Brand will soon be everything in the Avocado Update

Avocado update

I sense a change in the search-space continuum.

I think something big is afoot.

Something that will play out over a period of the next 12 months.

I think search optimisation will change as we know it.

It already has grown men weeping into their pot noodle after their 1,000th disavow submission.

The SEO is now a glorified clerical worker.
Bad link yes.
Bad link no.
Send off disavow file.

What is the name of the business you are trying to get traffic for?
Are people searching for the name of that business?
Are they talking about it on social media?

If not, the business is probably not worth ranking.
It’s probably a shell of a website wrapped around a keyword.
And that used to work so well.

Now we have to develop emotional relationships between our brand and ADD, caffeine fulled, sheeple who represent the human race on the internet.
And that’s OK for some of us, I for one have always said it’s people you get links from, not websites.
Now it’s going to be “the Conversation” which is going to decide who ranks.
Why should Google count links to decide what people want to rank for?
You do realise that Panda and Penguin were declarations of failure of that system, don’t you?
Don’t you?
They are hacks, pure and simple.

But change is coming, it’s in the wind, can’t you smell it.
It hangs in the air like the silence in an empty hall after a big show.

Are you ready for it?

Change is the only thing we can be sure of, and the change is getting faster.

The other day my iPad pinged me with a notification that someone was making a live video of a Waitrose avacado, using Periscope.
Lets leave aside the psychology of why someone would do this.
It wasn’t an avacado, it was a Waitrose avacado.
Do you really think something like that is not going to get sucked up and noted.
And in some massive computer somewhere the relationship between the brand keyword, Waitrose and an avacado has changed ever so slightly in the positive.
If search was to be accurate, or even improved this notice of a human being communicating evidence of sharing a branded avacado should make a difference.

So where does that leave marketers, influencer and persuaders?
Well it’s actually quite tasty for those of us who like to persuade people to do stuff.
Some of us like the hustle and the inter=play between the crowd and the promotion of thoughts that end up in their head.

The Avacado Update

I present no objective proof to support this.
Merely my thoughts on where this is all going and what I am seeing and what I feel.
It may take a few years, but all Google needs to know is everything the human race says in real time and the ability to process language in a correct semantic context which takes account of culture.

Why would you need links if you had that?

The age of the storyteller is about to begin.

You can call it content marketing if you so wish, it really makes no difference.

So what should you do?
Do you need a content strategy?


We are way beyond that.

You need a vision.

Not a goal, a vision.

It is those who have the vision who will tell the brightest, strongest stories.
The technology will be background noise.
A wrapper.
A device to enable the most wonderful of stories to be told and it will be those stories that people will talk about and it’s those stories that will build the content, that will connect the emotions of the crowd and the brand.

And the crowd shall be so fanatical and to hurtle down the hill with their credit cards brandished like weapons as if they were Iceni tribe were on a day outing in Rome.

In fact, this fanatical behaviour is already happening.

It makes perfect sense that these waves of discourse will drive the search of the future.

It really is not as simple as “get people to talk about your brand”.

The skillset needed will by that of not just a storyteller, but a creator with a deep understanding of the human condition and real time cultural knowledge.

If you can get a few million people to believe a 13 year old stole his Dad’s credit card to buy hookers, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

Now, who do you know who can do that?

Image source

How is Link Building Doing?

A few charts from Google Trends over regarding a few search terms within the industry

Past 12 months of searches for “link building”.

link building

Looks pretty stable.
What about over a longer time period?

link building

Looks like it peaked in 2012, and now back to 2009. Seems stable the last 12 months though.

Content marketing seems to be the latest buzzword, but surely that’s a word only the gurus use?

link building

But whatever happened to “social media marketing”, surely that’s old stuff right now and no one searches for it?

link building

Nope! Social media marketing is kicking link building’s ass. But don’t they know that links = higher rankings in the Google results page. Well perhaps people have a perception that social media is far more important than ranking in Google. That may or may not be the case, but for what people are actually searching for. For “social media marketing”, computer says yes.

So does that mean the fragrant and effervescent social media department are crushing the Ben Sherman shirt wearing SEO types?

link building

SEO for the terms of these charts still beats all the other terms into the ground? Does this mean that it’s not dead. Of course it does, but you never thought that anyway, did you?
Does this mean that you should pile everything into SEO and let the social media marketing department more time to play on Snapchat? Probably not, there may be an issue with SEO being highly definable whilst numerous other terms could be used for social media marketing and content marketing.

What I think it does mean is that the SEO engineer should be secure in their employment, ensuring them to invest further in their wardrobe of Ben Sherman shirts.

Tribal Content will help your SEO

Tribal Content

You need to get tribal with your content marketing.

No Longer is SEO about building that one massive link

And as I have been talking about for a while now, it’s about building your Tribe.

The tribe is your main focus, not links. Links come because of the tribe.

The tribe builds the brand.

The tribe in many ways is the brand.

Look at my post on cognitiveSEO regarding how Shopping Comparison sites are using various tribes to build out their content marketing strategy.

Their keyword is the BRAND.

You get people to talk about your brand.

The conversations I am having with other SEOs is that this is what Google is looking at. We need more research on this and I am definitely going to be looking more into it.


Find out what your tribe is about.
Use other tribes to increase the power of your own tribe.

In the meantime, smoke a peace pipe and chill.

Pic source

Creative Infographic Example

You take something that is very funny, “Alan Partridge”.
You add a hard to “get links”, subject like “retirement”.
You then add the mechanics and methodology of infographic creation and you have a tasy bit of content marketing.


In my recent article about creating links for boring industires, for cognitiveSEO, I detail the process of doing this.

Creative thinking in content marketing is very hard, as you have to keep producing content at an ever increasing rate. And as Mitch Joel has cheekily suggested Content Marketing is Dead, it isn’t of course and never will be. But he uses the thought to intelligently explore a different way of thinking about content marketing and comes up with the line…

They want to feel like the finished products deserves its space in the book store… or on your Kindle. Authors only publish things that have real value.

Think about this. Take a published author and commission them to write a 30,000 word book to be published for Amazon Kindle. It would probably cost the same as a few infographics. I don’t see anyone doing that right now.

But we will.

Having created a short and snappy, but highly useful book with actionable content, I know how such a think raises your profile.

Instead of knocking out the odd blog post, commission a book.
Are any of your competitors doing this?

If you need help with this matter or any other content marketing issue, get in touch and I will tell you a few other cool things you could do that your competitors are not.