SEO is Dead - Here's Your Pivot

25 replies
On April 23, Eric Schmidt - former CEO of Google will release a book which will discuss the work Google has been doing to essentially "kill SEO."

I can already see the "flame balls" about to be thrown at me regarding such a provocative title; SEO is dead. Check out this quote from Eric Schmidt - former CEO of Google;

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

The practice of creating multiple sites and getting them to rank in service of one company will be a thing of the past. Real people, with real profiles, and real contributions will be ranked. It would be wise for you SEO guys to shift towards a strategy totally centered around Video + Google + (Local) Optimization.



Video is the future of SEO

You guys may have noticed those little advertisements that appear before YouTube videos? To compensate for the loss of screen real estate (mobile devices) and the fact that video is the #1tool for user engagement, Google (as you probably have noticed) has finalized testing of it's Google for Adwords FOR VIDEO product and is now pushing it. The idea is embed these ads on YouTube video results which will appear in Google.com search results. Search results on mobile devices will feature the "7 Box," Google + Authored Sites, and links to video. As you well know, you can create a video, and get it ranked in the same day if you so chose.

That's it in a nutshell. Video is the future of SEO. Use video to capture interest and funnel leads to your site.

Bad Videos Will Be Punished - Good Videos Will Be Rewarded

I've seen a lot of guys "whip up a video" which comprises of a bunch of still images and what amounts to blatant advertising. "DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? WELL WE HAVE A SOLUTION!" Truly ugly uninspiring stuff for the sake of making a sale to a client. Use basic psychology to use video as a tool to drive conversion.

What will happen is that Google will rank those videos that capture and retain attention than the ones who don't. They will rank your video higher than crap videos because your video can be used to help them sell more ads.

Creating a video for the sake of creating a video doesn't mean folks are going to watch the whole thing. If you create videos that folks watch in their entirety, you're adding value to the Google Ad Words for Video product, and thus they will reward you.


What We Have Found To Work

Animated Videos

You know that show "Family Guy?" It's a hit amongst adults. "The Simpsons" have been around for more than 20 years where live action shows have come and gone - fallen by the way side. Why is that?

When we were toddlers, most of us were trained to "watch the cartoons." As toddlers are brains are sponges and things become hard wired. "Watching cartoons" becomes a part of who we are. So we create animated videos that look like cartoons to first CONNECT, and then CONVERT.

Stories Sell

You know what the longest running and most successful television show is? It's the nightly news! Why? It's comprised of a series of short stories (notwithstanding weather and sports).

Keep It Short

There's data to suggest that videos of 60 seconds or less, out-convert those that reach into the 90 second range. If you can't tell a quick, and concise story in less than 60 seconds like the video we did for THIS CLIENT, perhaps the product / service isn't worth selling.

THE BOOK BY ERIC SCHMIDT COMES OUT ON APRIL 23. BUY IT, READ IT, IMPLEMENT IT.
#dead #pivot #seo
  • Profile picture of the author fandbworld
    Google is a pain in the ass. They always make updates and you just gotta adapt. I personally don't think SEO is or will be dead. I guess we will see though
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      I ordered the book. And I like the way you give information and then include a link to a client video...that matches the post content. Pretty spiffy.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by fandbworld View Post

      Google is a pain in the ass. They always make updates and you just gotta adapt. I personally don't think SEO is or will be dead. I guess we will see though

      Yes. ADAPT! GIVE THEM WHAT!
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      • Profile picture of the author mojo1
        Eric Schmidt has been on the record since 2006 or so pronouncing Google as an advertising company and not a search company.

        Unfortunately many marketers are in denial and who moved my cheese mode to truly understand.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

          Eric Schmidt has been on the record since 2006 or so pronouncing Google as an advertising company and not a search company.

          Unfortunately many marketers are in denial and who moved my cheese mode to truly understand.
          Could you explain more what you mean? I feel like I'm out of the loop here.
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          • Profile picture of the author mojo1
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Could you explain more what you mean? I fell like I'm out of the loop here.
            I've watched two tv interviews where Mr. Schmidt was asked a combination of " What is Google's business" and " Does Google still consider itself a search company".

            And in each instance, Mr. Schmidt was very clear that Google no longer considers itself a search company although that was how they'd began. His answers were very clear Google is an advertising company first and foremost.

            I'll try to locate the interview with Charlie Rose to post for your review.

