6 New SEO 2.0 Definitions: It’s the People’s SEO, about Relevancy & ORM but not…

SEO 2.0 doesn’t exist and I’m glad it doesn’t! OK, SEO 2.0 doesn’t exist according to Wikipedia. It existed, someone wrote an excellent article about it but the Wikipedia censors deleted it. I’m glad. I prefer to spread the SEO 2.0 definition myself than letting a bunch of Wikipedia censors outrank me, who btw. blandly admit in the censorship notes that they consider all SEO to be spam.

This post is not meant to whine about SEO 2.0 being censored on Wikipedia. Every Web-savvy individual by now knows how unreliable Wikipedia is. I want to focus on new articles on SEO 2.0, especially on the spelled out or inherent SEO 2.0 definitions in these articles.

The longer I write about SEO 2.0, the better I understand it and the closer I get to a definition that makes sense beyond saying “SEO for Web 2.0” or something. While I’m not yet perfectly sure about the definition itself I’m quite certain what it is not though!

So let me link the 6 new SEO 2.0 articles that have been published in the recent weeks:

  1. The new Search Engine Optimization – SEO 2.0 | PC Pro blog
  2. SEO: What’s Hot and What’s Not
  3. SEO 2.0 – SEOs are Marketers Too! | SEO.com
  4. Pharma, Biotech & Devices Can Ignore SEO 2.0 « The Buzzword Status Report « Group 8020
  5. What is SEO? It depends on the version… | Propel Marketing, LLC
  6. MLM Traffic Formula 2 Course Outline: Serious Details!

Before I comment on each definition let me summarize for the quick readers who just skim this:

SEO 2.0 is not Google SEO, a buzzword, a PPC Scheme or part of an MLM Formula, it’s the people’s SEO, about relevancy & ORM

In the broadest sense SEO 2.0 as a term just describes a paradigm shift in SEO that took place when Web 2.0, social media and Universal Search appeared among others. Other major developments that led to this shift were localized and personalized search results.

So apparently a lot has changed and the SEO industry had to adapt to the new situation. You can call it what you like but it did happen, it still happens and thus we have to name it too. The easiest way to name it is SEO 2.0

OK, so let’s see what the recent articles say about SEO 2.0 in detail.


#1 The new Search Engine Optimization – SEO 2.0 | PC Pro blog
Tom Arah readily admits to revisit SEO after a few years of absence. While he gets the first paragraph right summarizing that “a whole lot changed” his conclusion is 2/3 wrong. He rightly acknowledges that SEO 2.0 is not about tricking search engines anymore.

Then he goes on to state that SEO 2.0 is basically about Google telling webmasters how to do basic SEO. He errs as well in saying that SEO 2.0 is actually “new”. It wasn’t new in 2007 when I started this blog. Also, in a bizarre twist Matt Cutts becomes the ambassador of SEO 2.0 while the Google SEO Starter Kit is the bible of SEO 2.0. Sorry to disappoint you but you haven’t done your homework.

SEO 2.0 is not about Google SEO.

SEO 1.0 was. SEO 2.0 overtakes Google by ignoring it basically. I prefer to call that “SEO as a side effect”. When you get popular on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube Google basically can’t ignore that and you get links that push you at Google as well. At the same time you haven’t done much if any old school SEO.


#2 SEO: What’s Hot and What’s Not
Mihaela Lica attempts to address the fuzzy SEO 2.0 topic on Sitepoint. While the commentators mostly fail to grasp the concept she quite aptly describes and elaborates on it. In her article she argues correctly that social networking sites are major SEO tools nowadays which is true both for SEO and SEO 2.0 practicioners. She also mentions link baiting, one the first SEO 2.0 tactics around. It has surfaced somewhere around 2004/5 already and its more recent extension, the so called viral marketing. That’s right.

While in 2005 you did a link bait to get links in large numbers form Digg e.g. you nowadays tend to create “magnetic web content” that spreads on social media like Twitter by itself.

