By Joe Hall
It’s time to break out the Patchouli and embrace flower power, because the future of internet marketing is with hippies! Think I am crazy? Here’s a bit of back story to explain:
About a month ago I was talking to a potential client over the phone about my SEO services. This client kept asking about targeted links, so much so that it became apparent that his whole perception of SEO was just one aspect of the overall concept. Trying to present a more rounded picture of SEO I said, “I try to take more of a holistic approach to SEO”. I immediately thought, did I just say holistic? I sound like a freaking hippie. I quickly changed the topic to something more concrete such as ROI.
Time passed and I tried to forget that I might be a SEO hippie. Then just a few days ago a tweet struck a nerve with me that I just couldn’t ignore.
Maybe, there are other SEO hippies out there just like me! I ran a quick search and discovered that yes there are other holistic wackos just like me!
The comfort in finding a common bond with other weirdos on the internet didn’t last long. I started thinking, is “holistic” really the best word to describe my SEO strategy? There are many definitions out there, but here’s my favorite:
Looking at the whole system rather than just concentrating on individual components. The overall sum can be greater than a simple totaling of the individual parts, because the “system” adds something in addition. Another term is “systems thinking”.
I think that, yes, “holistic” is the right term. However there is something wrong with the concept of holistic SEO. To think and organize with a holistic mindset, means that you are focusing on the entire system, the system as a whole. SEO is merely an individual component of Internet Marketing. Therefore the more appropriate term might be Holistic Internet Marketing.
Ok, so I might be a Holistic Internet Marketer, I can get used to that. You are probably thinking, just because your a crazy holistic hippie doesn’t mean I need to be! Think again, because the internet is changing and it is becoming increasingly apparent that marketers can no longer focus on a niche skill set.
The System is Changing
Search Personalization, Google’s Search Wiki, and Universal Search results are all things that have led people like Bruce Clay and others to say Rankings are Dead. In response, Matt Cutts says, “2009 is a year in which you can’t just think of your self as an SEO, like my job is to rank one web page for one phrase.”
Social media sites are expanding and are becoming increasingly aware of their networks being exploited for profit and are responding with tightening their networks and pushing highly sophisticated advertising models.
Mobile communication is pushing the expansion of a mobile web with new ad opportunities and content standards. Along with the expansion of the mobile web, micro-blogging has exploded as both an outlet for content and a new communication medium.
New advertising models mean that companies will continue to put advertisers first and thus put more effort into minimizing marketers ability to game the system with strategies like SEO.
All of these changes mean that internet marketers can no longer rely on one strategy to promote themselves and or clients. This is not to say that each individual aspect of internet marketing has lost significance, but rather there is now a need to diversify techniques across all aspects of internet marketing.
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