            I know when I first heard him say this, it all made sense with respect to all the major algorithm changes along with how they've bought and gobbled up companies in major industries i.e., hospitality, Zagat (restaurant reviews), Frommer's travel.

            Heck they've even purchased a major travel software company ITA. Their purchase of various hospitality companies along with Motorola and development of Android is the linchpin for everything which is local and should help to solidify their place for some time to come for local dominance.

            Making the transition to advertising was only natural considering all of our daily search engine uses and buying habits served as one big petri dish in determining where the most consumer dollars are spent online.

            This latest update made eerily after this thread was initiated supports the OP and my comments:

            Google Bans Phone Numbers in Search Engine Advertising, Requires Call Extensions to Display Dealership Phone Numbers

            http://www.automotivedigitalmarketin...msg_share_post

            For the record, no one is really saying seo is dead. Google's business model is just a vastly different landscape and they will do or kill off any shortcut, loophole or efficiently strategic seo path that doesn't include going through their advertising money toll booth. Eventually everyone will pay the piper, I mean Google.
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        • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
          Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

          Eric Schmidt has been on the record since 2006 or so pronouncing Google as an advertising company and not a search company.

          Unfortunately many marketers are in denial and who moved my cheese mode to truly understand.

          YUP!!! You are absolutely right!! How do you sell more ads on iPhones with limited real estate? You embed more videos layer ads on top of those before people watch them... Mobile (smart phone usage) is only going to grow.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    How can you say SEO is dead in one sentence, and then say Video is the future of SEO in another?
    If SEO dies....there won't be a future!

    But, in regards to your quote, all that is saying is spam link profiles won't work for ranking.
    Wow! You mean spam links are no good?

    Good SEO won't die for a long time.

    Oh yeah, and sublte approach to a backlink for your own content....
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      How can you say SEO is dead in one sentence, and then say Video is the future of SEO in another?
      If SEO dies....there won't be a future!

      But, in regards to your quote, all that is saying is spam link profiles won't work for ranking.
      Wow! You mean spam links are no good?

      Good SEO won't die for a long time.

      Oh yeah, and sublte approach to a backlink for your own content....
      Quit being so contrary, splitting hairs and such. Clearly you understand what I was conveying. Let's all read the book and start a discussion - A PRODUCTIVE discussion around that.

      That video is not my content - FYI
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

    On April 23, Eric Schmidt - former CEO of Google will release a book which will discuss the work Google has been doing to essentially "kill SEO."

    I can already see the "flame balls" about to be thrown at me regarding such a provocative title; SEO is dead. Check out this quote from Eric Schmidt - former CEO of Google;

    Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

    The practice of creating multiple sites and getting them to rank in service of one company will be a thing of the past. Real people, with real profiles, and real contributions will be ranked. It would be wise for you SEO guys to shift towards a strategy totally centered around Video + Google + (Local) Optimization.
    So how do they plan on "verifying" profiles? With our social security? lol.
    I just don't see how that will stop anything.

    As far as using Video + Google + Local Search I agree. Thats my sales funnel right now and it works great.


    Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

    Video is the future of SEO


    You guys may have noticed those little advertisements that appear before YouTube videos? To compensate for the loss of screen real estate (mobile devices) and the fact that video is the #1tool for user engagement, Google (as you probably have noticed) has finalized testing of it's Google for Adwords FOR VIDEO product and is now pushing it. The idea is embed these ads on YouTube video results which will appear in Google.com search results. Search results on mobile devices will feature the "7 Box," Google + Authored Sites, and links to video. As you well know, you can create a video, and get it ranked in the same day if you so chose.

    That's it in a nutshell. Video is the future of SEO. Use video to capture interest and funnel leads to your site.


    Bad Videos Will Be Punished - Good Videos Will Be Rewarded



    I've seen a lot of guys "whip up a video" which comprises of a bunch of still images and what amounts to blatant advertising. "DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? WELL WE HAVE A SOLUTION!" Truly ugly uninspiring stuff for the sake of making a sale to a client. Use basic psychology to use video as a tool to drive conversion.

    What will happen is that Google will rank those videos that capture and retain attention than the ones who don't. They will rank your video higher than crap videos because your video can be used to help them sell more ads.

    Creating a video for the sake of creating a video doesn't mean folks are going to watch the whole thing. If you create videos that folks watch in their entirety, you're adding value to the Google Ad Words for Video product, and thus they will reward you.
    Are you talking about retention views? Because lots of people are already selling them. Its not going to change anything about how videos are ranked, other than the fact that more people will start buying retention views and start outranking people who are getting them organically.

