SEO has changed a lot since I began optimizing web sites more than two decades ago in the pre-Google era of Hotbot, Lycos, Magellan and Ask Jeeves. It’s clear that the entire digital marketing ecosystem in 2022 bears little resemblance to that of 1996 and even 2006.
But there are core marketing principles underlying SEO — among them being the essential role played by authoritative, useful content meant to guide the consumer to an informed decision regarding any particular product or service — that haven’t changed and likely never will.
To get a better sense of what’s changed in SEO, and what remains the same, I wanted to catch up with Nick Stamoulis, President of Brick Marketing. Nick, like myself, has been involved in SEO since the late 1990s, and, like myself, now runs an organization that’s morphed from a specialty shop into a full-service digital marketing agency.
Nick and I discuss how the SEO industry has evolved over the years and talk about some major changes that lie ahead, notably the imminent transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 that will happen in 2023. Nick is not alone in pointing out that this transition is already burdening webmasters and data teams interested in retaining access to historical data that will soon disappear from Google’s widely-used analytics platform, and we both speculate that 3rd party analytics systems may soon become popular with small to midsize marketers unless Google makes GA4 far more usable than its current version is.
Our conversation then turns to secondary forms of content — notably video — that are valuable for SEO (YouTube remains the world’s second-largest search engine), how marketers should use various forms of push notifications, and Nick’s take on influencer marketing. We conclude with a discussion of the current ferment at Twitter and alternate scenarios for the service that Elon Musk might implement in 2023 and beyond.