Even the most stoic SEO experts seem a little panicked by all the maneuvering Google has been making with its much vaunted index and algorithm combination.
With Hummingbird, Google has probably worked its way through most of the cute names in the animal kingdom. They also seemed to have finally registered some level of alarm bells with the SEO hierarchy.
For instance, Danny Sullivan fired off a premature and somewhat nervy post that Google had extended its not provided policy to Webmaster Tools (This post has since been replaced) and Rand Fishkin of Moz wrote a post detailing the first Existential Threat to SEO.
What is the world (SEO) coming to? You may ask.
What drives the current situation? – Google’s Mission
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Short and sweet right? Without a doubt they are good at targeting and achieving this singular mission. Their current status proves that. Of course, along the way, Google makes money.
Solid adherence to their mission has allowed them to make boat loads of money.
Unlike their social media counterparts at Facebook and Twitter, they had no problem being profitable. So, think of it from their perspective; do they really need these hangers on that don’t share their vision making money from Google’s grand plan?
Big Data spells the end of SEO as we know it
Early on, Google needed the SEO world to propagate their grand mission.
A year ago, we went some way to explain the relationship with the Google Posse. Google needed the Posse to get the information out about how to detail your information online, so it could easily be understood without giving so much away that everyone knew what was really going on.
So, Google had a situation where everybody was working very hard to understand how to present their online data to Google. The upside was that the internet was conforming to the Google definition of how it needed to be for maximum efficiency of their search engine. The downside, for Google in all this, was that some people would be able to gain an advantage by working more diligently, intelligently or deceptively at the processes that made for a better rank.
Big data means Google doesn’t need its Posse anymore.
The New SEO
One day soon, it might not be called SEO anymore because it will have changed so much.
Google has moved on to a new, more effective and controllable partner: “Big Data”.
They don’t need help getting their message out there, because they configure and confirm the data themselves. For instance, Freebase is a Google data aggregator that allows data to be mined. Freebase is constructed in such a way that it enables semantic search. An example of this is Knowledge Graph, which Google promotes as: able to answer questions you never thought to ask.
There is not a place in this semantic environment for a bunch of yahoos (SEO types) running around providing their own insight to promote their business or a clients business. Beyond this single change let’s consider the following changes Google has made:
- Personalized search results
- Not provided
- Google +
- Social signals
- Significant index and algorithm changes
When you add it up; the old SEO matrix has been significantly degraded. There are numerous offerings of the new SEO methodology for 2013 I challenge you to find two the same.
- Moz SEO Ranking Factors 2013
- SearchMetrics SEO Ranking Factors 2013
- MarketingProfs SEO Ranking Factors 2013
Yes — they all consider pretty much the same factors. But, in general, no two factors have the same value in any report.
That seems to me exactly what Google is aiming for, there is no particular way to gain an advantage you just have to do what you do very well.
At Turn The Page, we have always maintained the premise of keeping our growth efforts for clients to genuine and unique building of the online character of the business. This is done using local professional people who, as part of our culture, are dedicated to our clients’ success.
I know that was a self-serving paragraph, and I use it only to highlight that our path has meant we have not fallen foul of the direction Google has taken.