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High Rankings Question of the Week

October 5, 2011

To go along with this week's article on how traditional SEO just doesn't cut it anymore, I asked my social media followers:

++How has SEO changed for you over the years?++

Here's how they responded:


NickLeRoy: It's no longer just making "on-page" changes and submitting to a trillion directories. It now DEMANDS creativity.

SEOMalc: It has become a lot more creative and brand focused. No more cookie cutters.

Amazeinc: New tools + new media, but the process of creating unique quality content geared towards your target market hasn't changed a lot.

: It's become more and more reliant on natural social signals; brands have the upper hand!

TheRealBoydo: It's less about fixing dodgy SEO work and more about fixing dodgy development work & ill-conceived marketing plans.

Neyne: It got older.

NateSchubert: Over the years I've relied less on "the experts" and more on my own instincts, and I've been more successful as a result. =)

ShaMenz: It has become more personal, inspirational, allows me to use my own flair, creativity & smarts. No longer just optimization by rote.

TrafficFundi: In the last 3 years it's opened my eyes to more facets of business than any of the last 12 working years combined.

Casieg: No more submitting to 1,000 link directories!!! :)

RankMagic: I pay a lot more attention to User Experience issues.

Marie_Haynes: A few years ago I had never heard of SEO. Now I'm insanely obsessed with it. I guess that's a change. :)  

jcolman: For me, SEO has become more about the user's experience and their engagement than ever before.

scottclark: The client must be more involved.  Content, link building & social signals require their help. Before a lot could be done "in the lab."

danaditomaso: Less quantitative, more qualitative.


Tim Tillman: Everything that is new and cutting edge becomes commonplace all too quickly and we must continually adapt and change. As soon as an SEO change is made, your competition will copy it and adapt to it – nothing is unique. The game can sometimes be extremely difficult to play, but there is no other choice if you truly want to compete.

R.t. Freeman: SEO has turned me into a slave to Google. SEO has me spending hours writing three paragraphs for a page...not too dense with keywords but not too sparse, either. SEO has forced me to be relevant, whether I want to or not. SEO has me stumbling, tweeting and pleading for "likes" for my Facebook business pages.


Everett Sizemore: I find myself focusing less and less on the minutiae and more on the bigger picture, which includes PR, design and usability. Sometimes I'm not sure if that's because my role has changed as I've grown in my career, or if SEO has changed in response to necessity. The little details still matter to some extent, but it's difficult to justify 10 hours spent tweaking meta descriptions when you can move rankings more in half the time with a few well-placed articles in major media outlets or thought-leading blogs. [Everett had more to say.]

Deric Loh: What has changed is the way we initially thought about just the static blue links, but now on how do we extend that to other evolving channels.

Thomas Rosenstand: Pretty simple, it is more a 360 degree task with CRO (conversion rate optimization), etc. now – and less a matter of a few links and a little keyword stuffing.

Ammon Johns: The way that SEO has changed, for me personally, over the years is partly in the tools. I don't mean automated submission tools, of course. Nor do I mean any software that counts my keyword uses on a page. By tools I mean things such as blogging platforms that enable any company to quickly and cheaply add a CMS for more rapid publishing without demands on webmaster time (once set up). I mean tools such as the social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Also, tools such as Google Analytics. [Ammon had more to say as well.]

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 Melt du Plooy said:
SEO has indeed changed and while I do not believe SEO is at all dead (*smile), I believe that doing SEO as it used to be is long dead. Jill, your other article ( says it all. These days, for me at least, it is all about the user experience and how well you get the user to engage with your brand or product through your site. However, I am also very much "old school" and do prefer that my house (my site or client's site) is still in good working order so apart from the onsite SEO elements, I do ensure that quality content exists on the site or at least is being generated on an ongoing basis. If I am a smart SEO, I will do that plus use all the other methods such as Paid Search and Social channels to make my site visible while also ensuring that I focus on optimizing for leads and conversions. The work of the "SEO expert" is never done and has evolved into more than just on-page elements. There's a lot more out there to consider now...