Lica also goes on to cover the so called long tail concept which one of the earliest SEO 2.0 definitions also included, the Hittail definition from June 2006.
So all in all Mihaela Lica gets all her points right. She doesn’t cover the whole scope of SEO 2.0 but who can in such a short blog post?


#3 SEO 2.0 – SEOs are Marketers Too! | SEO.com
David Malmborg of SEO.com very carefully explains why the SEO industry had to adapt. The changes of the Internet landscape that led to the paradigm shift of SEO 2.0 have rarely been so well formulated in such a short post. He goes on to declare that the most crucial aspect of SEO 2.0 is the reputation management part of it.

This may be overstated but reputation building is indeed the prerequisite of a successful SEO 2.0 strategy. You can’t succeed with people when they assume that you are a jerk. I agree with Mrt. Malmborg but I admonish you not to forget all other aspects of SEO 2.0 and concentrate solely on your reputation.


#4 What is SEO 2.0?
An anonymous poster at the “Group 8020 Blog” asks “What is SEO 2.0?” and we quickly realize why: the person doesn’t know. S/he is even “confused” according to her/his own words. Also we soon realize why s/he won’t get SEO 2.0 in the future either: the agency s/he writes for is based on the assumption that you should reach 80% results with solely 20% of effort.

The 80/20 thing might work in SEO when you change a few title tags and headlines as SEO tactics but here the author fails completely to grasp the concept of SEO 2.0.

Next time s/he probably should spend more than the proclaimed 20% effort on research. S/he likens SEO 2.0 to basic SEO 1.0 practices and thus declares the term SEO 2.0 not to be needed. S/he also states that SEO 2.0 is only a buzzword. Is it?

Well, show me the buzz then! I collected 6 articles from the recent 2 months on SEO 2.0 so it’s not much of a buzz cowboy, isn’t it? It was a wise decision not to use your name for this article. In this sense you got SEO 2.0 right. It would be bad for your reputation. [Update: The site does not exist anymore.]


#5 What is SEO? It depends on the version… | Propel Marketing, LLC
Tanya from Propel Marketing, LLC gets it right in her article, there are two kinds of SEO, an outdated one, sometimes even sneaky and a new one, SEO 2.0. SEO 2.0 is different though.

While SEO 1.0 best practices are fine you won’t get far nowadays without focusing on relevancy and user experience.

This is a short but excellent post. Sometimes other people who deal with SEO 2.0 less often than myself see it more clearly. Tanya is one of them. Thank you! SEO 2.0 is designed for the people! [Update: Sadly the site is defunct by now.]


#6 MLM Traffic Formula 2 Course Outline: Serious Details!
While searching for more info on the so called “LocalAdLink” scheme I came across above mentioned article. I won’t cover the LocalAdLink PPC scheme as some warn that it’s actual a scam. I can’t say whether it is, I haven’t tried it. I can tell you one thing though: PPC is not part of SEO and it’s not part of SEO 2.0 either.

The same blogs that cover this PPC scheme also deal with the “MLM Traffic Formula” which also refers to part of it as SEO 2.0. While both methods reflect the definition of SEO 2.0 quite right, as in “SEO as a side effect” above, both of them are not SEO 2.0 because they don’t rely on authority like SEO 2.0 does.

You can’t buy love and you can’t buy friendship and real loyalty on social media or networks either.

Investing in PPC is OK, it’s traditional search marketing but it’s not SEO 2.0 even if you create geo-location specific pages.
The “MLM formula” contains a small SEO 2.0 part as if SEO 2.0 could fit in such a tiny aspect. SEO 2.0 is a great effort by itself, you can’t do it in 15 minutes while performing several other steps. So neither of these two methods are really about SEO 2.0!


What do you think? Is SEO 2.0 still something new, an actual buzzword or doesn’t it exist at all like some uninitiated assume? Add your own private SEO 2.0 definition now!

Last updated: March 29th, 2013: Removed broken links. Fixed some grammatical errors and added white space.