    What I will say. Video is an absolute killer right now. And your videos don't even have to be great. Like you implied, they just need to connect with the viewer. For local businesses especially, geotargeting videos is a great way to go. They are extremely simple to rank in the top 3. I have a ton of videos like this and the traffic really adds up. Just blast with retention views and backlinks and you are set.

    Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post


    What We Have Found To Work




    Animated Videos








    You know that show "Family Guy?" It's a hit amongst adults. "The Simpsons" have been around for more than 20 years where live action shows have come and gone - fallen by the way side. Why is that?






    When we were toddlers, most of us were trained to "watch the cartoons." As toddlers are brains are sponges and things become hard wired. "Watching cartoons" becomes a part of who we are. So we create animated videos that look like cartoons to first CONNECT, and then CONVERT.






    Stories Sell








    You know what the longest running and most successful television show is? It's the nightly news! Why? It's comprised of a series of short stories (notwithstanding weather and sports).












    Keep It Short

















    There's data to suggest that videos of 60 seconds or less, out-convert those that reach into the 90 second range. If you can't tell a quick, and concise story in less than 60 seconds like the video we did for THIS CLIENT, perhaps the product / service isn't worth selling.











































    THE BOOK BY ERIC SCHMIDT COMES OUT ON APRIL 23. BUY IT, READ IT, IMPLEMENT IT.
    Yep 1 minute is good. But don't make them any shorter because all my 30-45 second videos are a PITA to rank. Meanwhile, my videos that are 2 minutes long are much easier to rank. Plus you can still make a 2 minute video that converts people in 2 - 1 minute cycles. Like the first minute I tell a story that connects. The second minute the video speaks directly to viewer and is a bit more aggressive in converting them.

    Most people who have called have actually told us something like "we were 30 seconds into your video and just had to call", but I still make them 2 minutes long because I personally feel they're easier to rank. I also know if you search a lot of terms where you would expect SHORT videos ranking on page 1 (ie. how to inflate a tire or how to make ice), you still find most videos are over a minute long. Then the further back you go, the more videos you find under 1 minute.

    Again, this is a hard concept to prove, but I believe people should NOT make anything 59 seconds or shorter if they plan on ranking the video. I'm pretty sure google realizes that anyone can register an animoto account, spin some images, upload a 30 second video and spam it to hell and back. And from what I've seen personally, all my longer videos seem to gain traction faster and rank more consistently.

    -Red
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post


      Are you talking about retention views?

      -Red
      Red: Could you explain what you mean by "retention views"? Thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Red: Could you explain what you mean by "retention views"? Thanks.
        Sure thing. Youtube has updated their algorithm to rank videos higher that recieve a large amount of "retention views". Or videos that basically retain a viewers attention. You can see your own viewer retention using the states in your YT account.

        But people have been selling these now for a while. You can basically order like 1000 retention views for $2. Or more if you need. I was blown away by how well they work. For more competitive terms, I will combine them with some automated backlinking.

        I've said this before but this was how my brother got on CBS. They found a youtube video I ranked for our business and called him. At the time I wasn't buying retention views, I was buying normal//natural views and realized just because I was making good videos, and getting lots of natural views ("natural bought" views lol), I was retaining a lot of traffic. Then I started doing more research and began experimenting with retention views. If you've never tried them, I highly recommend it. Once you go retention views you'll never go back imo.

        -Red
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

          Sure thing. Youtube has updated their algorithm to rank videos higher that recieve a large amount of "retention views". Or videos that basically retain a viewers attention. You can see your own viewer retention using the states in your YT account.

          But people have been selling these now for a while. You can basically order like 1000 retention views for $2. Or more if you need. I was blown away by how well they work. For more competitive terms, I will combine them with some automated backlinking.

          I've said this before but this was how my brother got on CBS. They found a youtube video I ranked for our business and called him. At the time I wasn't buying retention views, I was buying normal//natural views and realized just because I was making good videos, and getting lots of natural views, I was retaining a lot of traffic. Then I started doing more research and began experimenting with retention views. If you've never tried them, I highly recommend it. Once you go retention views you'll never go back imo.

          -Red
          Thanks Red. Yeah, I always buy views that are the full length of the video. I just never heard them called "retention views" before. Thanks again.


          Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

          There are a lot of regular views like you can get on Fiverr.
          Where people click play but, don't watch the whole thing.

