It felt just like yesterday, when Matt Cutts announced that guest posting was done for! Stick a fork in it, he had said.
This single announcement from the head of web spam at Google sent the whole SEO industry, alongside many who relied on guest posting to create awareness for their brands, into total panic. Was guest posting going into oblivion in the realm of SEO practices, just like comment posting and other practices once considered safe?
It was not until several pundits, stake-holders and speculators have gone the length and breath of what was considered safe, white-hat SEO practice that Matt Cutts later made an edit to his blog post. By then, a lot of people have truly stuck the fork at it.
Up till today, many people are still thrown into confusion when it comes to what role guest posting should play in content marketing. To help you clear things up, I called upon the most trusted voices in content marketing and asked them where they think guest posting will be headed in 2015. Here’s my question:
What role do you think guest posting will play in 2015? Will it become even less used or will it increase in relevance? How is it going to fit into companies’ content strategy?
Their answers, untouched, are listed in the order they were received.
Click on the name of your favorite marketing expert to read their prediction or grab a hot cup of coffee and enjoy the long scroll. In the end, let me know what you predict about guest posting in 2015!
Ann Smarty Ann Sue
Chris Dyson Dan Petrovic
David Leonhardt Eric Ward
Gabriella Sannino Gareth Hoyle
Harsh Agarwal Harris Schachter
Ileane Smith James Perrott
Jamie Spencer Jane Sheeba
Jasyon DeMers Joseph Oni Kaila Strong
Karol Krol Larry Kim
Mike Ramsey Neil Patel
Peter Attia Peter Sandeen
Rand Fishkin Ryan Biddulph
Simon Penson Sujan Patel
Tadeusz Szewcyk Venchito Tampon
Zac Johnson Matthew Capala
Big THANKS to all the participants!!
#1 Sujan Patel – VP of Marketing at When I Work
Sujan the VP of Marketing at When I Work an employee scheduling software. I previously founded Single Grain. For over 10 years I’ve helped companies like TurboTax, BlueHost, and Sales Force increase traffic & revenue
#2 Zac Johnson: Blogging.org
We are still going to see a lot of people trying to “sell” links within their guest blog articles and a lot of blogs are still going to let these spammy articles through and some will profit off this method in the process. If you have a real brand that you truly care about, you won’t accept these posts.
On the flip side, if you are guest blogging on other sites, make sure the quality is there. Don’t worry about the link back, as you should always have a full author bio at the bottom of the post. Focus on article quality and always link to real resources and example. Follow these tips and you will continue to see guest blogging be one of your best marketing and branding platforms.
Zac Johnson of Blogging.org
#3. Simon Penson – MD, Zazzle Media
Guest posting is something that will always add real value to campaigns and be central to any digital PR plan. The tactic has a real PR problem of its own however, in the main because of it being used to describe spammy activity. Real guest posting is about creating great content that adds real value to relevant sites. It’s a way of sharing your expertise, stories and data with a wider audience for the good of all. That should never be seen as questionable.
If performed in the right way with quality content creation and real relationship building then the activity should still be central to any thorough digital marketing plan.
#4. Rand Fishkin – Moz.com
#5. Mike Ramsey – Nifty Ventures
Guest Posting in 2015 will do the same as 2014. Some will push the envelop and get penalized by focusing on scaling low quality content for the sole purpose of link building. But, sites that accept authors, publish content to an audience that shares, comments, and talks about it will continue to flourish and guest posting will continue to be alive and well. Look at sites like Moz or every news website online. These sites are built by multiple authors building audience. Funny enough, the links are great with very little risk! But networks will continue to be slammed.
#6. Peter Attia: PingBoard.com
To be honest, I haven’t done anything serious with guest posting in several years. I’ve compared scalability and value with guest posting vs generating content for my own properties, several times. Each time, generating internal content was more beneficial by a landslide. It’s easier to get email opt-ins, it has more traffic over time, it’s easier to scale, there’s fewer content limitations, you can place better CTAs, etc.
That being said, I do think guest posting should be done for the the “big fish” blogs. Most niches have a handful of blogs that have dramatically more clout than the others. These are great opportunities for the founders of a company to share their experience in the industry and get their (and their company’s) name out there.
As for what I expect in 2015, I think guest posting done well and on a small scale, will always have value outside of SEO. As for guest posting for SEO benefit, I think it was beaten to death years ago.
