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The Utah DMC Blog

February Event Recap with Speaker Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land

If you missed Danny’s speech in February, you missed a goldmine of actionable tips, strategies and foresight into what will become of the search industry. If you weren’t already aware, Danny would like you to know that…

SEO is Dead… Just Kidding

According to many bloggers within the industry, SEO has apparently been dying since 1996:

  • “Google Instant will kill SEO”
  • “Siri will change everything”
  • “Google+ will change everything”
  • “Search Plus Your World will change everything”
  • And the latest, “Facebook Graph Search will change everything”

What has changed? Despite local, voice and mobile search growing bigger, we’re still searching in the same way we have since the Internet started. Google may have changed the results page to boost profits or to ultimately help you find what you are looking for faster, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are still searching for specific keywords that may relate to your business.

It’s about Evolution, not Revolution The evolving SERP landscape and algorithm changes confirm that while search marketing has changed, it isn’t going away, nor will its effectiveness be diminished. The reality of SEO from past to present is that it hasn’t really changed for anybody that has truly taken it seriously.


Building links whether naturally through fantastic onsite content, or manually is an inevitable SEO strategy to great search engine rankings. It’s still a major part of how the search engines gauge relevancy but Google is cracking down on what they deem as natural or not. If you are getting unnatural link warnings within your webmaster tools, it’s a good bet that the way you are obtaining your links needs to be revised. As a general rule, the link that is the hardest to obtain is most likely the most beneficial for you. Since the search engines have evolved to the point where they can identify unnatural anchor text and link schemes, you need to start taking your link building seriously. Gone are the days of BuildMyRank and other blog networks. If you’re suffering from a penalty, remove the links the best you can, submit the links you are not able to remove in the
link disavow tool and submit a reconsideration request. There are still natural ways of building links, keep in mind. It’s not about being sneaky; it’s about actually providing something to the Internet community. Try some of these strategies:

  • Guest posting
  • Infographics
  • Building tools
  • Various forms of linkbait
  • Giveaways and contests
  • Product reviews

Some might say, “Just create amazing onsite content and blog posts and the links will come to you! It’s about link EARNING”. That is true and an
excellent strategy but it’s unfortunately not always an option for small businesses or products of boring or overly-complex nature,


While the social element has been a slow rising ranking signal, it’s getting bigger and it’s here to stay. With the recent breakout of Facebook’s Graph Search, it’s important to create a social presence for yourself or your business. If you already have one, it’s important to start using it to actually engage with your audience and build it. Perhaps one of the biggest ways to dominate social media in your industry is by making yourself an industry expert. Whatever you’re blogging about, make sure you are
including your rel=author tag within the author byline. Share your posts, send them to friends and try to get as many likes as you naturally can. Since many might be thinking to themselves, “I’ll just go on Fiverr and buy followers, tweets and shares!” it should be said that this is a bad idea. Maybe not immediately, but what happens when Facebook and Twitter are able to understand an unnatural friend profile (if they can’t already)?

You can’t blame Google for evolving

They are a business just like yours and they want to make money. They will do whatever they need to stay at the top of people’s minds and serve up the best results. Google wants to get their searchers answers as soon as possible, if all you are doing is serving up a bunch of facts or data to visitors, you might have a hard time in the future. Here’s an example of how the latest changes on Google could replace your site:
how old is jennifer lawrence

In Summary

For 2013, focus on being legitimate and essential for the public (and Google). Stop spammy link building practices and never look for the shortcut. Don’t fear that SEO will go away unless you are completely unable to adapt with the industry. Were you at February’s SLC|SEM event? What did you think? What were your main takeaways? If you'd like to see the entire slide deck from Danny's speech, visit
SLC|SEM on slide share.

About the Author

Kevin W. Phelps is the owner of
GuestBlogPoster, a guest posting service provider and
Levitate SEM, a Utah-based search marketing agency. You can find him on
Facebook and
SEOmoz if you would like to get in touch with him.

Topics: Events News