7 SEO 2.0 Lessons: SEO for Humans Instead of Spiders is Not About Google and “Content is King”

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Spider, really your preferred audience? Source.

For years Google has been preaching building websites for humans not spiders. Nonetheless in reality Google still relies on webmasters to make their pages spider-friendly.

To be honest I don’t like big Google and I don’t like spiders.

I like humans very much though. That’s why I will explain the SEO 2.0 way of SEO for humans not spiders in 7 lessons:

Lesson one: Forget Google
Optimize as if no Google exists. Google optimization really cripples most websites. People have such a focused “fulfill Google’s wishes” mindset that they tend to overlook those who actually use Google or the website they land on. Opening your mind in this way you’ll quickly notice that in many cases you don’t need Google for “traffic” aka visitors. My SEO 2.0 blog is proof of this concept in that I banned Google search altogether.

Lesson two: Look around
Identify the best traffic sources beyond Google for your niche. For blogs like mine (not only SEO blogs) the best traffic sources are StumbleUpon, niche social sites and other blogs. I get the largest portion of my visitors from StumbleUpon, I get lots of very targeted visitors from niche social sites like Inbound and I get highly targeted visitors from my fellow bloggers. My colleagues alias other bloggers send me highly focused visitors who don’t bounce off my blog.

Lesson three: Make people happy
In SEO 1.0 and SMO (Social Media Optimization) everybody was doing linkbait. In SEO 2.0 we rarely speak of bait as we do not treat people like fish. Build a community, a network of friends who recognize you all over the Internet and who support you by shares without asking and trading votes. In SEO 2.0 we’re not out there for the quick win, we’re in it for the long term bounty. We make people happy by giving them what they want or what they even don’t know they want yet. Unlike advertising we don’t brainwash them into liking it we guess what they might like. That’s why SEO 2.0 is always a step ahead and is never spammy by definition.

Lesson four: Go for marriage not the one night stand
SEO is like going a one night stand. You get someone to visit your site via a search engine and you won’t more of these one night stand visitors. SEO 2.0 is like marriage. You get after repeat or returning visitors and in the best case subscribers. These people trust you. They will buy again and again. For instance I got one online shop where I buy my electronics stuff and another one for my books. I only use search to find out about the products and then I go back to my favorite shops.

Lesson five: Do SEO at the end

So can I dump SEO 1.0 altogether? No, you can’t. I try, but a commercial site can’t. You still need search traffic, especially from Google although there are myriads of other sources by now. Add the SEO 1.0 of tweaking titles, headlines, meta descriptions, categories and tags at the end when you’re blogging. So come up with a gripping headline first, think about what killer content you offer and then add some keywords when you’re done. Spiders may like “German SEO Blog for Small Business Berlin” but humans love “SEO 2.0″.

Lesson six: Content is NOT king
The ages old mantra of content is king is not true in SEO 2.0. Not all content is king. In fact the term content already implies low quality. Ask journalists whether they write content or whether they write stories. Ask artists and photographers whether they create content or not. In SEO 2.0 content is president. A president chosen by the people for the people. So content that nobody gets besides a few scientists is not president. Such content is just a local bureaucrat from Alaska.

Lesson seven: People over spiders

Ever since Web 2.0 went mainstream the people decide who’s hot and who’s not. Before only a few sites decided who to link. Now everybody has the power to link what s/he likes. Be it on MySpace, Twitter or StumbleUpon people decide what’s popular, not spiders. Socialize and do not only “target” people. Listen and learn to make people happy. Be part of groups, networks and communities. I the best case not only virtual ones.

So you see again, SEO 2.0 is not just another hyped term for SEO or SMO. SEO 2.0 is a paradigm shift. It might be Digital Asset Optimization like Lee Odden coined it but it’s certainly not only about “content is king” and SEO for humans not spiders. That’s solely white hat SEO 1.0!

Last updated: February 16th, 2013.