has seen a marked change in the search engine and social media landscape. Among the changes: how online success is measured, the emergence of social media and blogs and the trend referred to as “link-baiting.”
A significant change is in the way success online is measured and monitored. “Really great web analytics software has been introduced in the last few years, including the free Google Analytics, and these have enabled the search marketing industry to measure the things that matter most,” said Whalen. “For example, traffic and conversions actually help a company’s bottom line, whereas up until recently companies tracked less important metrics such as where pages ranked in the search engines.”
In a recent informal poll on the High Rankings Forum site, a full 26 percent of respondents cited “How Online Success is Measured” as one of the top two changes in the past few years. The other significant change is “Social Media” which tied with “How Online Success is Measured” at 26 percent.
“The term ‘social media’ didn’t exist when we started the Forum four years ago, but its roots go back to the early days of the commercial Internet, with online social communities and chat rooms for virtually any topic you imagined,” said Whalen. “With the newer forms of social media, which we started commenting on back in early 2005, the stakes have changed from a business perspective. There is ample opportunity for online marketers and businesses to leverage social media, as well as blogs, to connect with target audiences who frequent these sites.”
An interesting change in search engine marketing is link baiting, which can be traced back to the 2002 – 2003 trend of viral marketing. “When done correctly, link baiting is when an organization posts something cool, quirky or attention-getting to their site as well as to social media sites, and then watches it gain popularity across the globe. We’ve seen it done effectively in a variety of industries and it can be very useful in an Internet marketer’s tool kit.”
In the Forum’s survey, link building campaigns received high score as something that has changed, from over six percent of respondents. Usability (13 percent), paid search (10 percent), search engine communication with search marketers (10 percent), and on-page strategies (3 percent) rounded out the other notable changes that have occurred since 2003.
The High Rankings Forum, which boasts more than 14,500 registered members and has recorded more than 256,000 posts, has active members on every continent and in the majority of the U.S. states. Its most popular topic is SEO Tips & Techniques, with other frequented topics that include: Search Engine Friendly Design & Usability, SEO No-Nos, Link Building, Technology and Coding, Keyword Research, Online Copywriting Techniques, Web Analytics and Indexing Problems, and more. Its Pub forum gets the second greatest number of views, which is a testament to the community aspect of the forum.
About High Rankings
High Rankings was founded in 1995 by Jill Whalen, a pioneer in search engine optimization. Today it has grown to be one of the pre-eminent SEO firms in the United States. Over the past 12 years, High Rankings has worked with hundreds of clients across more than 40 industries to enhance their online presence through proven and dynamic search marketing strategies that repeatedly lead to increased traffic, more conversions and enhanced sales.
For more information visit www.highrankings.com.
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