#7. Larry Kim: WordStream
We do quite a bit of guest posting and in 2015, I hope to double down on those efforts. While no longer a SEO tactic per se, I’ve found that being a columnist for various well known publications has dramatically increased metrics like social media following and visibility.
Guest blogging’s reputation definitely took a hit in 2014, with Google taking a strong stand against it and even going so far as to penalize guest blogging networks. However, there is still great value in the practice and it’s 100% possible to guest post across multiple sites without incurring the search giant’s wrath.
I think the problematic aspect of it is when people are guest blogging just for the sake of advertising their business to a larger audience. However you do it, it’s still apparent in the content you’re putting out that that’s what you’re doing. “Safe” guest posting isn’t an SEO tactic or even a publicity tactic. It’s relevant when it positions the people doing it as industry experts, sharing their expertise and knowledge with others.
You should only be guest posting on relevant sites with audiences who stand to benefit from what it is you have to offer. Companies should definitely be looking to guest posting as a viable marketing tactic, but only insomuch as it helps build the reputations and authority of individual team members or executives. The benefit to the business is an offshoot of that.
Next year I’m going to try to be a contributor at even bigger sites, since the value of guest posting is related to the exposure it gets.
About Larry Kim
Larry Kim is a marketing industry thought leader and the CTO and founder of WordStream, a leading search marketing software and service provider based in Boston, managing approximately a half Billion in ad spend for two thousand clients. He regularly shares his advice and insight with over 800,000 visitors a month at his WordStream Blog and is a columnist and top contributor for leading industry publications including Inc.com, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, and Social Media Today.
Larry is often called on to speak at industry events and has spoken at INBOUND, SMX, ClickZ/SES, Pubcon, MediaPost Search Insider Summit, PPC Hero Conference, SEMPDX and many others. He was recently named “Most Influential PPC Expert” for 2013 and 2014 by PPC Hero Blog and marketing agency 3Q Digital and won ClickZ’s Digital Marketing Hall of Fame and Small Business Influencer awards in 2013.
#8. Jayson DeMers: AudienceBloom
Guest posting, even though its reputation was tarnished by Cutts’ blog post, is here to stay for anyone who cares to distinguish legitimate vs. illegitimate guest posting. It’s not only a tactic that results in excellent inbound links, it also aligns your brand strategically with other major brands, driving brand awareness and credibility. This, along with the fact that it results in referral traffic and and builds strategic relationships, is why guest posting is an essential part of any content strategy moving into 2015.
#9. Kaila Strong: Vertical Measures
Ah yes the ever popular guest blogging.
In 2015 I believe that guest blogging will still have its place, but not as a link building tactic. Actually, let me rephrase that – it shouldn’t! Guest blogging for links is beyond outdated, and if you’re of the mindset that guest blogging is content marketing then 2015 will be a very interesting year for you.
Marketers and businesses should strive to become a regular contributor to a publication that houses the great minds in their industry, finding ways to publish information that will be useful to end customers. Plain and simple guest blogging is just one, of many, marketing channels online to drive more traffic, more leads and ultimately more business. Isolated content marketing as your only strategy or done only with guest blogging in mind won’t get you very far – and might just get you penalized.
Scalability in the form of guest blogging is a dirty word! Guest blogging fits within a company’s content strategy, but in my opinion only a very small amount. Earning links the right way by publishing quality content, getting away from scalable tactics and spending your time on high yield activities is the way to go.
We utilize standard methodologies like investing time in a great piece of content, publishing it on our own site and leveraging that piece to nurture more leads, inspire new customers and earn natural links. I don’t see that changing much in 2015, with the exception that content quality and diversity must increase to meet every changing demands online.
#10. Ann Smarty: ViralContentBuzz
I think guest blogging is slowing and surely getting back to where it was: A very relationship-focused way for two bloggers to help each other: One of them is getting content with fresh (personal) prospective and the other one gets exposure to the new audience.
I think in 2015 it will be even less scaled but still popular way of getting your name out there. So far I haven’t seen a single huge blog refusing to accept contributions just because of Google. All my previous contacts are happily publishing outside contributions (I’ve always only maintained those guest blogging contacts that are based on high quality and mutual benefit, so those have survived and are thriving)
I see the companies to succeed in guest blogging only if they emphasize on building the author expertise and personal contacts with bloggers.
Ann Smarty, co-founder of ViralContentBuzz and brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas.
