SEO 2.0 Reality Check: What Works?

A yacht called Reality Check in a sunny sea resort.*

After years of writing for this blog and popularizing SEO 2.0 it’s time to review some of my theories and predictions.

I have promised you a new era. Did it really arrive?

Did SEO 2.0 turn out the way I imagined it? Yes and no.

It’s time for a SEO 2.0 reality check!

What works? What doesn’t? OK, let’s take a closer look at some of my most important assumptions:

1. A blog can thrive without Google traffic: Well, it can but it’ll be much smaller than a blog relying on Google traffic. Thus combine conventional SEO 1.0 with social media focused SEO 2.0 techniques.

2. A blog is a must have and the most important SEO and marketing tool in SEO 2.0, yes it is. No blog, no online success anymore.

3. You can make blogs profitable and live off them. Yes you can. There are plenty of methods. I know people who started with me and blogging pays their bills.

It does pay mine too, combined with classic SEO and blogging for clients. The make money online blogging thing isn’t just about selling affiliate crap.

4. Social browsing like StumbleUpon overtakes the Web: Well, StumbleUpon is still there but social browsing hasn’t taken over.

It remains just a niche, a big one but a niche. Search still reigns supreme. Social networking on Facebook comes close though.

5. Google is a dangerous monopoly and you have to find ways to get traffic from elsewhere. Yes you do. Every now and then Google threatens whole industries.

6. SEO 2.0 is main stream. Yes it is. While most people do not refer to it as SEO 2.0, digital asset optimization is all over.

Similar holistic concepts have appeared: Findability or web design for ROI were some of them over the years.

7. You can rank high without reading Google spam specialist Matt Cutts’ blog. I outranked him for SEO blog by now, twice, once with SEO 2.0 once with a client blog.

8. You don’t need 50k visitors from getting viral to become successful. You don’t! I’ve grown this blog without the likes of Reddit.

You do not need Reddit and the other anti-social sites that frown upon marketing related topics. Your 1000 true fans (and blog subscribers) are much more important.

9. Dofollow works to get plenty of comments. My SEO blog has thousands of them now. The long term participation of users is gained by other means though.

I can clearly differentiate between fake “give me a link” commenters and the truly engaged ones.

Only some of them cross over. By now the “manual spam” has forced me to use another plugin offering real links to only those really participating.

Some things have turned even better though and also things have appeared that I haven’t foreseen at all.

Twitter is huge. The success of Twitter and the usefulness of this simple app have blown my mind. It even yields traffic like hell when used correctly.

I got more than 500 targeted visitors from Twitter for my post on short URL services thanks to a few people tweeting it.

Thanks to just a few tweets from my online friends and a few more viral retweets by power accounts and their followers.

Trust can be build in the cyberspace. I have gotten big contract through and by people I’ve “met” only virtually through my blogging and social media participation.

People who I never met trust my expertise and recommend me to other people. My name is not only known but also renowned and I don’t even have to visit all the search marketing conferences.

You don’t have to be a big wig from the start. Even an outsider can succeed. I’m a Pole living in Germany wearing a sombrero.

Would you have believed me in 2007 that I’d end up on TopRank Online Marketing Blog’s most popular SEO blogs list less than two years later?

What more do you need to know about the reality of SEO 2.0? This is a no-bullshit SEO 2.0 blog. Please ask tough questions in the comments.

* Creative Commons image by ScubaBear68.