I watched Rand's 2010 SEO wrap-up white board Friday last night and thought it was, as usual, very useful information. I will summarize my thoughts here and let you know which 2010 SEO conclusions surprised me and which ones didn't.
Google search is still growing: I honestly wasn't sure about this. Rand's data is very timely as I was *just* wondering about this about 2 weeks ago. When he reported that Google searches are still growing, both in terms of total searchers and searches per searcher, I was glad to hear it. As an SEO reseller business, this is great news for HubShout. But with so much in the media about Facebook and Twitter, I honestly wasn't sure if the organic volumes had peaked or not. The data say it has NOT. And it's still growing.
Facebook and Twitter are working their way into SEO: No surprise here. We've been hearing about this coming shift to social signals in the search engine algorithms for years now. What was more surprising to me was that Rand's data was NOT conclusive on the actual impact on rankings. He did discuss backlink data and referenced an experiment run by another SEO who compared straight backlinks to Twitter links, but it was not a slam dunk by any stretch.
Google is still king: Again, no surprise here. If you study your Google Analytics you know the situation. You may have a site or two that seems to have "caught on" with Yahoo / Bing, but that's the anomaly. The bulk of your business leads and sales are still coming from Google. And that seems to have not changed. Rand says that Google is still 80% of the traffic.
SEO is under funded: This one I found fascinating. Rand points out that 15% of Internet traffic is PPC and 85% of traffic is Organic. However, when you analyze the spend you see $20 billion on paid search and about $2 billion on SEO. That seems seriously out of alignment. Perhaps there are good reasons for this or perhaps we are just at one of those weird places at the beginning of any industry where there are imbalances and inefficiencies. History (and Adam Smith) tell us that these imbalances don't last long as the invisible hand of the market will step in to smooth out the sharp edges and bring these numbers into alignment at some point. We see this as extremely good news for members of our SEO reseller program as our money is on significant growth in SEO.