I’m sure I’m not the only one. Does it feel like certain digital companies these days have a bit too much power, and we are all just dancing along to the tune of the puppet master?
When it comes to content marketing, sometimes I ask myself, “Where to from here?” How will things evolve and what will search engines want us to do next? When everyone is producing relevant, fresh content, offering the most relevant and user-friendly websites, how are we all then going to stand out from the crowd? When most of us have started to get traction in SEO, with engaging websites and good social interaction, what will the puppet masters come up with to further ‘reward users’ with even better results?
At times it feels like we’re chasing our tails. What I mean is that every few years or so there is inevitably a big shake-up in algorithms, which <wbr/>effectively forces millions of webmasters to scramble for AdWords when their natural traffic drops off all of a sudden. To me it feels like this needs to happen every few years to keep all of us honest, and perhaps to ensure huge profits are maintained. At the same time, when this happens there is usually the odd ‘blue chip’ client who has happily been performing some underhanded SEO tactics that somehow dodge the bullet.
Maybe this is just luck. But no matter what industry we’re in, our number one goal is to ensure our company is profitable. In order for that to happen, we have to market ourselves. And in doing so, this naturally creates competition. We are continually told to offer users the best websites, content and experience. However, at the same time this needs to be balanced out so that we can market ourselves and beat the next guy. We are required to keep both the puppet master and the user happy.
There are checks and balances, which are good, but sometimes I find myself wondering who is checking up on the master? It feels almost contradictory that all of us must work within strict parameters – mostly given to us by the puppet master – but we have no idea who (if anyone) is checking on the rule makers. Last time I checked, this is one of the very few monopolies still in existence today.
The question I pose is this: will we reach a stage when the search engines we currently use are so different that we will be able to call them social engines? Will these engines have a platform that gives us results based on our social metrics (that social companies already have), and how our family and friends know us, rather than a highly sophisticated algorithm? A platform that is so intuitive that when I’m searching for specific golf clubs, for example, it doesn’t simply show me relevant manufacturers, but also recommends the appropriate specs based on my handicap and skill sets.
Will content marketing become social marketing? Will there be a platform where all of the social platforms we currently access merge into a one-stop shop when we go online to search or socialise?
Or has this begun already?