📺 The Future of SEO is on the SERP | Rand Fishkin | BrightonSEO 2018 | YouTube

Watched The Future of SEO is on the SERP | BrightonSEO 2018 by Rand Fishkin from YouTube

The good news is: the number of searches on Google keeps growing. The bad news is: decreasing clickthrough rates on organic results ( especially in mobile), fewer big companies dominating the world’s Google search results and more results answered entirely in Google’s SERPs.

As Google answers a higher and higher percent of queries in the results themselves and refers out less traffic to websites, we’re all gonna have to think about how we influence search audiences through what Google shows rather than just focusing on driving traffic to our own sites.

A big part of SEO’s future will be on the SERP rather than driving traffic to websites.

Rand Fishkin is the founder of SparkToro - https://sparktoro.com/-and was previously co-founder of Moz and Inbound.org. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through the Whiteboard Friday video series, his blog, and his book, Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World.

About BrightonSEO
BrightonSEO – is a major search marketing event in the UK. One of our favourite events of the year, This is a superb conference for search marketing professionals, novice or expert. BrightonSEO - https://www.brightonseo.com/ - is a chance to learn from some of the best minds in search, and then rub shoulders with them at one of the friendliest, and largest, gatherings of Digital Marketers in Europe.

Some interesting perspective on the future of the internet from an SEO-related perspective.

While a lot of the net is going to mobile first and the rise of the assistants (Google Home and Amazon Alexa) are taking a lot of eyeballs, I’m curious if the move toward immediate answers is more for the “I don’t have time for more in-depth search because I just want a quick answer” versus buyers and people looking for more depth that are going to prefer desktop or sit-back experiences where they’ll spend some time browsing and/or reading. Are the numbers in this presentation specific to this phenomenon or indicative of something much worse as is predicted in the video?

#1. It’s never been harder to earn organic traffic from the web’s major players.  

#2. It’s never been more important to make your website (and email list)–rather than someone else’s property–the center of your campaigns.  

The second slide point is directly from the video with the “rather than someone else’s property” part quoted and inserted from the audio portion. I love that this is a direct incarnation of the IndieWeb philosophy for business use cases. Earlier this morning I actually heard a radio advertisement use the phrase, “or find us on our socials” with word socials being indicative of a generic term for ubiquitous social media platforms which would presumably include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Perhaps the fact that companies aren’t directly differentiating social silos in their advertising anymore means that some better social readers would portend a more IndieWeb-first approach? Eventually companies are going to find that maintaining dozens of presences on multiple sites isn’t as cost-effective as just maintaining their one site and perhaps the market drops back to a more distributed web approach?

👓 Distributed Digital Transformation | Interdependent Thoughts

Read Distributed Digital Transformation by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (zylstra.org)
This is a start to more fully describe and explore a distributed version of digitisation, digitalisation and specifically digital transformation, and state why I think bringing distributed / networked thinking into them matters. Digitising stuff, digitalising routines, the regular way Over the past ...

We need to learn to see the cumulative impact of a multitude of efforts, while simultaneously keeping all those efforts visible on their own. There exist so many initiatives I think that are great examples of how distributed digitalisation leads to transformation, but they are largely invisible outside their own context, and also not widely networked and connected enough to reach their own full potential. They are valuable on their own, but would be even more valuable to themselves and others when federated, but the federation part is mostly missing.
We need to find a better way to see the big picture, while also seeing all pixels it consists of. A macroscope, a distributed digital transformation macroscope.  

This seems to be a related problem to the discovery questions that Kicks Condor and Brad Enslen have been thing about.

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👓 It’s a Link Thing (Re: Graph-Based Indie-reading) | Kicks Condor

Read It’s a Link Thing (Re: Graph-Based Indie-reading) by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
Cool, yes, the alert worked! That alone is very worthwhile and goes a long way toward discovery. In a way, I think this is the most idealized form—you’ve just done the equivalent of “Hey, check this out” and I am very fortunate that I get to read your reasoning rather than to simply see a li...
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👓 The idea that “a Reader could boost …” | known.stierand.org

Read a post by Björn StierandBjörn Stierand (Björn Stierand)
The idea that "a Reader could boost posts when they are from a feed that is not regularly updated" is implemented in Newsblur, my RSS reader of choice. They call it "Infrequent Site Stories" and it is a quite powerful tool to find interesting pieces of information in a huge number of posts. http://b...

