More and more, branding is becoming the important thing online. It’s not SEO. But I’d say that SEO is now becoming a part of the overall branding efforts of serious online marketers.
Rand Fishkin makes predictions every year about the direction of search marketing and social media. This year, he continues that tradition. Interestingly, he’s got some predictions for Google+, Google search criteria, and co-citations. If he’s right about any of this, and he’s usually at least partially correct, then that spells one thing – branding is the new content.
How Google+, AuthorRank, and Co-Citations Move Your Branding Forward
Google+ has not become an essential element of SEO – yet. But it is becoming important for branding purposes, just as most social media is. But I do believe that using Google+ long term could improve your search rankings. Especially in the local SEO space because you have to have a Google+ account to claim your Google Places listing.
On top of that, if you are an author (and online everyone is an author or publisher, or both), then implementing Google’s rich snippets for authorship is an essential element of SEO. Maybe not yet, but all the leaders in online marketing expect it to happen at some point in the future. I agree.
Thirdly, co-citation is something that requires a little explanation. Anchor text is diminishing in importance. More and more, search marketers are seeing evidence of brands being mentioned alongside specific keyword phrases and this is causing brand pages that do not include those search phrases to rank for the keywords anyway. That just proves my point that branding is the new SEO. Google+, AuthorRank, and Co-citations are all a part of that change.