Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Traffick - Internet Search Enlightenment: Yahoo's Slider Makes Commercial vs. Informational Dichotomy Overt

Traffick - Internet Search Enlightenment: Yahoo's Slider Makes Commercial vs. Informational Dichotomy Overt: "The other important implication of a world where searchers see vastly different results depending on their own personalized algorithmic recipes, of course, is that search engine optimizers and especially hard-core search engine spammers can't reverse-engineer 'the algo'. It becomes harder to make generalized claims about 'what search engines like.' That would mean search marketing would really begin to be about deep marketing strategy, not just B.S. game-playing. A few really good cloakers might clean up, though. More likely, SEO's would claim that the best strategy would be to create multiple site types and multiple page types in order to do their job properly."

Since SES in March 2004, I've been thinking that SEO, going forward, is going to be more about personalizing, localizing, optimizing for personalized results to those market segments you want to reach; and not that much about Search Results ranking.

Some people think SEO, as a vocation, is dying...people like Ken Evoy, that want to sell you his SiteSell solution and who argue that Search Engines are getting smarter, can detect deliberate optimization, or make it irrelvent. SEO is not's changing. Here's an example:

Old/Current Way:
One of my house plans clients had a site that really is a disaster for Search Optimization, and had next to no rankings for any terms important to the those looking for house plans on any major search engine. In the old days, my job would have been to just figure out what's wrong with the site, direct them to make the changes and measure the results using a ranking program.

New Way:
Sure, the site is a disaster for search, but it's not about search at all; it's about "branding" and the poor technology the site owner employed. Taking that aside, we look at shopping cart fullfillment orders and see that this architects' site sells 300% less than another competitor who sells thier plans on a joint site they both belong to. On further investigation, the "SEO" person (me) finds out that on the house plan details page, the first house plans architect fails to write any copy to explain why the searcher should buy the plan, fails to put the best, most colorful drawing of the plan, fails to name the plan with a romantic name, and so on. The actual plan detail page was the same. The best designer on the site made 3 times more sales and money by simply doing these things. Tell the client this information, get them to change, and get good analytics to look at the results, AND also watch the search engine rankings.

See the difference? SEO is not's getting much better, and merging with marketing and analytics. For those who can walk this talk...there will be plenty of work long into the future..

For anyone that wants to know the details of this case, please contact me at

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