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Horses and Bayonets: Has The Nature of SEO Changed?

October 23rd, 2012

by Dustin Clark

“We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of the military has changed.” – POTUS

The nature of SEO has changed. Only the most unread and dated of marketers have missed the rash of “The Death of SEO” articles circulating every time… oh, every time Google takes a moment to say hello and change its algorithm. But SEO isn’t dead. It’s the way we achieve search relevance – and thereby optimization – that’s changed.

Yesterday, search relevance was about quantity of message. Build a good website, build enough links to it, and you could easily deliver wins. But today, search relevance is about clarity of message. It’s about having the right message, on the right channel, at the right time. It’s about creating a world where products and services sell themselves.

The shift from link building to content building adding up wins didn’t happen by accident, or because someone over at the big G decided to shake things up on a whim. Likewise, we didn’t switch from horses and armor and swords to horses and guns and bayonets and on to tanks, jets and laser guided missiles for no reason. The technology got better, the people got smarter, and as world changed, so too did the way the world went to war.

So as the search world changes, so too has the way the inbound marketer goes to war. Google after all is a business, a service designed to send the most relevant results to a customer (and in the right place, at the right time).

It’s not enough to send the signal out into cyberspace now. The best internet generals know that clarity of message, its relevance, timeliness, and accessibility, account now more than ever for it becoming a relevant search result. Answering a prospect’s question with the right content, available at the moment they need it, and in the manner in which they want to see it – that’s the very definition of relevance.

And it’s the tool box of timing, channel and relevancy to a customer that’s replacing the SEO horses and bayonets of tomorrow, and are the weapons of war for the inbound marketer of today.

For more tips on how to write top-shelf content for the web, check out Slingshot SEO’s guide to The 5 W’s of Content Creation.

Dustin Clark

Search Media Creative Consultant at Slingshot SEO, Dustin Clark is a Search Media Creative Consultant at Slingshot SEO. He was formerly Ecommerce Manager at MainGate, Inc.

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