The year is coming to an end and it’s time to start making your resolutions for 2011. Most people vow to spend more time with friends and family, start exercising more or improve online marketing performance. Okay, I might have snuck that last one in there, but wouldn’t you like to start off the New Year with a plan to increase ROI or save time and improve efficiency? Ann Donnelly of Search Engine Journal has written a post on the four things you need to do to improve online marketing performance in 2011. Finally, a New Year’s resolution we can stick to!
Michael Gray of Graywolf’s SEO Blog is proclaiming that Google, the Answer Engine will be the next step toward Google dominance…and a step closer to the SEO industry’s downfall. Throughout his article he asserts that Google is taking steps toward becoming a total answer machine instead of just an answer finder. For instance, he takes the fact that Google is already offering answers to questions in search queries (he uses the example query of “When is George Washington’s Birthday?”) to back up the claim that while it may not seem like much now, Google will eventually answer any question in a search query and effectively eliminate the need for SEO companies.
To continue the theme of Google’s Big Brother tendencies, Google has just hinted at its next big project: contextual discovery. As Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land reports, “contextual discovery” is essentially “Google results without the search.” With contextual discovery, pages show to users based on past search results and location-specific data, rather than anything the user actively types in. Think this sounds too science fictiony to be true? You may be surprised – Google’s scheduled this feature to be available next year.
Last week, Google and Bing confirmed what a lot of SEOs already suspected – links shared through Twitter and Facebook impact search engine optimization. Danny Dover at SEOmoz is conducting an informal experiment (with a good cause) to understand how Tweets influence search rankings and get SEOs started on using the information. Danny has two codes in his blog (one for Tweeting and one for linking) that he’s asking people to use while he tests traditional links and social media citations with two nearly identical pages and the same keyword phrase.
Ah, link building. If you’re like me, you have a love-hate relationship with this fabulous SEO strategy. As Justin Briggs of SEOmoz puts it, link building is one of the most effective SEO tactics but also one of the most difficult and time consuming. He offers nine tips to help you with link building. His #1 tip is to hide behind content strategies. However, he notes that if your number of links shoots up it might seem suspicious. He advises you launch content at the same time. If you need some link building tips, don’t just skim the titles of Briggs’s post; you have to read through them to get the golden nuggets of wisdom.
Abby is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.