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Traditional SEO efforts approaching diminishing rate of return?

   
5:18 pm on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Ranking a new site organically at the #1 spot in Google has become relatively more time consuming than it was @ 5 years ago.

Whereas, investing in building a defensible traffic stream via Social Media is proving to be a very strong & viable alternative to the resources that earlier went into traditional SEO efforts ( particularly the link building part ).

Iím sure SEO+Social would be the best case traffic scenario for any site, but do you feel that, in view of the evolving the social nature of the web, organic SEO efforts are fast approaching point of diminishing rate of return?
7:10 am on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



For SEO as it is often practiced, I'd say yes - it has been a case of diminishing returns for several years. The days of "recipe" SEO are fading fast. However, SEO as an important factor in a multi-faceted marketing program, that has a long future.
12:05 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've only been in this game for two years - maybe I've missed some golden age of SEO or something.

But, my clients are still paying less per monitised user on SEO than PPC, affiliate marketing or traditional print or telesales. Social leads are about the same cost/profit ratio - but then social isn't suitible for every business. Some business' you just aren't interesting, or some industries would naturally gather too much negative feedback if they went public like that.

I've always been an advocate in the idea that SEO is best done as part of a larger advertising blitz. Other forms of PR, like social, can create links and create 'a buzz'. And besides, even if SEO is the best money making investment, if your core business model is good other forms of marketing are still going to make you money. Why would you limit yourself!?

Google Places. That's the big game changer for a lot of my clients. Not social.
1:01 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yes monkey, you missed it. Used to be you could ask for links, and great sites would give you links. And you could get a LOT of sites to do that. No more.

Prior to that, SEO's could make a change on a page, resubmit to Google, and in 10 minutes see their rankings change. Ah, the good old days.

SEO's not going anywhere anytime soon. Just the old school link building has lost it's lustre a bit - it's tougher to do than it was.

It's still comparatively easy though. I shudder to think what my business would be like if I had to market the way my competitors do that don't use the internet.
2:53 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have been noticing this over the past few years, SEO alone isnít enough anymore as mentioned there was a time when a well SEO page would be a given, but these days were not so lucky. Iíve all but given up on link building unless I can influence it naturally.

The Social phenomenon has a lot to do with it, recently I got in touch with a social site and put my product in front of 5000+ prequalified readers. Nothing I could do SEO wise could beat that.

I spend little time on traditional SEO these days, i still think well written optimized content, proper meta tags, alt tags etc go a long way but itís just a part of my good practice thoughts.

Traditional SEO has just become a part of a greater Marketing strategy.
3:25 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



The new SEOs will no longer be an direct influencers.

I.e. pay me and I'll build millions of backlinks, clean a few pages and bam you are there.

The new SEOs will be only advisers.

I.e. pay me I'll check your user experience, social connections, backlink structure and program. Here is what I recommend. Follow them to the T and you just might crack Page 1 rankings for week of Saturdays in July. Too bad you sell snow plows...
3:56 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The days of "recipe" SEO are fading fast.


That's news to me.

In my opinion, the recipe just keeps changing not fading.

A good cook knows how to adapt his recipe to the flavor of the crowd he's serving :)
5:44 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@mrguy I do agree, but don't you think that the Social media route is evolving to be strong alternative to the traditional SEO especially when it comes to "opportunity cost of traditional link building efforts"?

Being even in top 5 results on first page of SERP's is not enough these days. Sure, there's money in #1 & #2 positions, but at what cost? 1 year? 2 years? ( I'm talking about high competitive terms NOT local phrases. )

The reason I've started to reflect upon the opportunity cost of the Link Building part of the SEO equation is because I'm beginning to see equal success in customer acquisition via the social route.

And it seem to be evolving by the day in sharp contrast to the ranking efforts and being at mercy of Google!

I would like to know whether fellow webmasters think we would even be "manufacturing" link popularity in say 2015 like we do to a large extent currently?
7:58 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I would say its almost dead! All your hard work will be for nothing in the end. Google will bump you down in the SEPRs and replace your deserved positioning artificially with a big brand name corporation.
9:11 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Being even in top 5 results on first page of SERP's is not enough these days. Sure, there's money in #1 & #2 positions, but at what cost? 1 year? 2 years? ( I'm talking about high competitive terms NOT local phrases. )

The reason I've started to reflect upon the opportunity cost of the Link Building part of the SEO equation is because I'm beginning to see equal success in customer acquisition via the social route.


Agreed.

However a good recipe will use all the ingredients at it's disposal and include social media as well as links and other things.

You change the recipe as needed and add a dash of this or that when the flavor changes.

What it will do is hopefully get rid of those stupid companies that spam the universe offering front page google spots for 70 bucks a month.

A good cook is worth more than 70 bucks a month ;)
9:27 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's changing slower than people are suggesting, for many industries anyway. The social media aspect of it is still pretty useless other than as a signal of quality to Google. In my industry I don't see any direct use from all this social stuff. In fact I spoke with a guy in my industry last week, leverages facebook hard and well - gets a grand or two visits monthly. But admitted none of it turns into business.

I also had a consultant (a well known one) do a viral type campaign last year. As far as I could tell they did a decent job. Sales though? Not that I could see. Got a bunch of non-relevant backlinks to a dead end page on my site.

I'm starting to work on social media stuff, but only to send signals of quality to the search engines. So my twitter account, I'm careful what I tweet, quality stuff only (well, as much as anything I say is quality) and I'm trying to get quality, real people followers. If/when Google starts measuring quality or other signals in the tweets, there I'll be. Maybe.
 

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