#11. Venchito Tampon: DigitalPhillipins
Guest blogging will still be one of the effective methods of marketing brand’s content assets aside from the traditional manual outreach (email) and social advertising. If done correctly, it can help build solid momentum for companies in establishing brand awareness in their niches and in increasing their authority and influence towards their target audience.
Relevance is still a big factor for Google in determining the site’s ranking potential and it should be the main concern of content managers when working on their guest blogging campaign. Niche-specific blogs/sites are good to target in guest blogging as it will not only add some relevancy factor to your brand’s internal page(s) but also bring in new referred visitors and potential customers/clients to your website.
There are many ways to consider if guest blogging is a good fit to your brand’s existing content strategy:
- Identify if your website has high quality content assets (e.g. blog posts) that can be linked to from your future third party content (i.e. guest posts).
- See if your industry has bloggers that allow external linking from their articles (do a quick Google search for “guest post” “industry” to find it).
- Look at your company’s available resources (budget, writers, team’s consolidated time, etc..) and ask yourself if there are still enough resources that you can utilize for guest blogging campaign.
#12. Neil Patel: NeilPatel.com
Guest posting will be used more for brand building and less for SEO purposes. I think it will be used more as it is still relevant and a lot of these blogs that accept guest posts, can drive thousands of visitors to your site.
In 2015 companies will need to focus on guest posting on more relevant blogs as it will drive more conversions than blogging on main stream blogs.
#13. Harsh Agarwal: ShoutMeLoud
Guest posting will have same weightage as it has in the current year, but one thing which will matter the most is website/blog where you are guest posting. More over, unlike earlier where guest poster usually get a backlink to homepage will not be so effective. Guest posting will be more beneficial when backlink is within the content.
Companies should focus more on storytelling because that is one thing that will work best with their guest posting campaign. Storytelling could be in the form of case-study, journey of the company or anything which touches the reader emotionally. Primary target of guest posting should promote the brand and later earn a backlink.
#14. Jane Sheeba: ProbloggingSuccess
Guest posting will become part of marketers content outreach strategy in 2015. There was a time when people were screaming “Guest blogging is dead” – but in my opinion, it was never dead. Guest blogging for the sake of links or “spammy” guest blogging is dead indeed.
So, guest blogging will increase in relevance – that’s what I think. And yes, guest blogging is already part of content strategy. I don’t see guest blogging as something separate from one’s blogging strategy. Be it traffic, exposure, connections, links, content outreach – whatever you want – guest blogging will fit in perfectly!
#15. Jamie Spencer: SetupABlogToday
I think guest posting still has a role for online marketing in 2015 however it needs to be carefully co-ordinated and more focus will need to be placed on branding and exposure to new audiences than just a cheap and scalable way to get links to your sites.
Since a number of guest posting groups were hit with penalties earlier this year I have noticed things start to pick up again more recently however they are not as busy as they once were.
I still think guest blogging is a relevant and useful tactic as part of your overall content promotion and brand building strategy, you just have to accept that you may need to nofollow any self promotional links in your articles.
#16. Ann Sue Dunlevie: SuccessfulBlogging
I always recommend guest blogging to beginning bloggers. Guest posting is still a great way to get traffic and to build up your brand. The key is to only guest post for quality sites that are similar or complimentary to your blog’s topic. When you create great content, both on and off your blog, not only will you increase your traffic, you will also build up relationships with the bloggers in your niche.
#17. Chris Dyson: TrippleSEO
I think that guest posts still have a use in 2015 but not purely as a link building tactic but as a potential brand strategy to reach new audiences and get your content/brand in front of influential users. We have already seen guest posts become less popular over the past few months however there is definitely an increase in clients asking for us to help run guest posting campaigns with them. Overall guest blogging is purely a tactic and not your main link strategy – it offers a great way to promote your content along with paid social media, outreach etc.
Chris Dyson is the SEO lead for Hit Reach and blogs at TripleSEO.
#18. David Leonhardt: THGMwriters.com
Since the day when Glab first drew a stick man on Grog’s cave wall, guest posting has been a fixture of communicating. In my days as a consumer advocate, I would occasionally write guest posts for newspapers and magazines.Today, I also occasionally write guest posts. Occasionally. When I do, it’s for one of two reasons: A) I have something I really want to say that just doesn’t fit on my blog, or B) I want to reach a new audience, and so I am selective about where I guest blog.The type of guest posting I do will not go away; it will live on long past my death. Tweet
Some people are still guest posting for SEO links. This practice has already slowed, after Google fired several warning shots that this is inappropriate behaviour. I have to agree with Google (not about how it fired the shots, which is another story, but that this is inappropriate behaviour). I am not saying it is “wrong” to guest post for links; there really is no ethical issue here. However, this approach is a race to the bottom, where quality is sacrificed for quantity, and it debases both the Internet and the writer/company posting.