          Then there are retention views, like with Vagex (?)
          Where people watch the whole video or portions.
          Like at least 30 secs, 60 secs, etc.
          I'm sorry, my friend...you were 3 seconds too late. Yeah, I use Vagex for the retention views (Now that I know why they are called that)
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      • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Red: Could you explain what you mean by "retention views"? Thanks.
        There are a lot of regular views like you can get on Fiverr.
        Where people click play but, don't watch the whole thing.

        Then there are retention views, like with Vagex (?)
        Where people watch the whole video or portions.
        Like at least 30 secs, 60 secs, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      So how do they plan on "verifying" profiles? With our social security? lol.
      I just don't see how that will stop anything.

      As far as using Video + Google + Local Search I agree. Thats my sales funnel right now and it works great.




      Are you talking about retention views? Because lots of people are already selling them. Its not going to change anything about how videos are ranked, other than the fact that more people will start buying retention views and start outranking people who are getting them organically.

      What I will say. Video is an absolute killer right now. And your videos don't even have to be great. Like you implied, they just need to connect with the viewer. For local businesses especially, geotargeting videos is a great way to go. They are extremely simple to rank in the top 3. I have a ton of videos like this and the traffic really adds up. Just blast with retention views and backlinks and you are set.



      Yep 1 minute is good. But don't make them any shorter because all my 30-45 second videos are a PITA to rank. Meanwhile, my videos that are 2 minutes long are much easier to rank. Plus you can still make a 2 minute video that converts people in 2 - 1 minute cycles. Like the first minute I tell a story that connects. The second minute the video speaks directly to viewer and is a bit more aggressive in converting them.

      Most people who have called have actually told us something like "we were 30 seconds into your video and just had to call", but I still make them 2 minutes long because I personally feel they're easier to rank. I also know if you search a lot of terms where you would expect SHORT videos ranking on page 1 (ie. how to inflate a tire or how to make ice), you still find most videos are over a minute long. Then the further back you go, the more videos you find under 1 minute.

      Again, this is a hard concept to prove, but I believe people should NOT make anything 59 seconds or shorter if they plan on ranking the video. I'm pretty sure google realizes that anyone can register an animoto account, spin some images, upload a 30 second video and spam it to hell and back. And from what I've seen personally, all my longer videos seem to gain traction faster and rank more consistently.

      -Red
      Good stuff!!

      I guess there is a dichotomy here, ranking vs. converting. I have found shorter videos to be far more successful at CONVERTING than longer ones, when you are trying to sell a B2B offering, 59 secs or less tends to be the formula...

      It just may be different from B2C, but business owners are dealing with pitches all the time, and making a video longer than the average amount of time they'd generally spend on a site if you are selling B2B can be a negative value prop.

      What are your thoughts on linking short videos to quality sites using XML site maps for the video? Do you think that will help rank shorter videos?
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    SEO will only be dead if they make people pay for organic ranking. However... that would be the death of Google. BUT, let us pretend it wouldn't be, even adwords uses the same concept of optimization in order to rank your ads and lower your CPC. SEO will always be around..

    Video being the future... I doubt it. It is a part of it, but not the future.. it is the present, but not really as far as ranking goes. Videos on site help convert traffic, but videos off site pretty much, at least for the most part, just take up a spot in search that your competitors may have been.

    A CEO at Google, doesn't understand the complexities of the ranking algorithm, Google is waaaaaaay beyond just search right now.

    Video, is a nice tool to increase conversions with your traffic. It will never be the future of SEO.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      SEO will only be dead if they make people pay for organic ranking. However... that would be the death of Google. BUT, let us pretend it wouldn't be, even adwords uses the same concept of optimization in order to rank your ads and lower your CPC. SEO will always be around..

      Video being the future... I doubt it. It is a part of it, but not the future.. it is the present, but not really as far as ranking goes. Videos on site help convert traffic, but videos off site pretty much, at least for the most part, just take up a spot in search that your competitors may have been.

      A CEO at Google, doesn't understand the complexities of the ranking algorithm, Google is waaaaaaay beyond just search right now.

      Video, is a nice tool to increase conversions with your traffic. It will never be the future of SEO.
      To expand on this... Google doesn't want to kill SEO companies either. Google wants the results to be the highest quality. If they have low quality results, it leaves them open to losing search engine market share. If they lose market share, then someone else gains it, that means advertising dollars are going with another company.

