Facebook and the Rise of SEO

Affiliate Summit East started today and one of the key topics that keeps coming up is SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization.  It seems the entire advertising space is looking for help not only with their own SEO, but with the partnerships where they can leverage search traffic.  It's a big change for a scene that has long been about paid advertising.  A lot of it has to do with the times and it lead me to the following thoughts.

The online marketing industry has changed countless times over the last few years.  We just recently went through our biggest culture shock in recent memory.  By now you probably know about Facebook.  The popular social network relies on paid advertisers.  Their methods have come under attack by various governments.  The siege is beginning to take its toll.

Facebook lost ¼ of its value in 30 minutes AFTER HOURS last week.  If you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that their earnings call was devastating and caused a title wave of repercussions for us as marketers. 

Facebooks user growth and advertising setup will likely never be the same.  The company has to shift strategy and no one really knows how they will recover from this, let alone advertisers who NEED them and have come to rely on the company.  It’s a significant change for FB and it has created a new state in digital marketing.  SEO is now the most valuable skill you could possibly have.  The highlight on affiliate marketing and organic search engine based publishers is undeniable.

Many advertisers are staggeringly still behind the times.  Big box advertisers had found refuge in Facebook for their digital needs.  Facebooks ad platform was easy to use, easy to segment, and really doesn’t take a lot of technical knowledge.  It was a perfect setup for the digitally challenged, but now it's pretty much gone.  Most paid social as a whole came from Facebook and advertisers now have a large sum of money in their pockets that has to be spent somewhere .

Facebook is in trouble.  So are the companies who relied on them as a primary source of lead generation and revenue.

With money to spend and stock holders to answer to, advertisers look forward with uncertainty.  To survive, they must change their habits.  Some of the leftover spend will surely go to Twitter and Instagram as they are similar platforms.  These social networks, while similar, really aren’t as effective as FB.  

Twitter took a tumble on the S&P along with the digital giant largely out of panic last week.  It might be a good time to buy twitter as a stock.  They chart out a marketshare winner in this even if they aren’t as effective.

PPC is about to get cranked.  I foresee a massive surge in spend and prices for keywords on Google AdWords.  While PPC will be a good area for advertisers to rotate their lead generation assets, there is no doubting that the price of a customer via Google AdWords will surely go up.  Keywords are already too expensive. and the price just got steeper. 

So we’re back to the beginning of Google and that favorite practice that no one seems to understand.

SEO is the name of the game. 

Search engine optimization is THE topic that all advertisers want to talk about and impact quickly.  Quickly is the word where the problems come in. 

SEO a 1% skill that very few people know, but it’s also time consuming.   Search engine manipulation skills are gained over time and years of failing.  There are multiple disciplines an strategies that work.  Very few people know them due to Google constantly changing its algorithm.  To be good at SEO you really need to be doing it every single day.  

While advertisers sat and made easy money, they missed the mark on the discipline that mattered.  Very few went and took care SEO.  Advertisers missed the investment on the long term lifeblood of their companies. 

Whether search engine traffic is from an affiliate or from your own website, ranking is a cash positive business.  A failure in SEO and general digital marketing strategy sculpted the modern Affiliate Summit. 

It turns out that the grinders we see in Las Vegas, New York, and across the world are some of the most valuable people in the world.

SEO is about blogging, keywords, and building a brand voice in a constructive manner that’s readable for google and valuable to unique visitors.  Affiliate publishers have developed this into a science.  Look at Wirecutter for example.  They have an entire brand voice built on blogging, and all they do is pass leads to companies like BestBuy or Target.  The brands could have had that traffic, they just didn't take the time to put in the effort.  It's crazy that so many post simple products without any content.  You couldn't be more novice in SEO, and that's where some of our giant companies are.

I’m not sure where this all nets out. Maybe I’m onto something here and maybe I’m not.  Either way, it seems that advertisers have been more concerned with spending than writing and affiliate publishers are about to get paid because of it.   

SEO or die may be the name of the game in 2018.  I’m glad it’s a skill I have.

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