Goodbye SEO, Welcome SDO

In the first part of this post titled Does Google Find Something Different About You?, we’d covered the ‘Something different’ section of Google search results that contains links showing some queries that may be in the same category as your original search. Based on the criteria used by Google to build this section, we’d seen how

  1. Companies with poor web presence don’t have this section, and
  2. Long-dead companies that once had a strong web presence got a rebirth in someone else’s SDG.

In this part, we shall explore reciprocal relationships between a company and its SDG members.

Based on what we know so far about SDG, we’d intuitively expect to find a reciprocal relationship between a company and its SDG members. In other words, if X belongs to the SDG of Y, we’d expect Y to belong to the SDG of X.

If we take Wipro / Infosys as an example, we find that this is indeed the case.

However, when we explore further, we find that reciprocal relationship is not guaranteed. For example, Amazon’s SDG includes Walmart but Walmart’s SDG does not include Amazon.

Likewise, Wipro’s SDG includes Accenture but Accenture’s SDG does not include Wipro.

Seasoned marketers would immediately understand the implications of this apparent anamoly.  A potential buyer who searches for Wipro might notice that Accenture is in the related business and might contact Accenture with the same requirement. On the other hand, Wipro won’t receive such a collateral lead from a prospect searching for Accenture since it is absent in Accenture’s SDG. Therefore, lack of reciprocal relationship between SDGs impacts Accenture positively and Wipro negatively.

This underscores two major imperatives for marketers, especially those who use social media, search and other forms of inbound marketing within their marketing mix:

  1. Make sure that your company has an SDG, otherwise your prospects might think that you’re too small for them.
  2. At the same time, make sure that your SDG doesn’t include your competitor’s names since you don’t want your marketing efforts to result in leads for them.
  3. Get your company named in the SDG of your major competitors.

Achieving these goals might spawn a brand new cottage industry, which we shall call Something Different Optimization, or SDO, for now. For all we know, SDO could become the next Holy Grail of digital marketing consultants and agencies out there who have been trying to game Google search results all these years with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

With Google finally cracking down on content farms, paid links and other common SEO techniques, the era of SEO appears to be on the wane and SDO seems to be emerging not a moment too soon!

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