      They are against SEOs that are getting low quality or irrelevant websites ranking. They are all for SEOs that are enhancing the user experience of their visitors, and putting up high quality stuff.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      but not the future.. it is the present.
      Ha! I have to remember that.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketX
    Google rules the Internet wave. It seems like we all have to conform to their changes and implementations to keep up. As long as the Youtube algorithms dont drastically change, we all have a good chance of ranking Videos and in turn ranking our site well within Google. We shall wait and see what happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    Here is a longer version of the initial post, taken from page 33 in the book:
    The basics of online identity could also change. Some governments will consider it too risky to have thousands of anonymous, untraceable and unverified citizens — “hidden people”; they’ll want to know who is associated with each online account, and will require verification, at a state level, in order to exert control over the virtual world.

    Your online identity in the future is unlikely to be a simple Facebook page; instead it will be a constellation of profiles, from every online activity, that will be verified and perhaps even regulated by the government.


    Imagine all of your accounts — Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, Netflix, New York Times subscription — linked to an “official profile.”

    Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.

    The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance; even the most fascinating content, if tied to an anonymous profile, simply won’t be seen because of its excessively low ranking.
    The part in red, was the part posted in the first post....

    And here is a link to the book: (Not an aff link)
    The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of...The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of...
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    Google isn't hiding it's thoughts regarding YouTube. Most of what they think is written in plain english:

    Creator Hub - YouTube

    The also talk pretty openly about where things are going in terms of video on the YouTube Blog. They've been talking about the new algorithm for some time now.

    YouTube Creator Blog: YouTube search, now optimized for time watched

    Local SEO in the traditional sense is dead, but those who combine the power of local events, Video and traditional link building are doing quite well without to many tricks:

    The Complete Guide to Link Building with Local Events | SEOmoz

    Consider a Google Hangout an "event" like all of the stuff mentioned.

    SEO is Dead. Long Live SEO.

    CT

    PS..as a matter of fact, you may want to wrap your brain around the YouTube blog post from 4/10/13 on the front page of the Youtube blog.

    http://youtubecreator.blogspot.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author bawls
    Just more hyperbolic non-sense from Google.

    The only reason video does well on Google search is they are desperately trying to turn YouTube into a profitable site...but as anyone who tracks such thing knows, unlike a webpage a video site page only will provide descent conversion in certain niches, making it unsuitable for a PPC model for Google for local markets and other like markets.
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  • Profile picture of the author rbecklund
    Just more hyperbolic non-sense from Google.

    Yep...

    It's all SEO in the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Walt Serdville
    Back to basics.. SEO can't and won't die as long we have search engines. Or searching in this matter. Everything is optimizable, it's just how we understand it. Think about it. Terminology.

    -Valter
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    • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
      Bad Videos Will Be Punished - Good Videos Will Be Rewarded

      I've seen a lot of guys "whip up a video" which comprises of a bunch of still images and what amounts to blatant advertising. "DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? WELL WE HAVE A SOLUTION!" Truly ugly uninspiring stuff for the sake of making a sale to a client. Use basic psychology to use video as a tool to drive conversion.

      What will happen is that Google will rank those videos that capture and retain attention than the ones who don't. They will rank your video higher than crap videos because your video can be used to help them sell more ads.

      Creating a video for the sake of creating a video doesn't mean folks are going to watch the whole thing. If you create videos that folks watch in their entirety, you're adding value to the Google Ad Words for Video product, and thus they will reward you.
      MEH ...

      As if gaming the serps with a video is so hard?

      Comedy of it is utube vids react just pleasantly to copius amounts of the nastiest link spam - and web 2.0 embeds.

      Not saying this is the case with the OP here - but most dudes I hear prognosticating the death of organic seo are the ones who threw in the towel last go round of penguin / panda - followed up by google's complete fornication of the Local Maps / 7 box ranking methods.

      ... AND ... as if there wont be mass gaming of the G+ personas to get the coveted "Google Authorship" lol - frikken joke mate.

      Wonder which corporate officer is going to stick his mughsot up on G+ for GEICO? Warren Buffett going to get a G+ Persona so GEICO can finally rank?

      LMAO.

      Vid is just a bit part of the total game. Yes they rank and rank well and do a lot of good stuff - but far from "THE" future.

      Im sure the guy who's $200k lathe just crapped the bed and needs a new replacement part is eager to watch some homemade video of another clown on a green screen nattering on incessantly with flailing hand gestures and bug eyes about his "review" site of Part # 33067 B.

      Theres a whole big world out there for SEO on traditional B 2 B - the internet is not limited to merely "consumer" goods pimps.
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