It’s our opinion that the practice of SEO continues to evolve just as it has since attempting to gain high search results for keyphrases in the 1990’s on sites such as Alta Vista, Excite and Lycos. Unfortunately for SEO practitioners, especially those in small to mid sized markets like Sacramento, SEO is becoming SEM or Search Engine Marketing. This means that getting a high serch return on your keyword or phrase will have to be based on content of relevance and value to the subject matter. It’s already happened to some degree with, for example, the change in Google’s search algorithm in 2009 to not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking.
Organic search results are becoming more driven by relevant content, sharing, social media interaction and the credibility and influence of the author.
Recently, Apple released it’s voice recognition app, Siri. Siri does tasks and finds information on the iphone. It is only the first of such technologies that will allow us to find things and bypass search. [Read: How Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO in Entrepreneur.com and Siri: This Is the End of SEO as We Know It by Inc.com]. I’d add that this is especially true in smaller markets where there is less competition by volume for search results. And, in smaller markets, there are less business offeringings for legitimate digital, web and search services. The “grey hat” solo operators have a louder voice and can appear to have credibility. Unfortunately their services are typically not sustainable. Real relevance, the ability to be found online, points to having a great business model and being relentless about consistently improving your product or service offer. That’s what will win long-term in social media and search results.
Sacramento Social Media
Take for example the search phrase, Sacramento Social Media. the results are already driven largely by those that are an authority on the subject of Sacramento Social Media and that produce relevant conversation around the topic. The first two pages of Google search returns are dominated by the Sacramento Social Media Club and it’s events in Sacramento that educate and discuss Social media in Sacramento. News about Social Media in Sacramento occasionally falls on the page such as the recent article in the Sacramento Bee, “Eskaton launches social networking site for residents – Sacramento Business.” The remainder of the links in the page are largely Sacramento Social Media and SEO micro-businesses and training offerings that are “Working the phrase.” This means they are using various code or search engine optimization methods to achieve high search results other than quality content of value. Most of these kind of results are the very effort that Google, Bing and Yahoo are attempting to eliminate in lieu of social relevance and content value.
Are you getting great search results? Have you had a long-term sustained effort with a key-word or phrase? How did it relate to driving traffic to your website? Did you see a sales increase from the effort?
Have you had a good or a bad experience with a web, SEO or social media vendor in Sacramento?