• sharithurow

    Hi Eric-

    One of my favorite poem’s is Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Nice touch.

    I recently read an academic study in http://www.emeraldinsight.com that showed word-of-mouth (WOM) was still more powerful than social media. I’ll have to look up the title and author and post it.

    I have noticed the “click the first link” for well over 10 years. People click on a link because it’s there. Searchers use it as a frame of reference quite often (whether it’s an ad or not). I don’t know if Google or other search engine engineers understand that. People don’t always click because it’s the “best”. Sometimes they click because it’s there. I wrote about that a long time ago, too.

    Your bittersweet vindication? I hear you. So many SEO professionals are onto the next flavor-of-the-month strategy (build brand, keywords are dead, links are dead).

    Headlines/headings, titles, metadata, etc. consist of words. Keywords are not going to disappear. They are still important for humans and technology for establishing aboutness, context, and information scent.

    Link development, even though it has been massively abused, is still a form of validation when it is used in the right context. My 2 cents.

  • http://www.temerity.com.au/ Elliot Dean

    I think reviews WILL continue to have relevance in search engine rankings. Not based on the specific feedback in each review but the overall quantity of reviews. If one business is getting far more (natural) reviews than another business Google will see this as an indicator of having more authority in their industry. And I see no reason for this to change.

  • Ben Heligman

    Nice overview. Have to say I prefer the “One Tab” chrome extension to “Export Tabs”. I have a whole list of useful Chrome extensions for SEO here in a Google Doc – Let me know what you think! –> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq6InZKzr6tfdEhNRmhIUXFHVkhIWklLb2RESlZwdnc&usp=sharing

  • http://www.22by4.com/ Sundeep Reddy

    Most painful thing is you have to bid for your own brand keyword even though you are top in the organic listings, or else your competitor will bid for it and as you rightly mentioned in this article majority of people don’t have time to scroll down and search for the most relevant page in the SERP they just click on the first link they see… #EvilSideofGoogle :/

  • https://www.eledentalwebsites.com/ Cody Cummins-Prentice

    What a breath of fresh air….a post on SEL that offers a tremendous amount of value!

    In relation to a couple of statements about Google eliminating links as a ranking factor (and your son’s search query), I’d love to get your thoughts on how Google finds the happy medium with linkbuilding. I really think its going to boil down to ranking a single web page for exactly one topic that is extremely relevant to the content, and then relating the links surrounding the one topic back to it. I think Hummingbird was a step in the right direction, but a possible update to the algorithm to look at contextual links (even more so)? That has to be the future of link building, NOT Quantity, not so much even quality, but contextual (extremely relevant) to a single given topic or keyword. And when I say contextual, I mean that intent is built into this. Reading further into relating user intent back to the page that is providing the link, relative to the focus of the page that is being linked to (if that makes sense)…

  • http://www.ericward.com/lmp Eric Ward

    Rotate your tablet from portrait to landscape and it’s even worse. On my iPad a google search for any competitive term in landscape mode does not have one single “organic” link visible unless I scroll. The entire first screen is paid options only. And this is just fine with me, because the reality is its googles search engine and they have every right to show whatever they want, just as we have every right to use another search engine, or, heaven forbid, actually look beyond that first screen. The takeaway here for marketers is that no matter how good your SEO, your organic links are getting farther and farther away from the searcher. For a generic non local search term, I see the day coming when position #1 in the organics is not going to be worth the investment it took to get you there. In short: seek alternative non-search traffic tactics, or go out of business.

  • http://www.ericward.com/lmp Eric Ward

    Hi Shari – my life has pretty much been roads not taken, with potholes and toll booths along the way. I hope my current road doesn’t end like Thelma and Louise’s did.

  • http://www.22by4.com/ Sundeep Reddy

    Very true! Never keep all your eggs in a single basket.

  • Juliette

    I agree, especially when the service has to come to you. Say you just moved to town or into your first house and a pipe is gushing water. You have to allow a “stranger” to “invade” your personal space. Reviews matter.

  • peabody3000

    great info but why eat at chik-fil-A?? i think the boycotts are very well deserved