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Will There Be An Seo Crash ...
Posted 08 May 2005 - 01:59 PM
I was just wondering what other SEMs think about this? Do you see an SEO Crash similar to the dot com crash? Yes, it's great for now, and we're all riding a nice big wave, but is this wave going to hit shore - and when?
My take is that SEO may be a dying art in the next 2-3 years (just a hunch from suffering the dot com bust), but that PPC will be steady for years to come with different manifestations along the way.
I welcome your thoughts.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:13 PM
Basic SEO is not rocket science. It is the practice of good, fundamental Web design with the goal of establishing relevance through on-page and off-page factors and with the goal of establishing useful, productive relationships with other Web sites (including but not limited to directories and search engines).
Some people actually speak of "Web site promotion" rather than "search engine optimization". From that perspective, maybe terminology will change, but I think there will be a need for people who know how to promote Web sites for a very long time.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:15 PM
I think I'd have to agree with that.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:51 PM
SEO as a part of all tools to drive meaningful traffic (=potential buyers) will remain but I foresee a shift towards a broader approach.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 05:18 PM
I've personally been hit by so much click fraud that my PPC spend has been scaled back considerably in the last 6 months or so. Not just on one site or one market, but across dozens of sites and markets. This is click fraud that I can all but prove, but none of the PPC providers want to see my evidence. Maybe half of the time they issue a credit after I raise a red flag, and that's just not good enough IMHO. I'm too frugal to keep throwing money away, even when my PPC campaigns as a whole are still very profitable.
In my mind that's like paying several thousand dollars for a multi-page spread in some popular magazine, and the mag never actually gets published. I'll deal with it on my own terms since they don't want to look at my evidence.
As far as traditional SEO goes, and as mentioned above, some SEO's who push ranking for ranking's sake may take a hit in the next few years as clients become more educated and start looking at Real Results (eg sales increases) instead of the status of ranking well. But those folks have been around too long already as it is. So it's time for them to either shape up or get shipped out.
I honestly don't see true SEO/SEM that focuses on the right things ever going by the wayside. No more so than Advertising Agencies have been "hurt" by the Internet becoming such an every day medium, as some predicted might happen back in the 90's.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 06:10 PM
The majority of SEOs aren't in this situation, so I don't see a comparison. We offer value - we improve people's sites and increase their income by increasing their sales.
It would be nice to think that the shonkies, ala TP, would pop, as they generally don't offer any value to their client!
Posted 08 May 2005 - 08:07 PM
The proclaimers of doom usually see their branch dying, rather than the whole tree.
That said, how many SEOs there are in the longer term, and whether they remain Bedroom enterprises or become swallowed up by larger agencies, remains to be seen.
IMHO, SEO is here to stay, but what that actullay means, i.e. whether an SEO is expected to have a mix of skills and the structure of their business, is likely to be quite different to what we see today.
So while the dot com bust still hangs over many people (myself included, who had the misfortune to miss ti all by about 3 months), I can't see the same fate befalling SEO, mostly because I don't think we have reached the same dizzying heights
Posted 09 May 2005 - 12:53 AM
I agree with ProjectPHP in that some forms of SEO practise may not exist in the future, but the fact that TV commercials from the 1950's are completely different from those today doesn't mean TV advertising died - it just evolved.
Posted 09 May 2005 - 08:23 AM
The PPC companies, who will definitely see some volatility. Just look at the stock charts of GOOG vs. LOOK to see that playing out today.
The advertisers. A couple hundred thousand businesses are using PPC now, and only a fraction of those advertisers are using it well. It will be interesting to see how growth in this segment effects the industry.
The intermediaries. This includes keyword research, campaign setup, tracking campaign success, etc. Some of this type of work will move toward the PPC programs, or more technically savy ad management companies.
SEO, in my opinion, will become SERP consulting. The results that end up on that page will come from MANY sources, and a good consultant will help their clients gain as much visibility as possible on the page.
Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:12 AM
Hmmmm... I needed a new title for my business card.
CEO and SERPent
Posted 09 May 2005 - 10:06 AM
Ed, I agree completely.
My gut tells me that at some point PPC campaign management will become a lot more of a consultants role too. With the way things are today, the possibly definitely exists that those who specialize in PPC marketing consultancy will be pushed into detecting, combatting and resolving click fraud.
It's just too much of a huge issue potentially.
I freely admit that I'm a small fry in the grand scheme of things. However being a techno-geek I capture and track absolutely everything. Far more than the average person does. When I finally got off of my lazy bum and looked at the real details several months ago (IP, OS info, Browser info and even started setting cookies with very specific identifier information) I was able to identify PPC ad spends in the mid five figure range that were stolen from me by obvious click fraud.
And these are non-competitive arenas. I would hate to look at really competitive markets.
That the PPC providers do not want to even look at that data I collected was troubling to say the least. It's not my fault if my tracking is better than theirs.
Posted 09 May 2005 - 01:26 PM
Yes. In the dot-com crash all the stupid business models were weeded out. Right now the SEO industry is highly fragmented and has hundreds of incompetent and/or thieving providers. Over time these will be pushed out by competent providers. Also, as the industry matures, I would anticipate consolidation. Ten years from now there won't be nearly as many 1-person operations as there are now.
Posted 10 May 2005 - 02:42 PM
Robert Carlson (IBM) [about search at SEM 2005]
"All those who attempt to predict the future are fools, prophets or wannabees."
Did anyone see the dot com crash coming? No. Was it predictable? So is anything with hindsight.
Will SEO crash? Yes, of course it will, why not? But out of the ashes shall rise a much better model.
Posted 10 May 2005 - 03:13 PM
Umm...I think MANY saw it coming and many predicted it. No one knew exactly when it would happen, but there was no question that it would.
Posted 10 May 2005 - 03:57 PM
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