Every blog owner has seen them - hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of them. Spam comments. Those weird, mysterious comments that show up underneath nearly every post, typically mentioning topics ranging from luxury handbags to Oceanspray coupons to payday loans to cheap Viagra to total gibberish.
Imagine 10 years ago, leaving the airport at 2 AM in a new city with no contacts and no plans. The idea that you could use your phone to find and book a nearby hotel (based on ratings and reviews), request and pay for a ride (and get an arrival estimate), and make breakfast plans - all while messaging friends across the country - was thought to be incredible. “Blue sky” thinking, they called it.
And yet, now it’s all here. It’s amazing, but also completely normal. Marketing is different. SEO is certainly different. But in many ways it’s still the same. Like we outlined in our new definition of SEO, it’s still about Solving Problems, Engaging Audiences, and Optimizing Everything.
The new “blue sky” thinking in 2014 is about the Internet of Things—the shift to assigning every single thing an IP address and connecting it to the Internet.
Most people who spend a good bit of time online know that you can do special additions to your searches to help Google find what you want - things like adding quotes around your search to find an exact phrase or specifying a timeframe.
But even still, we have trouble finding exactly what we’re looking for - often because we don’t know how to ask.
And that’s where really understanding search operators can make a huge difference. Even beyond quotes and timeframes, you can use search operators like filetype: or site: to help Google understand your specific intent.
Google’s ability to decipher your intent matters, which is why search operators are more than just a fun tool for SEOs to play with. They can help you evaluate contracts by tracking down comparables, reconnect with old friends that don’t have a presence on standard social platforms, or even just find a very specific piece of content from a very specific source.
Reddit is not only one of the Internet’s largest social networks (90.9 million unique visitors, generating 5.08 billion pageviews in one month), it is also the indisputable tastemaker of the Internet.
Think of the last meme, funny picture, or crazy video you saw in your Facebook feed. It probably was originally found on reddit. From Gangnam Style to basically most of Buzzfeed’s site, reddit lives up to its self-styled nickname of “The Frontpage of The Internet.”
Reddit is where you go for 15 minutes of Internet fame. But it’s also a place to go to find other people interested in some of the most niche topics imaginable.
There are 6,416 active communities (“subreddits”) that range from the massive like /r/videos, dedicated to finding interesting videos to /r/dogswearinghats, dedicated to...people who like to look at hats on dogs.
If you add up tons of traffic + viral capability + targeted audiences, you’d imagine that reddit was a marketer’s paradise. But in reality, it’s often a place for unwitting marketers to go and get embarrassed and called out on /r/hailcorporate (just ask Woody Harrelson’s PR agency). Reddit has a unique culture, and part of the culture is a very wary (some say irreconcilable) relationship with marketers.
The first time someone tried to design a web page with a search engine algorithm in mind is lost to history, but we do know that since its beginnings in the early ‘90s SEO has grown from a siloed marketing activity with little love and Wild West tactics to an important piece in the art of building a modern brand in a digital world.
The history of SEO is in many ways a microcosm of the history of modern marketing, and provides lessons about not just where marketing has come from, but also where it’s headed in 2013 and beyond.