I have been sitting here this morning staring into space and pondering the changing face of the world of search. It can really be difficult to get your arms around at times, because so much is going on at times. One of the more recent things that caught my eye are the Intuit – Google partnership that you can read about in this post by Barry Schwartz at the Search Engine Roundtable.
Barry rightly tags this as a significant deal for Google. It should extend Google’s already significant reach into small businesses. It also marks a new level of integration between search engine sevices and significant software providers. Of course, Microsoft gets this type of integration at no cost, so it’s critical for Google to do these types of deals.
I also saw this morning a post at Search Engine Watch about Yahoo Local Becoming more Social. Yahoo has extended the functionality, which previously included ratings and reviews, to now allow users to create and maintain their own personalized lists, tag the content in the lists, and share it. This move should make the functionality appealing to more users, so more people will do it, and it will create a wealth of additional user generated content.
Yahoo has been pushing in this direction as part of its Find, Use, Share, Extend strategy for some time, and this is just the latest step. Google has been making similar moves to extend into social search as well. One of Google’s recent initiatives is the Google Co-Op program. This program has not received much promotion or push, but it allows webmasters and users to tag content and get subscribers to their tagged lists. The beauty of the Co-Op program for Webmasters is that it’s a slick way to turn visitors into repeat visitors. You can read more about it in our latest post about Google Co-Op here.
I also spent some time today investigating Google Base. This seems to be another one of these hidden gems that Google has rolled out that you just don’t hear about on a daily basis. But it appears to provide a new way for publishers to distribute and promote content. I currently don’t have a clear idea whether or not as to how this will bring extra traffic to a web site, but I smell something here for people with large databases of information.
The above items are just a few samplers of the constant change in our business. What all this means for the practice of SEO is that it becomes increasingly complex. While content development and marketing (thought of by some as link building) remain a staple of building your site’s traffic, there are more and more hidden opportunities to leverage the activities of the search engines themselves. Matching the right opportunity to your business, or your client’s business can be the latest “trick” you use to win the game.