It felt like only yesterday when SEO gurus ran the search world.
There they were, charging hundreds an hour while they poked around on their computers, analyzing keywords, calculating algorithms and directing cheaper labor overseas to conduct their link building projects — all with the belief that these tactics were the only thing needed to gain top rankings on Google.
Once upon a time, that's all that was needed to rank high on Google.
Flash forward to today and now SEO "gurus" who once killed it on the search scene, are scratching their heads and screaming at their offshore partners.
News flash: your tactics are now considered spam.
It could be said that social media hit mainstream about four years ago. Around that same time, all hell broke lose. Facebook's flood gates opened to everyone; YouTube was crawling to the top of Alexa; and, everyone wanted to know what Ashton Kutcher ate for lunch on Twitter. Once everyone else started to care about what everyone else was saying, search started to listen.
Of course search engines started listening to the massive amounts of conversations and user generated content created online, which is called real-time search.
That content has answers and we're all just searching for answers anyway aren't we? Who better to trust than Kim Kardashian or your best best friend from high school on Facebook? (slight sarcasm).
Nevertheless, social is now important for search marketing and the agenda of Search Engine Strategies (SES) SF 2010 is a reflection of that.
SES is a global conference held annually in cities around the world. Less than a month away is SES San Francisco, which starts August 16th. While previous years conferences have focused primarily on SEO, SEM, PPC strategies for search, the focus more recently has shifted to social media. But why?
Social media is playing a huge factor at SES this year, according to Byron Gordon from SEO-PR.com. This has nothing to do with social media as a buzz word or a fad. It has to do with the undeniable fact that search has changed, dramatically and quickly. One minute you are showing up on the first page for keywords with their queries, the next minute, Google ignores you as spammer. Why? Too much SEO and too little SMO (social media optimization).
SEO and Social now need to work together. An SEO practitioner can no longer apply the same tactics to be a top rank without integration of social media as well. Further, the way people search, make decisions, and what they click on has change. In fact, there is very little discussion of paid search at this years SES San Francisco event.
There are some great topics and speakers to be discussed at the event. Agenda topics range from Introductory SEO or Social Media to in depth topics like Augmented Reality and Facebook.
What I do not see covered in depth however, is social search — a new way people are starting to search and make decisions about what to click on and even buy.
I would expect to see a full discussion period blocked out for this topic. While I do see mentions of the changes to search, etc. the face of social search in itself deserves more consideration at a search engine strategies conference.
Aren't the new strategies involving social to optimize search essentially what people expert to learn from attending? What do you think?