I hadn’t been aware that any feed readers had this type of functionality! Glad to see it’s out there and others are considering implementing it.

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👓 It’s a link thing | Jeremy Cherfas

Read It's a link thing by Jeremy Cherfas
This is too good to be true. Yesterday I read Sebastiaan's write-up of how he graphically a link between two individuals who both liked the same thing on the internet, and how, by doing that, he could alert himself to things he might like.
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👓 Three things about Readers during IndieWebCamp Nürnberg | Seblog

Read Three things about Readers during IndieWebCamp Nürnberg by Sebastiaan AndewegSebastiaan Andeweg (seblog.nl)

This year is marked as the ‘Year of the Reader’, and indeed, there was a lot of Reader talk last weekend. I really like the progress we are making with Microsub and apps like Indigenous, but I also noticed we’re not there yet for me. But that’s not a discouragement, quite the opposite!

This blogpost has three parts: first I describe the painpoints I feel at the moment, then I describe what I have been hacking on yesterday, and in the last part I share some other ideas we talked about over dinner in Nürnberg, that where not recorded in any form other than short notes on some phones.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

this is another single point of Aaron in our stack.  

As opposed to another single point of Ryan….
November 08, 2018 at 08:59AM

I have discovered new interesting posts by looking at the likes my friends post.  

November 08, 2018 at 09:07AM

More ways to combat feed overwhelm
Before IndieWebCamp, we had a discussion about Readers in a traditional Nürnberger restaurant. Here also, people came up with some ideas to deal with accruing unread-counts.
One idea came from how Aperture deletes posts after 7 days. This actually prevents the overload. It would be nice if you can tell your reader that, for example your Twitter feed, is ephemeral and that the posts can be discarded if you did not read them in time.
One other idea that came up was to keep track of the average time between posts of a certain feed. This way a Reader could boost posts when they are from a feed that is not regularly updated. These kind of posts are usually lost in piles of more posts from more frequently updates feeds.
Yet a last idea was to tell your reader to leave out posts with certain words for a small period of time. This can come in handy when you haven’t watched the newest episode of Game of Thrones yet, but want to stay connected to your feeds without spoilers.  

Some good ideas here to deal with feeds.
November 08, 2018 at 09:10AM

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👓 Webrings are Dead | Kicks Condor

Read Webrings are Dead by Kicks CondorKicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
This reminds me of these “useless web” sites—this being the primary one—that have managed to stay very popular. (A lot of YouTubers make videos of themselves clicking through this site and I often see kids at school using the site.) And it’s basically a webring. But it’s not a code-based...
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👓 Coroner’s Report: Webrings are Dead, Part II | Brad Enslen

Read Coroner’s Report: Webrings are Dead, Part II by Brad EnslenBrad Enslen (Brad Enslen)
This is Part II of my series on the Death of Webrings.  Part I is here. For this article I am going to use two examples.  I want to make it clear that I am not picking on the example rings, their creators or their intended uses.  I do want to point out what I see as flaws in their model that unle...
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👓 Just a Thought: Searching vs. Browsing | Powazek

Read Just a Thought: Searching vs. Browsing by Derek Powazek (powazek.com)

Think about these two words for a moment: "Search" and "Browse." They're words that are used frequently to describe things we do on computers. But consider their traditional associations:

Browsing is shopping, strolling, flipping through a magazine. Browsing is fun, casual, entertaining.

Searching is mechanical, trial and error, frustrating. Searching is work.

There's a powerful emotional difference between the two. Now let's talk about tags.

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👓 Just a Thought: Design for Selfishness | Powazek

Read Just a Thought: Design for Selfishness by Derek Powazek (powazek.com )
In 1996, Paulina Borsook wrote a story that, frankly, really pissed me off. In "Cyberselfish," published in Mother Jones and eventually turned into a book, she wrote about how new have-it-your-way technology was creating a generation of spoiled brats with computers. I took umbrage. Not only was I a proud member of the generation she was lambasting (a generation that is now oldschool on the internet, for whatever that's worth), but I had personally observed just the opposite. I witnessed people using new digital tools to collaborate. I saw more selflessness and altruism online than off.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

I think the internet’s core message can be summed up in one word: Share.  

An early reference to the sharing economy?
October 04, 2018 at 09:08AM

The last thing most people need is another microphone. They need something to say. (And time to say it.)  

