The Secret Heart of SEO

I had the honor to be part of the panel at David Amerland's presentation The Secret Hiding at the Heart of SEO. The entire video presentation is below. Link to the Eric Enge article mentioned at the beginning: RankBrain Myth Busting.

Expanded notes from the presentation:

David Amerland and the Heart of SEO


We are in a time of transition from the time when we were known by the tools we used to a time when we are known by the knowledge we have.

Seo used to be a tool but now it takes away all the tools and applies significance in the skills and knowledge we have.


Skill Set Matters

When we generate content and that content is linked to search the fusion of skills necessitates knowledge of something else. The challenge for business is to ask why and know the answer in order to convey that skill set. Now SEO takes away the importance of tools and applies significance in the skills. If we have the skill set required to create we will always find a way.


How to arrive at a process that gives a certainty every time we arrive at a process, create an SEO campaign, create a branding strategy (now linked to search), and create marketing because that generates content is the fusion of all the skills.


Ask why - for the change

Why are you? Is the base question you need to know about your business. It is the primary purpose of the nature of the business. Everything your business does both on and off line matters, so the more you express the why the better your business is understood. Address the nature of the business rather than the purpose of the business. Determining the “why” creates the construct of your business, and is fluid and constantly evolving. As David says, “It’s a narrative.” A narrative is the story behind your business.


Because your business identity is fluid, each business needs to understand what is important to the audience it needs to serve.  The moment people are convinced you are the right fit is when they buy. A business that doesn’t understand its identity is incapable of understanding how to project itself, how to connect with its audience, and, more importantly, it doesn’t understand what is important to the audience of buyers.


The result is often creating knee jerk reactions like creating a specific marketing campaign or inducements that deliver short-term results. But as these actions are repeated the cost to acquire each customer grows until it is not sustainable.


The moment people are convinced you are the right fit, they are willing to give you money as a result of trust.


Identity is created in two phases: ascribed and allowed.

The ascribed identity comprises all the particulars of the business, the data that search recognizes, such as: nationality, originality, merchandise, pricing range.

The allowed identity is the underlying business value set and the business conduct. If the allowed element is dissonant your potential buyer will not buy.


Three Elements of Identity in Relation to Semantic Search

The elements that resonate together in semantic search are

  • Trust
  • Authority
  • Reputation

The all work together to represent your web presence.


Trust is built on:

  • Contact
  • Perception
  • Assessment
  • Connection


Authority comprises 7 steps:

  • identity
  • conversation
  • sharing
  • presence
  • relationships
  • reputation
  • A presence in groups or communities ( connection)


These need to be present across the business’ outward facing domain wherever the business has a presence. Not being authentic in every area creates a dissonance in the overall perception of the business.


All components of your business identity go into your branding. Branding is essentially a psycho-social effect which requires three things:


  • familiarity
  • confidence
  • trustworthiness


All of these must be inside the presence which has value to convince people to part with their money to do business with you. People need to be familiar with you and know what your business stands for and know how your business resonates with what they need. Then they need to have confidence in the way the business conducts itself with customers and the quality of the goods produced or service delivered, and the way the transaction will occur.


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The Secret

It comes down to identity. The secret behind all the steps is know the answer to the question why are you?


So, for every activity your business does, know why you are doing it to head you in the direction you want to go.


The secret behind the core in an seo campaign which allows you to test the validity of the campaign is knowing why you engage in any business activity. When you start asking the why things like social conscience, morality, ethics that resonate with the human level of the business.


Creating visibility in search is insufficient if that visibility is not linked to the perception that the business has qualities such as good, viable, human, and trustworthy. Visibility must be linked with the core values because these are the things that define a business’ competitive advantage.


Search Advantage

Search is beginning to look at those values incrementally in the way a business is perceived, mentioned, cited, seen by others in order to determine: Is it a good business? In other words, is it the kind of business that is like to produce a good end user experience?

So what counts is is the identity (your business) and is it refined, crystallised, and communicated well. Maximization of effort, is a long-term gain and based on here, now, with this one single customer. Identity is a fluid narrative. Transparency encourages trust. Consistency locks it in.

Your Content

The content on your website pages and articles is one of the ways to build your brand's authority and trustworthiness. Get in touch to find out how semantic writing feeds search engines.

Zara Altair

+1 503 468 7008[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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