Is Google Instant the End of SEO?

It seems each time Google comes out with a new improvement to searching the news and bloggers start writing about how it is the death of SEO; for instance  according to Steve Rubel, Google Instantmeans the end of SEO.

Meanwhile in reality with each improvement to Google’s search system SEO becomes even MORE important!  Google Instant is no different.  It benefits searchers by bringing up relevant sites for a term before the user finishes typing.  This to me just speaks ‘Challenge’ and I love it.  A challenge to make sure that when the first few letters of a keyword or parts of a key term are written that my site will come up in those results.

I can see challenges for both SEO and Paid search for Google in the future.  As sites try to improve their SERPs to do better in the new Google Instant world so will Paid Search advertising costs go up as site owners scramble to utilize Google Adwords for better placement during SEO development.  This will drive up costs and well Google will become the winner.

Sleazy Marketers using Google Sponsored Ads

This is this kind of thing that gives search marketing a bad name – Sleazy Marketers Game Google’s Sponsored Ads – and turns my stomach.

But this isn’t this really a Google Adwords issue? There are editorial guidelines in place to keep things like this from happening so why weren’t they being enforced? If the guidelines were being enforced as rigorously as they were in the past these ads never would have made it ‘Live’ on the search listings.

When an ad is built in the Google Adwords system there is a short period of time where the editorial process takes place to make sure the ad meets the standards. This used to take a hours or even a full day, now it takes minutes and the ads aren’t always as scrupulously watched as they were when it was actual humans looking at the ads every day.

Back years ago you couldn’t use a brand key term anywhere in your keywords or Ads unless it was your actual brand. But that standard was removed to make it more ‘competitive’ but it looks like unscrupulous and unethical companies are seeing how they can exploit this now. Is it time for Google Adwords to bring back their more stringent editorial guidelines and start enforcing them again?

To protect not only the Google users but also the Google Brand. So many see Google as a ‘trusted’ source and when things like this pop up it takes away that trust. Maybe the staff at Google needs to read “Trust Agents”….psst Chris can you spare some copies for them??

Landing Page Bloopers and Best Practices

I’ve harped on the issue in the past, PPC ads that go to landing pages that make no sense or are horrible for the user.  Ion Interactive had a webinar today entitled “Landing Page Bloopers and Best Practices” which illustrated this point very well.  The number of these mis-matched PPC ad to the landing page is even more prevalent then I thought.  It seems to cross all kinds of companies from baby clothes retailers to marketing software companies large and small.

Serious bloopers include:

  • Sending users to an error page
  • Sending users to the home page
  • Sending users to a page that has nothing to do with the product or service in the Ad.
  • Ad info not matching the landing page information
  • No calls to action
  • Making users ‘search’ or click too many times to get to the item or service in the Ad.
  • Ad text mentions a promotion that does not appear on the landing page.
  • Information overload – Too much information without a call to action.

Keyword Mapping Bogus of Useful?

I’ve never ever used keyword mapping of a site before.  I have always found to be a sure way to become a spammer.  I believe that the content should speak for itself, you build the content for the audience and the spiders will index it appropriately if the page is optimized well.

During a recent site redesign I voiced my concerns over the fact that the site was going to have a lot of SEO difficulty due to lack of text.  I’ve run analytics on the new site and found that we have a problem I’ve never had before…Keyword density is TOO high!  Reason, there isn’t enough text on the site and the major keywords are used a great deal in what little is actually there.

It is totally normal for SEO to fluctuate right after a site redesign.  When you redesign your site the spiders look it over and re-evaluate and you basically need to watch for about 6 weeks for the actual changes to occur.   The fact that in the redesign we changed strategy from having only one product to having two and are now trying to optimize to both is another matter.  Those new pages of content take time to become indexed and to make their way into the SERPs.

I keep harping on them that Content is needed.  More content…they build more multimedia, webcasts, videos, FLASH etc….  We need text, we need information that will be useful to the user and get the search engines indexing those pages for the key terms we want.

I’ve always been careful not build a site around ‘keywords’ but around the needs of the audience.  So I have Audited the site and put together a list of pages I think we really need to expand the content on and other pages I think should be built.  Next is to look over information we have from current users and see what else we can build.

And so coincidentally I see in my facebook a post from Rob Curley, an Audience development God… reminding me of the 5 P’s that Drive Traffic!

Rob Curleys 5 Ps to Drive Traffic
Rob Curley's 5 P's to Drive Traffic

When all else fails…check with your social network 🙂

Hello world!

I thought I would begin my new year’s resolution a little early this year.  I have blogged before but always for other sites never for my myself.  As you can see I do have a LiveJournal but that is more for communicating with ‘friends’.  This, however, is to be a more professional blog for me to share my thoughts and information.