What Were the Internet Marketing Trends of 2012? [VIDEO]

What Were the Internet Marketing Trends of 2012? [VIDEO]

Q & A Video

Michael Schwartz: “What Were the Internet Marketing Trends of 2012?”

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Hi. My name is Michael Schwartz, and I’m a link builder here at Vertical Measures. Today I’m going to answer the following question: “What Were the Internet Marketing Trends of 2012?”

Links have always counted as a vote from one site to the next, and now the social signals are doing that as well. However, with Google Plus, they’re much tougher to manipulate than other social signals, because each Google Plus profile is connected to a Google profile, so Google knows it’s a real person.

With personalized search, an expansive social network can help people get found. It can help the content they share be found, because when a person shares a piece of content, everyone else in their social network will see it.

Then, there are Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts are basically a free video conference for up to 10 people where you can broadcast your thoughts and the thoughts of your friends to the world. This is kind of the next element in the social sphere that we’ve seen in 2012.

Finally, according to one social metrics study, five of the top six ranking factors are social, and that’s only going to continue to become more important in the coming years.

Now I’m going to talk about some link building changes.

To me, the biggest thing has been in anchor text. In years prior, all our clients wanted nice, juicy anchor text links on a quality site, because they correlate really well with rankings for that particular head term. However, while that’s still true to some extent, now, with over- optimization penalties, you really can’t have too much anchor text. If you have too much anchor text, Google is going to see that you’re probably trying to game the SERPs in some ways, and penalize you.

Also, much of what used to work, just doesn’t work anymore. The biggest thing to me is sidebar links. They used to be relatively popular, but it’s clearly a paid link and now it’s something that when Google sees a sidebar link – when it’s not just in a blogroll, where it’s just your friend maybe with natural anchor text – they’re really going to ding you for that when it’s with, as we said before, anchor text. Then also you want to focus on natural content. This has always been important, but never as important as it is now in 2012 in the post-Penguin/Panda era.

Looking to the future, social is going to become an even more important ranking factor. In years prior, you pretty much had to own a blog to be able to provide that vote from one site to the next. Now anybody with a Twitter or Facebook account, or a Google Plus profile, can provide that social signal that’s going to be a factor in the search engines.

Then finally, with link building, Google’s just making it tougher and tougher to artificially inflate rankings. What they want is natural content, stuff that end users actually would care about. If that’s what you’re thinking about, the end user, rather than just a search engine spider, you’re going to be able to create link building content that will help you rise in the SERPs.

Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz is an Internet marketing strategist at Vertical Measures as well as an accomplished reporter, blogger and editor. He covers the link building beat. +Michael Schwartz