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Friday, Jun. 22, 2007 at 3:59 am

End Searcher Optimization: The New SEO

By Bryan Eisenberg
June 22nd, 2007

Seems the world isn’t waiting for anyone to catch up.

In a recent ClickZ column, long-respected SEO (define) guru Mike Grehan suggested we search Ask.com for “Spider-Man 3.”

There we glimpse into the future of search engine results. Welcome to universal search.

Mike speculates: “With the three-column approach, I can’t imagine why I’d ever scroll down the page, let alone click through to a second (did people really click through to the second page in the Fred Flintstone SEO era?).”

How’s that for a punch between your peepers? Grehan continues:

End users are lazy and don’t have a clue what they expect to see when using search engines. I know. I’m an end user, and I’m as stupid as the next one when it comes to using search engines. But think of my delight when I throw in a vague two- to three-word query and find a page that answers even more of my potential questions before they’ve been asked.

What does it mean for SEO professionals moving forward? It means we’ve finally reached point where better marketing counts — and not H1 tags.

Yeesh, and you thought optimizing for those pesky text and link spiders was hard. How are you going to optimize now? (Do I even need to mention what’s happening to online traffic costs?)

It’s telling when search engine results answer more questions and give a superior visitor experience than the majority of so-called optimized pages. Search engines have been doing one thing most SEO efforts and marketers refuse to do: they’re aggressively focusing on end searchers. What a concept.

These new algorithms try to anticipate their wants, needs, and time, possibly even pique their imagination. Search engines are merely a reflection of what people want; complex algorithms and crawlers are only a means to that end. Search engines are bigger visitor advocates than most sites.

Sad.

So what’s the answer to the challenge ahead? In his column, Grehan asks my brother and me to come up with fresh descriptions to replace the tired SEO/SEM terms people love to churn out in decks and at seminar parties.

I don’t want to change things too much. So let’s keep it simple. Instead of SEO, let’s try ESO, for “end searcher optimization.”

Continue reading my column on ClickZ…

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Comments (7)

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  3. Hey Bryan,

    great article. I think ESO is going to benefit online marketers too. Because by optimizing for the end user, they are also working towards higher conversion rates.

    If you give a user what he is looking for, he is much more likely to take action!

  4. I’m just confused why people think Ask.com have created something new, as far as I can tell Amazon already did this a year or two ago with the A9.com search. Allowing for multi panel results covering e-commerce, pictures, generic search, and now even the option to select your own search pannels from OpenSearch plug ins.

  5. If optimizers follow the ideas that have been pushed for the last four years they would be fine. Create good content and find ways to get people to show their appreciation of your content. Maybe it was links before. Now it’s a thumbs up in Stumble Upon. If you have been building good site and not trying to trick users you will be in fine shape for the next stage of optimization.

  6. [...] optimize for customers, you screw in search engines and in business. Have a look at this article: End Searcher Optimization: The New SEO [...]

  7. [...] Friday, Jun. 22, 2007 at 3:59 am Grock.com http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/06/22/end-searcher-optimization-the-new-seo/ [...]

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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