A week ago I was in Seattle impatiently waiting for Mozcon to start. Now I am back home and writing while travelling to Barcelona for visiting a client.
There’s something in travelling on a train that always inspires me. Somehow watching those always changing landscapes inspires me trying to secure the continued flow of information that I receive every day.
And mostly my thoughts are all related to what has been said at Mozcon.
Mozcon has evolved along the year, consistent with what it was the evolution of SEOmoz and, on a more larger scale, of the search marketing industry.
Once it was a pure SEO oriented conference, but this year – and partly last year too – SEO was not anymore the only topic Mozcon is about.
Faithful to his idea of web marketing, Rand Fishkin and his team have designed a conference, whose purpose was to demonstrate the power of Inbound Marketing.
We have had SEO, with description of new tools and tips for using the main tool for SEOs: Excel. We talked about Google and how to “predict” the weather with Mozcast.com. And we talked about link building, in a practical way … but also about what link building must be in a post Penguin.
But there was also talk of social media as a tool with which to create a community of brand ambassadors and, therefore, Branding and protection of the reputation of the Brand
There were presos about design and CRO. And most importantly, a lot had been said about Content Marketing.
But do you know what? What emerged clearly from all the Mozcon speeches was that it’s not Search, Social or Content, but Marketing what matters.
If you don’t have a clear marketing plan, a precise idea of what your business needs, no SEO will save you from failure, no Social will make you own legions of enthusiastic evangelists, and none of your contents will break the wall of Indifference.
- This is the message behind the Ian Lurie seriously exhilarating speech: Content Marketing doesn’t exist, Ian said.
- This is the meaning of Real Company Shit, the new RCS acronym invented by Wil Reynolds.
- This the axiom the pitching technique explained by Mike King is based on.
- This is what Rand Fishkin preaches every time he talks about Inbound Marketing.
- And this, finally, was the challenging and maybe for many revolutionary idea sustaining the impressive monologue of Tom Critchlow.
SEO is not dead, but it is undoubtely mutating into something new. Panda and Penguin (what’s next? Zebra?) practically have put an end to the easy game SEO contest, where with a Xrumer and a spinner you were able to rank from 100 to 0 in few nano-crawls.
SEO has become even harder than before. Or you are a wonderful black hat SEO or you must have understood how to be a marketer and how to do SEO “forgetting” to be an SEO.
Because the best secret of an SEO today is that none think it’s an SEO. And the best SEO campaign is that one that you perceive it in a site’s content and architecture, you feel in it’s social and smell it in it’s offsite campaigns, but you cannot say it’s SEO out loud.
That is why hordes of professionals in our industry feel lost, like the dinosaurs the day the giant asteroid hit Earth.
Content, content, content… The new gig. As if writing gazillion guest posts wasn’t so different from doing article marketing, or as producing infographic just to submit them to any crappy tumblr wasn’t the version 2.0 of the directory submission.
Marketing is what matters now. Marketing means knowing what your users are, for real! and from that knowledge acting creating content which will engage them wherever they are and, as a consequence, earn traction, visibility, social shares and links.
And it’s hard to do that, even if it sounds so easy to read. You cannot invent yourself as a marketing master in one day. And it takes a long time.
What to do, then?
Tom Critchlow was right. An average SEO cannot compete with a classic Agency, because it does marketing driven content since the Mad Men era.
Seos must understand the essence of their job, the real secret of their success and what makes them totally different from any other kind of marketer: the data driven nature of SEO.
We do what we do because we have the data telling us to do it.
There resides the real scientific nature of SEO, not in knowing a bunch of python. And that is what can makes us so freaking necessary to the businesses calling at our door.
If you don’t understand this… remember the dinosaur metaphor above?…
Hey Gianluca, thanks for this post.
I really like what I heard and read about MozCon this year. As you are saying, SEO is not dead, but it’s changing, and this is a really cool thing. To me SEO alone would not be of any sense in few times, but it’s going to be part of a bigger plan. You can have millions of links, but if your site sucks, you’re screwed. You can have the most amazing content in your site, but if the design sucks, you’re screwed anyway.
What I liked a lot is even reading that a lot of presentations where focused on “do some real stuff for clients and customers.
Even SeoMoz is going to be eventually only Moz, or at least that’s what I believe. I repeat: SEO is not dead, it’s simply evolving. and THANK GOD.
First off it was great to meet you, too bad we didn’t get a chance to chat a little more, but still nice to make that connection. I agree completely with your statement that marketing has to be the priority going forward.
However, a good technical SEO will always be in demand because so many websites get basic things wrong linkehow to set up their navigation.
In regards to Tom’s preso, the message that I took away is that we have to be really good at outreach and relationships, as well as marketing. That this is our Unique Selling Point.
Just my 2 centavos.
Thanks for sharing some great info about mozcon. Being located in Australian I haven’t been able to attend yet but i feel 2013 might be the year I finally make it.