The latest Google algorithm updates floored many professional SEO specialists; Google has been awarded a patent for language personalization. The move to personalization will allow Google to present more results that are relevant to the user, and possibly less clicks to your website. What this also might mean is the end of Google PageRank. All those nifty downloaded do-dads and “SEO tools”, such as the Google Toolbar that shows PR, may not only be inaccurate, but also downright obsolete.
As Google and other search engines move more towards semantic web, user preferences and better search, PageRank will be reshuffled, resorted and – on some websites – removed. If your website linking is done with link farms, continuous reciprocal links, irrelevant links and various frowned upon procedures, the algorithmic changes will hurt. While complete booting of a site isn’t necessarily the “punishment”, your site practices could very well have you at the back of line.
In addition, semantic web forces the issue of relevancy. Therefore, while your PageRank may be shining along at a good, strong 6, your actual SERP may be in the back forties. As many professional SEO specialists have been saying for some time, relevancy, relevancy, relevancy is key.
Why is this a problem for the professionals and not just for you? Allow me to inform: Clients.
Professional SEO services and consultants can track conversions, ROI and traffic. We can show our clients their SERP. We can show them excellent, keyword based, informative content. However, we show them all that, and it’s just… stuff. The PageRank, however – now that’s a number they can sink their teeth into. If PageRank doesn’t count (for all intents and purposes), then what does? And how do you explain this to clients?
Ultimately, what it means is that searches will be more focused on user results instead of the traditional search engine rankings. What most professionals will need to remember is that they will need to focus on the potential client much more than they may have previously. You, as the webmaster, will need to understand what you want a visitor to do on your site. In the long run, you’ll end up with more qualified prospects to your website and less “empty clicks”.
How this change will affect many writers and consultants remains to be seen. With as many SEO services as are currently out there, there may need to be a change in the way that optimization is done. Until that time, most SEO copywriters and SEO services will continue to do business as they always have.
As times change, so will professional SEO specialists. It is the nature of the beast that nothing remains carved in stone. This will by no means make these individuals extinct as the dinosaurs, but those who refuse to see the big picture will end up looking at a tiny piece – and missing everything else.