Interesting to hear this from 2006 and looking back now…
October 04, 2018 at 09:12AM

Designing for selfishness does not mean abandoning the group good.  

October 04, 2018 at 09:14AM

Except that the aggregate selfish behavior of millions of people tagging billions of photos means that the public tag pages make entertaining surfing for everyone.  

Reading this reminds me of some of Brad Enslen and Kicks Condor‘s conversations about discovery on the net.

How can one leverage selfish behaviour to the benefit of all?
October 04, 2018 at 09:15AM

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Some ideas about tags, categories, and metadata for online commonplace books and search

Earlier this morning I was reading The Difference Between Good and Bad Tags and the discussion of topics versus objects got me thinking about semantics on my website in general.

People often ask why WordPress has both a Category and a Tag functionality, and to some extent it would seem to be just for this thing–differentiating between topics and objects–or at least it’s how I have used it and perceived others doing so as well. (Incidentally from a functionality perspective categories in the WordPress taxonomy also have a hierarchy while tags do not.) I find that I don’t always do a great job at differentiating between them nor do I do so cleanly every time. Typically it’s more apparent when I go searching for something and have a difficult time in finding it as a result. Usually the problem is getting back too many results instead of a smaller desired subset. In some sense I also look at categories as things which might be more interesting for others to subscribe to or follow via RSS from my site, though I also have RSS feeds for tags as well as for post types/kinds as well.

I also find that I have a subtle differentiation using singular versus plural tags which I think I’m generally using to differentiate between the idea of “mine” versus “others”. Thus the (singular) tag for “commonplace book” should be a reference to my particular commonplace book versus the (plural) tag “commonplace books” which I use to reference either the generic idea or the specific commonplace books of others. Sadly I don’t think I apply this “rule” consistently either, but hope to do so in the future.

I’ve also been playing around with some more technical tags like math.NT (standing for number theory), following the lead of arXiv.org. While I would generally have used a tag “number theory”, I’ve been toying around with the idea of using the math.XX format for more technical related research on my site and the more human readable “number theory” for the more generic popular press related material. I still have some more playing around with the idea to see what shakes out. I’ve noticed in passing that Terence Tao uses these same designations on his site, but he does them at the category level rather than the tag level.

Now that I’m several years into such a system, I should probably spend some time going back and broadening out the topic categories (I arbitrarily attempt to keep the list small–in part for public display/vanity reasons, but it’s relatively easy to limit what shows to the public in my category list view.) Then I ought to do a bit of clean up within the tags themselves which have gotten unwieldy and often have spelling mistakes which cause searches to potentially fail. I also find that some of my auto-tagging processes by importing tags from the original sources’ pages could be cleaned up as well, though those are generally stored in a different location on my website, so it’s not as big a deal to me.

Naturally I find myself also thinking about the ontogeny/phylogeny problems of how I do these things versus how others at large do them as well, so feel free to chime in with your ideas, especially if you take tags/categories for your commonplace book/website seriously. I’d like to ultimately circle back around on this with regard to the more generic tagging done from a web-standards perspective within the IndieWeb and Microformats communities. I notice almost immediately that the “tag” and “category” pages on the IndieWeb wiki redirect to the same page yet there are various microformats including u-tag-of and u-category which are related but have slightly different meanings on first blush. (There is in fact an example on the IndieWeb “tag” page which includes both of these classes neither of which seems to be counter-documented at the Microformats site.) I should also dig around to see what Kevin Marks or the crew at Technorati must surely have written a decade or more ago on the topic.


cc: Greg McVerry, Aaron Davis, Ian O’Byrne, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Jeremy Cherfas

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👓 An Indieweb Web Directory | Brad Enslen

Read An Indieweb Web Directory by Brad EnslenBrad Enslen (Brad Enslen)
My random thought for the day.  These can be dangerous.  Hold my beer. What would happen if you combined a standard web directory script with Indieweb.org features like webmentions and such?  I think you could end up with a very powerful tool for a directory. I have not the slightest idea how on...
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👓 My podcast diet: August 2018 | a.wholelottanothing.org

Read My podcast diet: August 2018 by Matt Haughey (A Whole Lotta Nothing)
I listen to several dozen podcasts, usually when doing boring tasks like errands, dishes, or car trips, on the order of 5-8 hours per week, and mostly at the expense of time I used to spend listeni…
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