Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

January 29, 2007

Will SEO and Search Engines Change How The Web Works?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 9:02 am

http://frescohealth.com/ Way back in the day, SEO was easy. Search engines looked at something called META tags for keywords to determine what a website was about. This made it easy for webmasters to tell the search engines what their site dealt with. Unfortunately, it also made it easy for people to rank highly for any term they desired.

Those of you who searched the web in the 90’s will remeber porn sites showing up for stuff like “new car” – it was common.

Then came Google. Google revolutionized the industry by looking at links. Larry and Sergey theorized that if academic papers get more clout based on how many papers reference them, the web can work the same way too. After all, back then the web was just like a series of academic papers.

The SEO paradigm had shifted from on page optimization to off page factors – specifically links.

But now things are changing. Wikipedia is nofollowing links, big time bloggers like Robert Scoble are debating if they have a responsibility to link to others, and companies are selling links like crazy.

All of this makes me ask: will there come a time when it won’t be worth it to rank websites based on links? Are links going the way of the META tag? Has this point already happened? Are we close?

If so, what’s the next big discovery going to be? People say that Google is unbeatable; so much so that the term “Google Killer” is becoming a mock cliche. One of the easiest ways to make your business fail is to label it a “Google Killer”. But is that true?

Google came to power because they were the first to realize the paradigm shift – and they took advantage of it by building a useful product. The paradigm will undoubtedly shift again, but what to? Whoever figures that out stands to make a lot of money.

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