Marketing InfographicsSearch Marketing

Building Authority for Search

I’ve been a long-time proponent of search engine optimization for quite some time, but my own experiences recently with Martech have honestly curbed my excitement. I used to think that SEO was the ideal means of growing traffic because it was something you could control. That’s true to an extent, but it can only take you as far as the volume of searches for a given topic. I found that once we reached the highest ranks, the results were often underwhelming. I’ve lost faith in Google’s exaggerated search volume numbers and I’ve lost faith in the effort required in order to rank better.

Does that mean I quit SEO? No. The first step I take with every customer is ensuring that their content is built on an optimized platform, that their themes are set up correctly, and they know the keywords and competition. What I’ve done is taken any additional effort and pushed it to to promotion rather than optimization. I’m not talking back-linking… which is honestly losing traction in the industry. I’m talking about promotion of fantastic content – with or without a link – through media and social channels.

A company can place hundreds of backlinks all year long and still not make it to a rank that drives any relevant traffic. However, if the company applied the same amount of effort in writing incredible content, promoting and pitching that content, we’re seeing incredible increases in the number of relevant visitors… and subsequent conversion rates as well. A more profound statement from me is this… I think search engine optimization is already a dying industry. If nothing else, its days are numbered.

This infographic from Vertical Measures speaks to the steps that firms take to build up sites’ authority. I’d encourage you to ignore the search engine part and simply work on building great content and promoting it through the channels they describe to build authority… with our without search!

building authority seo

Internet Marketing Infographic by Vertical Measures.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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    1. I recently read that less than 30 percent of companies actually have a blog (I think it may even be less). On the other end of the scale, about 70 percent of Fortune companies have a blog. Still tons of room for companies who can write great content to really make a difference in their bottom line.

  1. I used to write content for a business social network. The tech team wanted more SEO, more keywords (no, it was recent, but I know why you think that), more out of date attempts to fool search engines.

    My plan was to add new content 2-4 times each week, whether it was 300 words or 3000 words didn’t matter — all that mattered is that it was informed, relevant, and engaging. My plan was to put stuff out there that people would want to share. 

    Sad thing is that we were using a proprietary CMS, so we had no blog, any CMS changes I wanted were a development issue, and the site struggled to get any traction.
    Search Engine Optimization = Good
    Socially Engaged Organizations = Better

    I’m not surprised that so many companies don’t have blogs — their tech people are still living for search and fooling Google, when they should be looking at social as a way to engage their customers and clients.

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