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Are The "experts" Finally Catching On?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 chrishirst


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Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:16 AM




a new paradigm of SEO is evolving that is less about keywords and more about concepts and topics.



So, hands up everyone who hasn't known that has been the "new paradigm" for about fifteen years or so!


Maybe they need the differences between optimum and optimised explaining to them.

#2 qwerty


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Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

The challenge now (and it has been for years, but I think now it's more important) is to convince the people who know just enough to be dangerous what we should be stressing. I had a big, important meeting with some higher-ups at my company last week, and my immediate boss didn't want me to talk about much more than how we're going to target specific keywords. The phrase "things, not strings" was out of bounds for this discussion, so I'm going to have to come up with a cunning plan to sneak these ideas into people's heads.

#3 Jill


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Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:34 AM



Are The "experts" Finally Catching On?



Yes. Which is why I knew my work in SEO was done. 

#4 qwerty


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Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:43 AM

I have to admit it, I have not known about the "new paradigm" for 15 years. For one thing, I've only been doing this stuff for 14 years :)


But when I started, it was definitely about ranking for specific keywords for me. I understood that the best long-term strategy for accomplishing that was by creating great content and a great user experience, but I definitely had a list of queries I wanted to show up for.


I don't know exactly when I evolved beyond that, but I do recall being flabbergasted when I read that people were actually creating content specifically optimized to target particular long-tail queries. I'd always believed that the long-tail, by definition, was the countless queries that you were going to get traffic from without trying -- that if you published good content (optimized for the head and torso terms you were after) it was automatically going to be relevant to lots of long-tail searches. The thought that people would create a page just for one or two of those countless searches was (and is) crazy.

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#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:13 AM

I don't think they are really catching on to anything other than the latest buzzwords.

Everyone is now a "content marketer" (link builder) focusing on "topics" (groups of keyword permutations) and explaining Google Hummingbird (aka dredging up semantic search myths again).

They are still sending out rogue crawlers to trawl Websites for backlinks and "competitive analysis"; they are still looking for "guest posting" opportunities; they are still plotting social media manipulation. As someone who has done it both ways, I know the difference between formulaic manipulation and honest-to-goodness "publish what you care about" and most of it just rings hollow.

Here is a sample list of recent topics from Search Engine Land:
  • 2014 SEO Roadmap: Adopting Semantic Markup
  • Hummingbird In The Trenches: A Canary In The Coal Mine
  • How Google Plus Profiles & Pages Gain Search Authority
  • Should Subject Experience Optimization Be The New Definition Of SEO?
  • If Link Building Really Is Dead, What Do We Do Now?
  • 3 Ways Competitive Analysis Can Help You Boost Rankings & Get Great Content Ideas
There are certainly plenty of other articles that strike me as being pretty good. In an ever-changing landscape where new technologies, platforms, and features emerge almost every month it's good to see so much analysis and helpful explanations.

But the search for manipulation in search continues because people seem to think optimization is more about gaining an advantage and less about achieving best possible performance; the two are completely distinct, different concepts.

The optimal strategy and solution may NOT provide you with any advantage over a competitor. To compete is okay. To seek an advantage by finding loopholes in the system, that just sets the environment up for another wave of updates and penalties.

We are maybe halfway through the SERP wars. There's at least another 10-15 years of industry shakeout left to go through.
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