My prediction? Even cheap quality guest posting will continue, but I suspect it will also continue to decline. By the end of 2015, I suspect that many people will have abandoned cheap guest blogging and either A) moved on elsewhere, in search of other link-building tactics, or B) moved on up, investing time and money in creating truly valuable, top-quality guest posts that are worth reading.
For my company, this is good news, because we write top-quality articles for clients. We simply don’t do these cheap posts that Google is trying to weed out. So I am looking forward to seeing my 2015 predictions come true.
#19. Dan Petrovic: DejanSEO
Guest posting is a common pattern on the web. Google manipulation too. If you join the two you have stepped into a high-risk zone. Manipulative guest post patterns cause links to be discredited or even have a negative impact. I wrote about how organic links happen on the web, it might be a good idea to read through it before guest posting for SEO in 2015.
Dan Petrovic is the Director at DejanSEO, an industry leading digital marketing firm.
#20. RB Biddulph: Blogging From Paradise
Guest posting will play a chief role in any blogger’s arsenal in 2015. Guest posting is the great relationship builder, and building relationships cultivates blogging success. Guest posting leverages your presence and also provides blogger/owners with free content,
Here’s the kicker: intents must be purified to make this guest posting bit go. Bloggers should guest post to both offer something uber valuable to their fellow blogger, and to also form strong bonds with their fellow bloggers. The trick lies in doing your best job each time you submit a guest post. Think of it not as a guest post but one of YOUR posts. Do your knock down, drag out best to make friends with influential bloggers.
Do your homework. Share your special, unique voice but do so while sticking to the rules and regulations. Your fellow blogger doesn’t want a Doppleganger style guest post. Duh! They can already write such a post, you silly. Instead, stick to their publishing guidelines yet write with your unique voice.
You’ll make a bunch of great blogging buddies and you’ll expand your presence in the process.
Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and coach who has authored the Blogging from Paradise eBook series.
#21. Gareth Hoyle: MarketingSignals
It really depends on what you are guest posting for. If you have some unique view or opinions that may be of benefit to a websites readership and community then guest posting is perfectly fine. If you are guest posting for the links alone then you are doing this wrong!
We have seen so many former network blogs flipped around to “guest post” blogs – This is dangerous. We have seen former suppliers offering guest posts for $20! These sites are spam – nothing more, nothing less – These are dangerous and leave a footprint. Any website with “write for us” should be seen as a signal of risk and avoided.
#22. James Perrott: ZazzleMedia.co.uk
I believe guest posting will remain as popular as it is now, just the execution will change. Instead of chasing the link, having content on a highly relevant and authoritative website will be at the forefront of most peoples minds. With Penguin becoming more and more clever, meaning the guest posts that people churn out today won’t make the cut!
#23. Peter Sandeen: PeterSandeen.com
But as an SEO strategy it’s finally losing most of its value. That means much of the clutter created by inexperienced, out sourced writers will vanish.
For serious businesses, less low-quality fodder means greater opportunity to stand out from the crowd. So, if you’ve been hoping to grow your email list quickly, guest blogging can work better than ever before.
That still doesn’t change the fact that most guest posts don’t lead to more than a few new subscribers (if even that). In other words, guest blogging still won’t work automatically.
But if you’re serious enough to take the time to learn what makes guest posts effective at growing your list, the opportunity is far greater than ever before. Reaching an average of even over 100 new subscribers with each post you write is very attainable. It takes practice, but it’s realistic in many fields.
Peter Sandeen dreams of sailing with his wife and dogs when he’s not helping businesses stand out from the competition with value proposition marketing. Download his manual that explains how to get 100+ subscribers from every guest post you write.
#24. Tadeusz Szewczyk: SEO2.us
What role do you think guest posting will play in 2015?
Good question. At first I thought that most people won’t care about guest posting anymore now that Google’s scare-mongering campaign has proved to be successful. Then I re-examined my personal stance and approach. I didn’t let Google’s former angel of death (they call him “Mad Cuts” on the street) intimidate me until now.
I still accept guest posts on my blog over at seo2.us like I did in 2007.
