Dr. Pete Meyers, the marketing scientist at Moz, did an AMA over at Reddit recently. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term AMA, it stands for “Ask Me Anything” and it is where users can ask whatever questions they have in mind for the person that is doing it. Usually, questions from these AMA’s on Reddit can range from the super serious, to silly questions like “Would you rather fight one horse sized duck, or a hundred duck sized horses?” If you’re not a Redditor, or you missed out on yesterday’s AMA, here are some key takeaways that you should know!
In this question, this Redditor is asking Pete about the viral video that hit the front page of Reddit recently where YouTube user Veritasium claims that Facebook’s revenue is comprised of fake likes.
Pete responded by saying:
“Ah, I see… Yeah, I think that’s rough. On the one hand, Facebook created the promoted posts ecosystem to make money, and it’s quality is really dubious, so to then penalize you for the mess they made just plain sucks. On the other hand, they make the rules, so what can you do? I think you have to protect yourself, and given the relatively low ROI on Facebook promotion right now, it’s a risky proposition if that could then turn around and cause you harm. Whether or not Facebook has created the problem, they’re not going to be thinking about the impact on the average business when they start to aggressively clean things up.”
If you haven’t seen the video yet, give it a watch. It might make you think twice about the authenticity of your Facebook page’s likes.
Lo and behold! The question about horse sized ducks and duck sized horses now takes on the form of Rand Fishkin.
“(1) I think already see a trend of Google designing search around mobile and Glass first and desktop second. Google is going to become more card-like and less structured – they’ll provide the combination of answers that fit the environment you’re searching in, and that’s going to mean we have to raise our games. I think we have to think beyond ranking, honestly. Organic, as it stands now, is going to evolve radically in the next five years, IMO. We have to treat ranking as a consequence. If you focus on ranking first, but don’t build anything behind it, and the rules change, then you lose. If you build things that drive ranking, drive social, etc., then even if the rules change, you still have that core value proposition. Ultimately, you have to make things people want.
(2) I think the entirety of search will become card-like. It’s happening already: http://moz.com/blog/future-serp-a-glimpse-at-google-2014
We’re seeing initial tests of Google building the Knowledge Graph from indexed content. They’re extracting answers from our sites, and that’s going to increase.
(3) I grew up in farm country, and birds can be pure evil. Also, tiny things scare me. I’m gonna have to go with a single opponent. It’s more conducive to my fighting still of running and hiding.
Crap, I missed the bonus round! Considering voice search drove Hummingbird, in many ways, and that’s the tip of the iceberg, voice will definitely impact SERPs. Voice, for now, almost always means a limited visual format (mobile/glass/etc.), so it tends to imply complex queries but simple/quick answers. I think that has profound implications for the SERPs over the next decade.”
“Expect big news in local soon. We’re working on more content tracking tools, but still a few months out there, I think. I’m personally working on what’s next for rank-tracking – helping people sort out features and impact (and not just rely on one arbitrary number). We put a lot into general reliability and bug-bashing post Moz Analytics roll-out, so getting deeper into new stuff in 2014, but timelines are just solidifying now.”
The Redditor then added:
“Just curious, and if you can’t say that’s understandable. Will the new tool be a local management tool, or a local reporting tool, or both?”
To which Pete Meyers responded:
“So, it’s less about secrecy than about the fact that I don’t entirely know 🙂 A little of both, I believe.”
Looks like we’ll have to keep an eye on Moz this year for this release!
“I know a lot of people who like DuckDuckGo, but honestly, I don’t think you can compete with Google playing by Google’s rules. It’s going to take an upstart and a new way of doing things. The optimist in me says Google is barely a decade old and they were once just an idea two grad students have. They won’t rule the world forever – no one does. As marketers, we have to cut our dependence – not just on Google, but on search in general.
We have to get back to connecting – in person, online, wherever and we have to diversify. Too many sites are getting 90%+ of their traffic from Google, and that’s dangerous – replace Google with anything you want and no matter how good or bad Google is, it would still be dangerous. At some point, the rules may change to the point that organic search is nearly irrelevant, and if your business is 100% reliant on that traffic, your business will cease to exist.
I don’t say that to be alarmist, but just because none of us really know. I don’t want to have to wonder every morning how Google might change the game. Better to stop playing it, if only little by little. As for Moz, the truth is that building an index and building a search engine are miles apart. I can honestly say Moz has no plans to be in the search game in that way – the math just doesn’t work. We will evolve beyond search to focus on content, social, and the emerging world of what people need to track, while trying to balance the reality of where people are in 2014.”
“Sorry, you popped to the top (that’s not a euphemism) and I missed this. I think technical SEO skills are starting to wane, and for big sites, they’re essential. You need to know how a site gets crawled and indexed and what can stand in the way. When I see a question like “I think I got hit by Penguin/Panda/MayDay/Frogger” and then the whole site is blocked in robots.txt (yes, even in 2014), I die a little inside.
I also think we’ve got to be mindful of CRO. Ultimately, the goal is to sell something, in most cases, and marketing should be part of that funnel. If we’re getting traffic that doesn’t deliver, than what’s the point?
Sadly, I have not been back to the UK since the late 90s and I’m long overdue, as I have many friends there. I have two young kids (3 and 1), so travel has been tough the past few years, but I am sincerely working on it. I’ve had to turn down some international invites, and I’m getting tired of turning them down. So, I hope to see England again in the next couple of years.”
You can check out the SEO community on Reddit by clicking here.