The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
So close to Christmas and the end of 2014 many websites have been inviting us to contribute tidbits to articles about how SEO will change in 2015 and what businesses can do to be ready. These fluff posts are fun, and they’re always an easy way to earn a link for websites like ours, but we should also exercise some caution when reading these posts.
SEO hasn’t changed a ton in the five years that I’ve been running Image Freedom. There have been websites caught doing shady things, even SEOs blacklisted by Google for such tactics, but the very basic “SEO 101″ details very rarely change. Matt Cutts from Google would tell you that Google wants you to make the internet a better place, and that is certainly a very “Google PR” way of saying it but he’s not that far off.
This week a Google update to their Local Search Results has caused quite a flutter. The Google Pigeon update has had a very visible impact on local map rankings. Some businesses who weren’t provided with local results, such as ourselves in the SEO industry, suddenly have a “7 pack” of map results again, while industries like realtors find themselves with all of their local results completely removed from Google’s first page.
According to an article on Search Engine Land, Google has stated that they will not be making an announcement about this “Pigeon” update and that the name “Pigeon” was created because Google has not selected a name internally like they did in the past with Google Penguin or Panda. This may be because they wanted this to go under the radar, but I’m not sure how you can go under the radar when you’re impacting so many results.
I can’t bring myself to watch the VMAs (even though I would have loved to see Macklemore clean house with two awards) but it didn’t really matter did it? Suddenly more important than Batfleck, no one can hide from twenty year old Miley Cyrus doing things to a foam finger I don’t think you can even find on those dark parts of the internet we try not to talk about.
You’re going to laugh, but I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to SEO in Miley’s outrageous attempt at grabbing attention: she’s trying too hard, and people can tell. I get phone calls from companies that want to “partner” with us with their new startup product, or they want us to blog about them, or they want us to outsource our work to them, but in all of these outreach attempts they’re clearly ‘twerkin too hard, and it shows.
I’m not a fan of CSI, but it’s not hard to pick up a common thread from shows like that: “follow the money”. When the wife suddenly inherits millions after her husband dies? Yep, maybe she’s a suspect. Sadly, it’s the same with marketing, money is the motivator.
Enter #GoogleGate, an incident this week where Martin McDonald caught a “Google AdWords Rep”, that didn’t realize he was still being recorded via voicemail, ranting and swearing because his account didn’t upgrade a feature through him. The rep goes on to say that now he will have to pitch sitelinks and call extensions, which are more profitable ways of getting search users to click on a paid ad instead of clicking an organic result.
We’re pretty big fans of Dave Ramsey around here. Andrew and I just a few weeks back hit Austin for the EntreLeadership 1-Day event taught by Dave Ramsey and Chris Hogan. We even lucked out and got to sit at Dave’s table at lunch, which was a pretty rare chance to pick his brain (and barely let finish his food, sorry Dave!).
Fast forward to this past Friday, I’m sitting at a stop light at San Pedro and Basse, and Dave is on the radio doing a special EntreLeadership special to celebrate the final day of their EntreLeadership Master Series week long look behind the Ramsey curtain.
One of the questions Dave answered really hit close to home and I wanted to share it with you as I feel like it echoes a lot of the frustration we experience cleaning up the messes of inexperienced marketers. Like he says, anyone that can spell Twitter suddenly considers themselves an expert, and that can be really dangerous if you aren’t careful about who you partner with, be it internet marketing, advertising, or social media.