Search marketing has been in disarray now for a couple of years. The main reason is the Panda update that Google rolled out and had everyone scrambling for cover. In some respects, bad search marketers are still scrambling for cover.
Penguin and Hummingbird didn’t help.
What’s happening is that Google is changing the way it ranks web pages. For the past 15 years the search marketing landscape has been entirely based on links, but that system has been gamed so well by spammers and black hat marketers that it’s virtually not any good any more. MyBlogNetwork found that out the hard way earlier this year.
So what’s going on?
Moz claims it has something to do with implied links.
Traditionally, these have been called citations. It’s when your brand is mentioned on a third-party site but not linked to. It appears that, in Google’s eyes, these are “implied links.”
Another form of implied link is when a searcher enters a search phrase and doesn’t click on a link but modifies the search phrase and clicks on a search result on that secondary search. That click could be construed as an “implied link” to the original search phrase. In other words, even though a search result didn’t appear for a particular search query, because it was associated with a subsequent search query it can also be linked to the original query. That’s some powerful association!
So how can brand marketers use that information to their advantage?
First, quit thinking about search marketing in strict link building terms. Instead, think about it in terms of “implied links” or citations. What you want to do is build a buzz around your brand, maybe even around keywords you want associated with your brand. There’s where search marketing could be headed in the future.