Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > eBay/Yahoo/Google

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

How SEO Is Changing Business Practices

Because search engine optimization itself is changing, when applied correctly now it impacts many ways a business operates, changing it in the process. A concise look at what used to happen in the presemantic search days and how things are shaping up now helps quantify some of the changes you should be thinking about in your company or brand.

Here’s how SEO used to work in the past:

  • You bought links because they increased the ranking of your website in Google’s search.
  • You told your SEO company you wanted a list of keywords for your industry to rank on search, preferably on Google’s first page.
  • You hired someone to write thousands of words with the keywords you were targeting, and you posted the content on your website so it would become more visible in search and aid in its ranking.
  • You spammed social bookmarking sites with links to your keyword-rich content without any consideration for engagement or interaction.
  • You thought that a good commercial website was one with a shopping cart.
  • Your perception of a good customer experience was one that gave you a sale.

In the new SEO world the things that work and help a business take advantage of search and increase its ranking are

  • Good quality content that delivers value to the end-user.
  • Websites that offer an excellent online visitor experience in terms of ease of use, content, and navigability.
  • Businesses that are being talked about on the Web, on blogs, and social networks.
  • Businesses whose content is reshared on the Web across social networks.
  • Businesses with a strong social component that actually engages their prospective customer in a way similar to a person.
  • Businesses that stay current and generate consistently fresh content proving that they both have something to say and that they are part of the current online conversation.

Key to all this, driving all the activity, is content. Content marketing has become so vital to all aspects of search engine optimization in the semantic web that it underpins many of the activities that your business or brand needs to engage in. As a matter of fact in Chapter 6 we look in detail at the implications of this and the actionables associated with it.

To drive the point home let’s consider a conventional brick-and-mortar business that sells an everyday necessity, such as baked bread. If you are a savvy marketer who along with a bakery has a website (because you know you ought to), you will suddenly realize that your traditional business that sells baked bread now also needs to become a multimedia business that pumps out online content to sell baked bread.

From a certain perspective it seems to be antithetical with what a baked bread business needs to do and where it ought to be focusing its time and energy. After all, baking bread is not rocket science. The production algorithm (if we can call it that) requires flour, yeast, and water (at its most basic) and the judicious application of heat. The struggle is usually in keeping production costs low through control of wastage to maximize returns at the point of sale.

It’s hard to see where multimedia content is going to help in the sale of baked bread. So let’s look at the baked bread example a little more closely.

If our baker is any good at all as a businessperson he already knows that baked bread, alongside any other good you care to mention, has been commoditized. No matter how good you are at what you do there is always someone else who is either better, or nearer, or cheaper, or smaller, or bigger, or gives out lollypops with each baked bread loaf purchase.

This is the same virtually across the entire marketplace, and the point is that no matter what kind of business you are in these days you will have competition and a lot of it. If you are unable to differentiate yourself sufficiently from your competition, your business will go under. If you are unable to create an emotional connection with your customers, your business will fail.

That emotional connection online can only happen with the production of content—great quality content that communicates something important. The question for a modern business is not whether any of the above SEO steps should be followed but how they can all be followed consistently (and bear in mind that each of them is itself made up of a number of steps).

Marketing has changed from the twentieth century Jerome McCarthy model that gave us the 4Ps to guide us: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion to the twenty-first century digital world one expounded by global advertising and marketing firm Ogilvy & Mather as the 4Es: Experience, Exchange, Everyplace, and Evangelism.

In the digital marketplace Product now stands for Experience. Price has become Exchange, where the value of creating, packaging, and selling something is exchanged for the value of what it means to the customer to receive it, which also then determines the price. The notion of Place has been replaced by Everyplace because the potential market, as we have seen, is now fragmented. Promotion has been replaced by Evangelism. This reflects the changing relationship between businesses and their customers that enables both parties to profit from the relationship beyond the transactional value of the purchase price and the product bought.

In the baked bread example, if the entire experience of buying a loaf of baked bread from your particular bakery does not successfully engage my mind and reflect my lifestyle, I am unlikely to even consider it. If the exchange of value in buying the loaf of bread does not include how special you make me feel, how well you have communicated with me the artistry that goes into making the best baked bread in the world, and how my money helps keep an ancient tradition alive, then what I will most likely focus on is how much more expensive it is when compared to the sliced bread I buy from the grocery store.

If you cannot capture my attention as I go from my LinkedIn profile to Facebook then to Twitter then to some website and then to Google+, you are unlikely to benefit very long from my willingness to buy the more expensive baked bread you sell. I will forget to come to you, my attention will be diverted, the reason I buy baked bread will wane, and I will either buy from a competitor who simply happens to be nearer, or I will revert to the supermarket sliced loaf again.

What you will have succeeded in doing as a marketer then is either creating a customer by fostering the need in me to buy baked bread and then failing to capitalize on it as I went ahead and bought bread from any bakery or, worse, making me decide that baked bread is one of those luxuries I could forego because it is so much more expensive than supermarket bread.

Finally, if your baked bread does not fill me with a sense of wonder in the way it has been produced, how it has been presented, and the way it tastes, then I am unlikely to even remember to talk about it to my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. You will have invested all that effort in your relationship with me for the return of a sale of a single loaf of bread. Something that constitutes a totally losing proposition.

So selling something “simple” like freshly baked bread has now been transformed from an activity that entailed the production of a product and a place to sell it at a reasonable price to an activity that needs to engage the heart and mind of its target customer in such a way that the effort and attention that goes into creating a single sale begins to scale on its own, which is what provides decent returns.

Clearly this is a new way of doing business. It requires a change from selling a product to a customer to selling an experience to a customer with whom you now have a shared relationship. This is called the relationship economy, and guiding this transition to the relationship economy is the ultimate relationship machine: semantic search. The way it does this is what we look at next.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020