E-marketing Strategy: SEO Is Dead. CDO Rules
To all you publishers who are struggling and stressing about catching up on the latest techniques for search engine optimization (SEO) in the hopes that your books will become more easily discovered by searchers:
Take a breath.
SEO is dead.
We've entered the days beyond SEO.
We're now playing a new game.
Since the earliest days of search (remember AltaVista?!), search engines have been locked in a battle with Web developers for control over their search engine results pages—or SERPs. In order for search engines to have any credibility at all, it is critical that they maintain control over their SERPs. If control is lost to the manipulations of wily Web developers, search engines would only produce lists of the most-optimized pages for any search, not the most-relevant.
Here's the quick backstory. In the very beginning of search, search engines ranked Web pages by analyzing a page's content. This worked for a while. But, when Web developers discovered that they could push their pages higher up in the SERPs, and therefore drastically increase their traffic, just by editing a few keywords on their pages, SERPs were suddenly filled with false results—Web development company pages appearing at the top of the millions of searches for "Britney Spears," for example. This approach to ranking content quickly flopped.
Google exploded onto the scene because it recognized that the ability of Web developers to directly manipulate SERPs was an inherent flaw in the system, and the main contributor to poor search result relevance. It designed its new search engine—and improved search, and revolutionized the industry—by tossing this model out the window. Google, instead, ranked a page based not on what it contained, but on the importance, relevance and number of external sites linking to that page. This flip hindered the ability of Web developers to manipulate the search results—as they could no longer edit their own sites to manipulate the search engine. This made Google's results far superior to all other engines—a blow from which the other engines are still trying to recover.