NEW: Chris Thomas

Just when I thought I had a pretty good handle on SEO, I learned that those cunning folks at Google are about to change the landscape again.

Back to school on SEO!

Chris Thomas

This week I was going to continue on with some AdWords tips, and I will pick it up again next week. Today I want to talk to you about a conference I attended last Thursday. I wandered along to the Search Engine Boot Camp in Melbourne, a one-day conference hosted by Barry Smyth.

And just when I thought I was pretty much on top of the SEO game, I came away from the conference realising I had a lot of work to do! But let me share some of the insights and important upcoming trends that will change the search landscape for all of us. 

Bruce Clay deservedly wears the title of ‘SEO guru’ and runs one of the largest and most respected Search Engine Optimisation companies in the United States. Bruce did a great presentation on SEO fundamentals, and also spoke at length about Google and where it’s going in the next 12 months.

Given that Bruce is a good friend of Matt Cutts (Google’s official webmaster spokesperson), Bruce gets a lot of information directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’ so to speak, about upcoming initiatives Google is rolling out.

In May this year, Google announced the (beta) release Google Universal. Essentially, Universal search will combine lots of different forms of content on a search result page, such as images, maps (local search), news, and (really importantly) video.

You can see an example of how Universal is already beginning to affect search results by typing ‘Darth Vader’ into Google. You can see images, a YouTube video as well as the standard search results, all on the same page.

There are several reasons behind this initiative. The first is to provide different kinds of content so that a user can view and get the kind of content they’re after within the Google result page. For example, you’ll notice you don’t have to visit YouTube to watch the video content; it will play within the search result page itself! (So THAT’S why Google bought YouTube for squillions!)

This creates a ‘stickier’ Google page, where users will begin to spend more time at the search engine rather than performing a quick search and clicking away.

The second reason for Universal is undoubtedly commercial. The more time a user spends on Google, the more chance there is that the user might click on a Google Ad (where Google makes the vast majority of its income).

Bruce talked about how we (as Search Engine Optimisers) should be advising our clients to create new content, in particular video. He’s advising his clients to create short videos, which are then uploaded to YouTube – optimised with relevant titles, descriptions and tags, then ‘linked-to’ heavily to increase their link popularity. This way they stand a good chance of appearing in the search results when Universal is officially launched.

Google intends to fully release Universal about this time next year and when it does, I don’t want my clients playing catch-up.

If you’re in Brisbane or are happy to travel, Barry Smyth is running the next Search Engine Boot Camp on September 25 and will be focusing on the travel industry. Well worth attending.


Chris Thomas heads Reseo, a search engine marketing company that specialises in setting up and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns, Affiliate Programs and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.


To read more Chris Thomas blogs, click here.



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