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“Do or do not. There is not try,” Yoda, my hero of wisdom once said.  It’s not often you come across someone with wisdom on a subject that is so new, you can’t even get a diploma in it.   This is why I would like to give kudos to Cameron Prokiw of Vovia for his enlightening presentation Friday on trends in search engine optimization.

For the past 3 – 4 weeks, I have been on a mission to really figure out the big picture of what is really going on with online marketing.  So, I went about blogging 3 – 5 times per week, doing onsite optimization of all the content on this website, joining online groups, seeking out key blogs, and tweeting until the wee hours. I also shelled out thousands to attend major conferences such as the Mirren Conference in New York City in early May, and a major Social Media Shift Conference held at MRU.

I think people around me were getting a little tired of my angst in trying to figure out this entire quest.  My husband said, “Look, all this social media and blogging crap is completely burning you out!”  In addition, two of my associates cornered me into a meeting to tell me they were worried about me.    You get the picture.

However, as a person who at the age of 9 learned how to do a Labyrinth game backwards and forwards with not only my hands, but my toes,  I am not one to give up easily. (Not to mention an obsession with conquering all 8 levels of Super Mario brothers – luckily I have steered clear of video games since!)

The problem has been that on this quest, I was mired in a lot of conflicting information about what works, and what doesn’t.   What?  Meta tags don’t matter?   Commenting on blogs is a waste of time?  Why wasn’t all my great new content getting traction?   I had asked my own online marketing guru, but it is easy to see how a big-picture understanding can mired by technical and tactical issues.

This is why I would like to thank Cameron.  I decided to attend 1 hour free lunch-and-learn presentation by Cameron Prokiw, founder of Vovia, on trends in search engine optimization.  As a fellow who has been immersed in SEO for 14 years, he had created a simple chart showing what factors actually made a difference to search rankings.

Here’s a quick taste.    In 1994, meta tags made up 100% of the factors by which pages ranked.  Tag your page right, and it would rank for those words.  Then a couple years later, the search engines realized that the content on the page was also important, so the importance of meta tags dropped to 50%, and page content mattered the other 50%.    Then a few years later, the links pointing to your site , ie, “off-page factors” began to matter. So the proportions changed again.    Cameron took us through the whole picture, showing what today’s make-up is, and where it’s going – with about 7 important factors, only about 4 which I was personally aware of.

Now, I’m talking about Cameron’s presentation, so I won’t give it all away, but he laid it out in a beautiful and simple graph, that not only made perfect sense, but showed an enlightening big-picture overview of what’s really going on.    If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re now dying to see his presentation. I asked him about making it available, and he said he’s going to post a blog at Vovia, which will be the place to look (if it’s not already live by the time this posts.)

Funny how you can spend thousands to get a clear picture, running all over the place to fancy conferences, wasting countless hours… and then a quiet, humble guy (with a very successful online marketing company, mind you)  sums it all up in one hour with a free sandwich.

The funniest part?  Cameron doesn’t even use Twitter!

I guess 14 years in SEO = 900 years in Yoda.

 

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Jacqueline Drew
About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm MBA is CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a Calgary-based marketing research and strategy firm. She loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win" and is also an energetic supermom, bandleader and songwriter.

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