Swanson - 1:38 am on Oct 20, 2011 (gmt 0)
Just as a side note I was at the biggest affiliate conference in the UK this week where we got an insight from the biggest names in SEO and make no mistake there is a change in what they are talking about and it feels like there is a movement away from Google.
When you have these guys saying - ok, to get traffic from Google you need to be a brand, do all the things brands do and then there is no guarantee that it will work.
And then they say, they are re-positioning themselves to work outside of Google - i.e. social media, non-google traffic. One even said - they see a future without Google and how to look at working a business that doesn't need them.
You know there is now a massive disconnect and basically Google is no longer a viable source of traffic for these agencies who have a directive to enhance these brand sites.
There was little talk about Google in almost all sessions (including merchants and affiliates) - and open hostility from a certain major SEO in the one Google session with Pierre Far and Kaspar Szymanski, and a session after that in particular about the https masking of keyword referrals.
It's changed. And not just for affiliates - it's what these agencies are doing for major brands thats changed.
Google is in dodgy territory right now - don't get on the wrong side of the advocates that created their popularity.
The major agencies have the power to bypass Google and leverage facebook and other social media completely - and that includes Adwords. It only takes all of them to recommend campaigns totally outside of the Google infrastructure and they will become marginalised as fast as they have grown.
It's already starting to happen - there is only so much advertising budget and it is so seductive for brands to not only get new customers but at the same time create expanded communities on facebook to re-market to - Google just does not offer that. Agencies are now learning the platform and working out how to deliver immediate ROI and also create large facebook and twitter followings as well as increased email subscribers.