Additionally I won’t castrate your links with a decade old “nofollow” attribute that hasn’t stopped one spam comment during the 10 years of its existence (which was its original purpose). Yet now
Google is trying to convince me that my guest writers are the same as comment spammers? Crap!
Thus I’m convinced that guest blogging will still be a must have low hanging fruit link building technique used by bloggers, optimizers ad marketers alike. After all it’s a win to win for everybody. I even stepped up my guest posting support as I now always write a unique introduction for each author with a custom links so Google has to accept it as an editorial link.
Will [guest blogging] become even less used or will it increase in relevance?
Now that Google stopped tricking webmasters into uniquely identifying themselves across different websites with proprietary authorship markup guest blogging is harder to trash by the search traffic monopolist. Google can’t figure out as easily anymore that you have received links from several sites because of your contributions without the sneaky Google authorship code. There is no visible incentive anymore to add it as they’ve discontinued the mugshot appearance in search results thus more blogs will become worthwhile of guest blogging.
How [are guest articles] going to fit into companies’ content strategy?
When applied strategically guest articles can still be used as the starting point of long term relationships with publishers. I still cooperate with some people who have contributed guest articles years ago to my blog. Some of them have vanished or don’t care for keeping up the connection but myself
I’m always open for peer to peer relations.
Ideally a company allow their employees to build up independent personal brands as I probably won’t remember someone who has tweet at me from a branded company account with a logo as the avatar. In contrast I can easily memorize even nonsensical avatar images as long as they display a person or at least exhibit some unique personal style.
People don’t converse with logos, they talk with people.
So the brand content strategy can start with guest articles and get refreshed and expanded over time. Bloggers and publishers who know you already can also grow your reach in other contexts.
#25. Gabriella Sannino: Level343
It will be as important as it’s always been. Guest posting is about building your readership and community. It’s not just about links, sure those are nice but a lot of places rarely do that anymore.
Will it become even less used or will it increase in relevance?
When we discuss guest posting with our clients most of the time the intent and goal boils down to creating and achieving three things.
How is it going to fit into companies’ content strategy?
It would depend on the end goal wouldn’t it? If we’re trying to create those things I mentioned above, then where, what, why and how would be the next thing we would tackle. Which in turn would help us chisel out a strategy. So where are we looking to establish authority? What authority are we trying to establish? Why are we choosing this particular element of the companies brand? So on and so forth.
#26. Harris Schachter: OptimizePrime
Guest posting in 2015 will most likely turn into a form of quality content production for larger content efforts, not for link building specifically. Providing valuable content to your audience should be the goal of all online endeavors, and naturally that might include contributions from influencers or industry leaders. I expect content production to ramp up during 2015, whether it is guest posts, branded content, or personally authored content.
I find it interesting that the post Matt Cutts wrote, the one that got everyone worked up, is called “The decay and fall of guest posting for SEO.” Most people ignore the qualifier at the end, “for SEO”. His post is specifically talking about links, manipulation of PageRank, he references Google’s Guidelines, and mentions automation and outsourcing of guest posting. If you read between the lines he’s simply talking about quality content, not a method of content production.
Obviously guest posting has a purpose outside of link building, which is to impart information or provide entertainment. So while I think guest posting for the sole purpose of link-shaping isn’t a good strategy (as Matt mentioned), providing awesome content for the sake of your audience is. If links come out of that, then so be it; you’ve earned them.
#27. Ileane Smith: BasicBlogTips
Guest blogging will always be a popular strategy for gaining popularity and authority on the web. However, in the future I see it as being much more effective as a tool for personal branding, outreach, and relationship building than it’s use by companies to gain backlinks. I get a lot of requests for guest posts on Basic Blog Tips and the most successful pitches are those from people that I’m familiar with and who engage and interact with me on my blogs and on social media.
Podcast interviews, HOA appearances and YouTube collaborations will also see continued growth in the future.
#28. Eric Ward: EricWard.com
There needs to be a better understanding of what “guest posting” really means, because the term “guest posting” is a useless term in that it doesn’t define any specific strategic approach, goal, or outcome. It’s nebulous Why are you doing it? What is the point of it? What are you’re hoping to achieve. Why?
I think of guest posting in a completely different way than many people I talk to. For example, trying to build links by writing a piece of content for somebody else’s blog, in hopes that the link will help your site rank higher is, in my opinion, a fools game.
