Dear SEO’s I am not giving you a great piece of content (actually I’ve been trying that in the past and failed), instead I am asking you to take 5 minutes of your time to fill in a short survey (shut up and let me fill it already).
It is for a good cause; my thesis. After doing me a big favour by filling it in I promise to reward you with a completely SEO-unrelated, unexpected. mind-blowing gift.
What I’m looking into in my thesis is the unnatural proliferation of the premature “SEO is dead” predictions which are usually triggered by an Algorithm filter or pivot towards bad or poor quality practices.
My assumption is the genuine evolution of SEO is embracing more elaborate tactics granting higher quality work. Quality work can only be achieved by dedication and dedication means time. Easy time-saving tactics are indeed over, however, that doesn’t mean the end of a growing industry.
Consolidating our profession as one of quality producers is up to us. Choosing short-cuts is a very tempting option. Those who did it for a while are now paying the price for it.
Google tries to provide the most accurate answer that solves a question. And they are working in that direction.
A glimpse of that is the comparison of the number of Google updates per year with the intensity of search of terms related with quality. On the graph below we can see how Google re-educates SEOs. It is interesting to see how poor tactics such as link exchange or link directories have lost interest over the years and how Content Marketing is taking its place.
The numbers are clear; poor quality is losing ground and content marketing is replacing it. But what the future holds for our field is uncertain.
This is the second time I have come across a search which displayed big URLs. Environment: Chrome, incognito mode (private browser). They are almost as big as the titles are:
The first time I saw them it was a few weeks ago on Google.co.uk (and I got really excited, farewell my friends I’m the chosen one, I’m going on to a better place) today it was on Google.fr. I know, I’m aware that @jsilton was the first one to spot those URLS, and so far it is nothing but Google testing some display features. However the URLs found by @jsilton where the exact same size, the ones I hit today are at least one px smaller.
But wait a minute…
My feline instincts are telling me that this isn’t just a display test, and they are never wrong. An algorithm filter will come along. Just in case it’s the infamous winter pet that is coming along – lets just brace ourselves.
Untill now the title is the single biggest physical factor in SERPs, meaning it has more weight on CTR. We also know how important titles are in terms of On-Page factors for ranking. Descriptions are bigger in surface area but when taking URLs + Titles the areas are equally divided for each result.
Detecting over-stuffing and over-optimizing keyword-wise practices has been a battle for Google so far. I’m sure they are also aware of bad practices on EMDs. And we all have been wondering/complaining/moaning about the over-granted power of them. Those bigger URLs will concede EMD more value on CTR, therefore, at some point, their quality must increase.
Decreasing ranking power of EMD is a way of enhancing quality. As a user, I’m really fed up of always seeing 3 to 4 results on the first pages of poor quality sites that are boosted by EMD.
Is Google going to act on this in 2013?
We will always remember February 20 as the day when searching flowers on the Internet would never again be the same – there is no place for love gestures any more. Basically it was the day when Interflora vanished from Google SERPS (but they still let them spend a nice amount on paid).
EDIT: THEY ARE BACK, but weak.
I can’t and I don’t want to imagine how much money that represents. Also how many flowers were left to fade. But Google has spoken: “I’m the only one giving colour away here” - I can’t unveil the sources though.
What I will do is share my dramatic conclusions, I should probably rename the post to: what the interflora case taught me about SEO, but I’m already working on “what the Russian meteor taught me about SEO”.
“According to David Naylor, head of SEO marketing at Bronco, the disappearance of Interflora is likely to be the result of an aggressive advertorial-heavy campaign by the brand in the run up to Valentine’s Day” (Wired UK)
DRAMA 1: Advertorials were kicked back to where they belong: telling us either that 9 out of 10 dentists use that unflavoured toothpaste that turns yellow into white and grants 24 hours of complete protection and polar-icy fresh breath. Or alternatively revealing the upcoming future of high-tech laundry products by girls with pink or blue wigs. Write it down: in the future even girls will be bald.
DRAMA 2: Mums, don’t let your mum have a blog. But, if you do: don’t let her link to you. Who is Google’s mum!? It’s a Pizza fax delivery system that failed. Excessive pizza consumption is generally a symptom of lack of motherly care, therefore Google doesn’t care about mums. Sad : (
DRAMA 3: Saint Valentine’s is bullshit. It is just a worldwide commercial that fills the internet with poor quality content. Google hates it. Fact. Just for your own sake don’t be too aggressive on Valentine’s day, stay in, stay safe. Google also hates chocolate, they only eat pizza.
Thank you, you too.