A week ago today I attended to September 2013 conference of Brighton SEO. I attended various presentations and took several opportunities to speak to many of the sponsors and stand holders. Much of the material presented was of high quality. Since then, I’ve spent a week mulling over much of what was presented and discussed and have finally organised my thoughts in a way that it is worth putting pen to paper. So to speak.
The broad consensus expressed at the conference was that SEO practise had changed radically since the spring 2013 conference. And that we were witnessing the end of old style SEO. A summary is as follows:
Negative Elements – Old SEO
These things are dead
- Orthodox link building led SEO
- Anchor text
- Poor quality content
- Article marketing
- Link buying – if not dead – much riskier than in the past
In essence Google are getting ever smarter at spotting spammy SEO and driving the websites that utlise spammy tactics from the top rankings.
Positive Elements – New SEO
These activities become more important:
- Strong branding
- Strong marketing programmes
- Building and managing technically sound websites
- The publication and distribution of unique and compelling content
- The ability to participate in dialogue with customers and other stakeholders
As a general consequence of the new environment many of the existing SEO agency business models are now defunct. The models deployed by many SEO agencies no longer work and could, in many case, actually be harmful to a client’s marketing prospects. Further, many SEO agency business models must be called into question. Who needs a link buying budget and someone to manage the link buying programme when the output will be worthless? What about the measuring and tracking software used to count and analyse inbound links of your own and competitor websites?
Following on from this, an SEO agency needs to look more like an advertising agency. Business strategy and branding require a different set of skills from raw link building.
I’ll be adding to this post of the next few days.