We are in the midst of a massive content bubble. Thousands of pieces of content being created every day, some by talented freelancers with degrees in journalism who have been hired because a well-meaning SEO consultant suggested that content was the key to higher rankings.
And though I understand the (faulty) logic behind this thought process, let’s be clear: there are now thousands of people producing content daily about the same subjects, and few if any of this content will get any traction whether it’s via organic rank, likes, shares or any other sort of attention.
Why? Because the world does not need 41,000 articles about how to floss your teeth, And yet as I type this somebody somewhere is being advised that this is exactly what they should do.
Okay, so now that you’ve given me a chance to “vent” about the term “guest posting” let’s talk about what I think is a viable strategy as it relates to guest posting.
A guest post is no different than any other piece of content that is authored by somebody, and then that content ends up being placed/hosted on a site other than the author’s site.
I write a column every month for searchengineland.com. Are those not technically “guest posts? Yes they are but I don’t write columns for SEO or organic rankings benefit. I write articles for two specific reasons;
1) to share my thoughts and beliefs about linking strategies so that…
2) people might visit my website and subscribe to my newsletter, or seek out some of my other linking strategy services.
That’s it. I could care less if those articles have any SEO benefit.
Strategy-wise, creating an extremely well thought out piece of content about which you have great expertise, and then sharing that content with a highly respected site which is selective about its contributors is absolutely the most beneficial short and long-term strategy.
And any sort of linking relationship should be secondary.
Many years ago I made a statement in a column that would be classically described as a “guest post”. I wrote that “higher rankings are the residue of outstanding content properly introduced to the appropriate people”.
I believe this statement is as true today as it ever was, and it continues to be a strategy that helps my clients succeed.
Eric Ward began his career as content linking strategist in 1994. In 1995 Jeff Bezos asked him to help publicize the launch of Amazon.com, and while Eric didn’t know it at the time, his work for Amazon.com would change his life. Today, in addition to being a sought after linking strategist, Eric is a consultant, author, teacher, speaker, and father. Given the nickname LinkMoses by Danny Sullivan, Eric publishes a linking strategies and advice newsletter titled LinkMoses Private. Learn more about Eric at EricWard.com
#29. Joseph Oni: GuestBloggingTactics
I believe guest blogging would be just as important in 2015, but much more complicated; in the past, you could easily get away with publishing low quality content on a poor quality blog for the sake of gaining backlinks, but I believe this strategy will no longer be effective in 2015.
To get results from guest blogging, you’d have to focus on writing quality, well-researched content for highly authoritative blogs; only guest bloggers that can learn to do this will benefit. To others, guest blogging simply “won’t work” anymore.
#30. Karol Krol: NewInternet Order
Whether it’ll grow or not is something difficult to predict when we’re looking at the market as a whole. What’s certain, though, is that the people who are doing it *properly* today will not only continue with their campaigns, but will also start searching for other creative ways to land guest contributions and do so with unusual content types.
For instance, the old-school-way of just sending a text article with a standard bio box is done for the most part. We need to be much more creative going forward. Quality guest blogging has always been about coming up with a unique way to make a connection between your brand and the blog where you want to land a guest post.
Audiences have grown really used to the concept of guest blogging and they pay naturally less attention to anything that says “guest post” on it. So the way brands and companies need to do guest blogging in 2015 is by finding a way to make their guest posts 100 percent in tune with the blog where they want to get featured, and to make that piece of content so good that it’s impossible to ignore.
-Karol K. of NewInternetOrder.com – Online Business Advice for Normal People
#31. Matthew Capala: SearchDecoder.com
In the old days of Google, 100% of it’s SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) were ten blue links to the most relevant and authoritative websites on the Web. Today, only about 15% of Google’s real estate are links to websites; 85% is comprised of Knowledge Graph, maps, local, wiki, news, social media, carousel, images, videos, Amazon, Yelp, and other content aggregators and rich media.
So, one SEO trend that will be the winner in 2015 is your ability to ‘show up’ on the platforms and technologies that take up the hottest real estate in Google and look outside your website for creating ranking opportunities. For example, I create and optimize content on platforms such as Amazon, which is a highly authoritative website that Google loves and users trust, or Quora or Reddit.
So, my prediction for 2015 and beyond is that SEOs will need to look for opportunities to ‘show up’ in Google beyond optimizing a branded website. That’s where I am putting my money and efforts in 2014.
Matthew Capala, Founder of SearchDecoder.com, NYU Prof, and Author of “SEO Like I’m 5”
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