Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why SEO is destined to change within the next 2 years

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has numerous techniques for getting URL's into the top spots at the different search engines.

  • Clean URL’s
  • Sitemap’s
  • Paid blogging
  • Link purchasing

SEO experts are starting to master the process. For example, in the past week several news stories have covered people poking fun at Google’s core algorithms publicly via their web trends service.

Social media optimization (SMO) is the first new kid on the block to emerge after SEO and it’s a set of methods for generating publicity through social media. These techniques are proving effective at driving traffic from sites like Digg.

The underlying link structure of the web is most likely not going to change anytime soon, but the engines that interpret them are evolving quickly and new dimensions to the internet are starting to emerge. The Social Graph is the best example in the past few years, but others are coming:

These alternative dimensions or indexes are creating buzz. Me.dium for example launched a search engine last week that leverages attention data to determine which pages should be indexed and in what order they should be displayed. The attention data replaces the need for a web crawler in Me.dium's case, which means the global link structure of the internet is less important.

Obviously for Me.dium to succeed it has to provide a method for SEO to exist. Software is all about information ecosystems. Ecosystems made Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Facebook and Google. If Me.dium is to succeed as a standalone brand it must find away to demonstrate its value to its customers and then create an ecosystem. Ecosystems also create viral loops or double viral loops. When this is accomplished the network is able to grow at an alarming rate.

What might Attention Data Search Optimization look like?

Attention Data Search Optimization (ADSO) is in its early days. I do not think anyone can predict what it will look like, but if I were to guess, I would suggest something similar to Google Adwords. The core algorithms of companies like Me.dium could be designed with dials that can be tweaked at run-time. These dials would enable an ADSO to increase the relevance of one URL over another in real-time.

A few possible ways this could be accomplished:

  • ADSO idea 1- use good old fashion money - An auction market is created and the highest bidders influence the results.
  • ADSO idea 2 use influence credits: Active participants of the system gets credits. The credits can be used to influence the weight of one URL over another in real-time.

What do you think ADSO might look like?

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