Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

The Death of SEO?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

As the regular readers here know very well, I’m quite the techy and invest a lot of time in the social web and the web 2.0 landscape. Doing that, I realize we sometimes take things for granted, so to speak. We feel like YouTube or Facebook have been around for an eternity, but neither of them are more than 5 years old (or open to the public for that amount of time).

The web changes, fast and so does the world around us (which this video reminds us of). Many bloggers and web fanatics, see search engine optimization (SEO) as something holy. If you just figure out the right keywords, manipulate your site’s content in such a way so that the search spiders will crawl your site and give you high traffic rankings, then you’ll be successful.

One of the most important ways in which Google gives page rankings, is links! If your content is linked to often, then it’s worth more than content that is not talked about a lot. To Google, the only content more valuable than that is the content whose publishers will pay for to promote it. Basically, Google assumes that your content is worth talking about, based on the links. The problem that arises now however, is that Google’s becoming less and less able to track the links coming from the most valuable conversations: those on social networks.

Earlier I mentioned Facebook. If you click a link on Facebook, it sends you to the page with a nice and shiny Facebook bar above it. On Facebook a link to this post would look something like this:

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=123091020346&h=ukq9m&u=L423Y&ref=mf

Instead of like this: http://www.basbasbas.com/blog/2009/07/20/the-death-of-seo/

Popular social bookmarking service Digg also does something similar. Actually, they’re worse, because Digg is actually hijacking traffic.

Probably the most common SEO killer is the Short URL. Services like TinyURL, Bit.ly, is.gd and tr.im make URLs shorter so they fit into the 140 characters that Twitter offers, or just so that long and ugly URLs look more elegant or are easier to paste somewhere (sometimes email clients tend to mess up really long URLs).

Where will this lead?

  • Google’s PageRank algorhithm depends on determining what’s worth talking about.
  • Google tracks this by the number of incoming links and their weight.
  • Short URLs are becoming increasingly popular, making it increasingly difficult for Google to track what’s worth talking about.
  • As Google starts having trouble determining what’s worth talking about, people will start using other ways to search for relevant content.

Half the time I’m looking for something, I use Twitter’s search engine. Why? Well, it’s time relevant, personal, let’s you interact with those that share the content and it can reveal trends. Twitter’s engine is still a bit basic and I expect to see some marvellous services that will start rivalling Google in the coming years. OneRiot could be such an engine. Maybe it will be Friendfeed if they reach critical mass so that Friendfeed will not be just for techies anymore.

What do you think? Will social networks mean the death of SEO as we know it? What is SEO anno 2009 and what will it be five years from now? What role will social media play in this?

Share this story on Twitter or Facebook! Here’s the short URL: http://bit.ly/QJ4u0

So long, and thanks for all the drops! (8 Reasons to Quit Entrecard)

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

I am leaving Entrecard. For a while now, I’ve been thinking about it and recent events have made the decision all the more easier. I’ve turned off advertising on my blog. When my last ad finishes, on the 16th, the widget goes. Until that time I’m still returning drops.

Entrecard is a social network for bloggers who can drop by each others’ blogs and earn credits in return. With these credits, they can advertise on each others blogs. A nice system, but in the end it’s not worth it for me.

8 Reasons to Quit Entrecard

If you’re a blogger using Entrecard, don’t take any of the following points personal. If any of them insult you, please keep reading on until the end of this article.

  1. Poorly invested time. Unless you’re on a very fast connection, it’s going to take you a considerable amount of time per day to get the best out of Entrecard. To get the best out of it, 300 drops per day is a must and its results are spectacular then. However, your time is better invested in discovering and commenting on relevant blogs, using Twitter and more actively engaging the blogosphere, because…
  2. Entrecard traffic has low value. Much of the traffic generated through Entrecard just inflates your statistics and increases your bounce rate. Many people just “drop and run”, as it’s dubbed in the Entrecard community. In the end, the traffic has more value than that of most social bookmarking services, but is for the most part still of low value.
  3. Bad quality blogs. I’ve had it with low quality blogs. There are too many of them. Poorly written content, grammar and spelling mistakes all over the place, lots of sponsored posts, bad designs. Stay away from me.
  4. Non-interesting blogs. I suppose making a blog about your cats is fun, and I’m sure it’s fun for many others to read it, but I’m simply not your target group. You don’t need me on your blog and I don’t want to be there to be honest. There are many other types of blogs I am not interested in that I had to visit because of returning ‘drops’.
  5. I don’t care about your ‘hubby‘. Dear Stay/Work At Home Mom (SAHM/WAHM) bloggers, please erase this word out of your vocabulary. If I see it one more time I will puke. Never thought this word would end up on my own blog. Refering to your spouse like this in every one of your blog posts is like two ugly people making out right in front of me. My stomach cannot help but revolt. Sorry. I guess Entrecard has brought me to your blog, but I doubt you really want someone like me there.
  6. Linkback building obsession. My God, is there an immense obsession with getting linked back on Entrecard. It’s good to get links back to your blog, because it helps to build your status in search engines. Google Bombs are proof of this. Entrecard is a BAD place to build your linkback. Firstly, you want to get linked back from blogs and sites that are relevant to your site. I don’t need topdropper links back to my page from blogs about cars.
    Secondly, I don’t want to give “link juice” out to unrelated blogs. It’s unfair to the related, relevant or highly interesting blogs that I link to. More about this on SeoBlogr. I read a better article about it recently, found it via Entrecard, but forgot to bookmark it. Doh! :-( So stop caring about your Google PageRank (PR) people, I have zero PR and I get a LOT of search engine traffic. Start worrying about writing good content, writing some linkbait and having high keyword density (but not too high or you’ll get flagged as spam ;-) ).
  7. The captain is drunk. I’ve put a lot of energy into the community on the Entrecard ship and we’ve sailed far and become friends, but the captain has been making poor choices and I suspect he’s incapable of taking this censorship much further. I love the community on board, but I’m getting off before we hit an iceberg. Graham, the owner of Entrecard, is childish and yesterday banned one of Entrecard’s top users. As you can see in the comments, many people are outraged. I think this was the final proof of Graham’s immaturity and incapacity to make the right decisions at the right time. Although Turnip‘s tweet wasn’t a great show of maturity either. ;-) While Graham is saying the negative publicity is only good for Entrecard, his poor leadership is not and new and current members will soon realize that.
  8. (more…)


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