I recently caught up with Marcus Tober, CTO of Searchmetrics, at his new office in San Mateo, California, to discuss the global expansion of his search analytics company. We also discussed some key changes he’s noticed in today’s marketing landscape, and changes he predicts for the future.
Where do you see the industry going? Will SEO be replaced by content marketing?
SEO used to be very technical and has now become more strategic, moving away from focusing on simple keyword placement to the overall quality of content. Users buy products, search engines don’t. If you optimize only for search engines you could run into problems and potentially put off users.
Optimizing for users over search engines is being forced by Google updates, such as Hummingbird, which are designed to interpret the meaning of content. Other Google updates have been recently rolled out to penalize sites that provide a poor user experience, such as sites with an abundance of ads above the fold.
SEO is now something that should influence the overall product development of companies as well as the marketing of those products. The term ‘SEO’ might be going away, but SEO itself is more important now than it has been in the past.
What differences do you see across the globe when it comes to SEO?
Google search in North America is significantly ahead of other markets because all the latest algorithm updates are developed first in Google’s native language of English. Google looks at things such as market size and economic value when it comes to rolling out new updates in other countries, so some European countries are even further behind than others.
Black hat tactics that have been penalized in North America for years are still working in other countries because they are so behind the latest algorithm updates.
These drastic differences in global markets are among the reasons why Searchmetrics has offices in different countries because each market has different needs.
For my full interview with Marcus, please see the video below: