Tonight I attended my first DigiExNI event having missed the first one because Build Conf was on, it was held at Morrison’s bar in Belfast. By all accounts the first event was well received so I was keen to try and catch one, the fact that the speaker tonight was my boss and buddy Barry Adams SEO extraordinaire sealed the deal that I should go.
Barry spoke about what he thought was in store for the future of the SEO industry and had some pretty good insights such as;
- Google has yet to answer one of the core questions of search, “Why do people click on something”. They are trying to solve this with Google+
- Facebook has solved the above question and is poised to be able to offer a search experience that could rival Google’s
- The Semantic Web is important and only going to get moreso
- Google is not your friend.
- If more and more content is stored in silos (inside of applications, for example) users are going to have to start searching in multiple ways, which is obviously bad for users.
When asked if he had any advice for people in business he said “Get educated, Don’t rely on people like me to tell you what to do”, an excellent take away from the evening.
All in all I thought it was an excellent event, a great talk and some excellent networking opportunities. I look forward to attending more.
In certain circles this is probably common knowledge, but my mind has been blown away by the fact that you can browse to a site just the once and google will remember and potentially favour that site in future results.
I was chatting to Barry Adams today about how different country specific google pages list results depending on if you are visiting the site from inside the country versus outside. So if I visit google.fr whilst sitting in Belfast do I get a different experience than if I was visiting from say Paris.
An interesting use case appeared to crop up where if you search for our company – Pierce Communications on google.com we rank top, which is odd considering there are other US based companies called Pierce Communications. Initially we thought it was because Google was remembering our searches, so I tried on a different browser and Barry asked some US friends of his to google the same.
Initially it looked like we were indeed top, but later we found out that the person involved was signed into google+ at the time and had visited the pierce site before.
For better or for worse Google attempts to match the sites it thinks you personally want to see instead of giving you the more natural order that a complete new comer would get.
This raises all sorts of questions, but the one thing that is bothering me the most is now how crucial that first contact with a potential site user is, if you can get someone to your site at least once, there is a chance it will affect how often they will see your website in the future in search results.
By virtue of the fact you are reading this means the next time you type in something totally unrelated to this article there is a chance my site will appear higher in your rankings (thanks, by the way!)
There used to be this notion that traffic from things like delicious wasn’t valued because you would get the spike and nothing more would come of it, but now could this mean that if you can get those people onto your site the once they are more likely to visit it again at a later date?
I would love to know your thoughts on this.
Short Link: http://bit.ly/rx2AsD
Hacker News Link: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3357730
There has been a bit of a fuss made about this new google search (which you can access
here (the link appears to be broken)) on various SEO blogs by people who are worried their rankings are going to go out the window and people are going to have to totally rethink everything they ever thought about SEO.
I honestly think people need to get over this one. Stop worrying about your rankings for one second and play with the sandbox version of this new search – it is bloody awesome. Google have delivered an almighty blow to the other search engines. What’s that live, you are changing your name to bing and making your site look cute? Nice, well we are going to improve on our already superior algorithm to totally blow performance benchmarks out the window.
Now maybe I am looking on the bright side because so far all my sites seem to have more or less stayed put for the searches I care about, but I like to think there is something else in me that means I am more than happy for Google to make these changes, and that is that I am a lover of the internet. I spend a stupid amount of time surfing these tubes and anything that can be done to improve my experience is a good thing.