THE CITATION SINGULARITY


If you don't know what the Singularity Hypothesis is, it is basically a concept that revolves around the rapid growth of technology and its effects on human life.


What is singularity?

The concept stems from Moore's Law that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The evidence of this law is that in the last half century, we've gone from needing a room full of computer equipment to compute the same amount of data as we now can with an iPad. Singularity holds that this technological growth is not limited to transistors but applies to all technology, and will give rise to a future greater-than-human intelligence.

Think about every science fiction movie ever made and you now get the basic concept.

Citation Singularity is now

How does singularity play into link building? Essentially, we are looking at a time where we are witnessing a Moore's Law of search unfold. Changes are happening almost faster than we can test and document them. The old days of the now seemingly simplistic interlinking web represented in PageRank are faded memories. The boiled down reality is that we have entered a time where search is getting smarter.

• Personalisation
• Localisation
• Intent
• Social Graph

All of these items have become as critical to a complete search marketing campaign as link building or content. But interestingly enough, just as Moore's Law boils down to transistors our current environment still boils down to signals and citations.

• Personalisation is based on the signals you send Google via toolbars, profiles and analytics.
• Localisation is based on your IP, and the non-linked citations and references to businesses 'Big G' finds.
• Google is basing intent on your browsing history, and your social graph.
• With Google+, the game is on in terms of the social graph and its relevance to traditional search.

Link building has been replaced by the Citation Singularity. We are looking at the 'Terminator' version of PageRank.

Traditional hyperlinked citations still have their place in this new world, but their role is changing with the above ideas in mind.

Questions like: are users utilising that link? What is the upstream and downstream data associated with that traffic? What non-linked citations are around the hyperlink? How many people shared the content the hyperlink is embedded in? All of these questions add to the relevance and reality of the new Citation Singularity we face today.

Brute force link building can and will get you short-term results in this new era, such as the reality that the technological singularity will not lead to the demise of humanity, but sustainable search results are moving towards a place where integrated marketing tactics are going to be the most vital tools in a marketer's bag of tricks.

"The question isn't whether you should change your approach to marketing online, but rather how fast will you lose ground if you don't."

Conforming to the Citation Singularity

So how can we play in this new era of search and win? First, stop trying to game the system with old tricks. The other reality of this new age is that the engines have gotten smart enough to allow you to filter yourself with your own hijinks. They don't need spam detection anymore because the search marketer's aggressive behaviour is going to do their jobs for them.

The reality of the Citation Singularity is that the creative marketing mind has a distinct advantage over the purely technical SEO. This is at least true in the sense of offsite signal building. A smart marketer can lead a campaign that can increase the overall value of a brand and website in this new environment by using a mixture of traditional link building, new media online PR. and social relationship creation.

Citation Singularity game plan


TwitterMuch has been made of Twitter and Google ending their real-time search relationship for a moment, however, Twitter simply cut off the real-time dataflow to the search giant and didn't block them from indexing Tweets. Google is pulling this information into Google+ as well, so you know it is giving citations in this content value, linked or not.

Content aggregation
Getting as many natural citations as possible is core to your singularity game plan. This means you need to allow your content to be easily shared and aggregated everywhere. Sites like Tumblr can send you great traffic, but they also allow for a terrific amount of citations to be quickly spread via reblogging. This doesn't mean you should hire a bunch of spammers to start subrmtting your bingo site to every social site on the web. Play it smart.

Check out Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO (majesticseo.com) now has two really cool features:

• Fresh Index: lets you know what links are ripe and juicy
• Clique Hunter: lets you see a visual representation of your best links via a link graph

By getting some competitive 'intel' on what people in the gaming space that own the SERPs are doing to get their freshest links, you can create an amazing citation strategy. Old crusty links are great if they were discovered a long time ago. The engines are smart, date of discovery is key, and the fresh index lets you see inside the mind of the Big G.

Google+
Brands can't play yet but to be honest, the power of brands in social media often comes from individuals anyway (i.e. Robert Scoble [technical evangelist]). So get your teams on Google+ and have them utilise it for real interaction until the business pages become available. Google is a publicly traded company and far more brand friendly than Facebook. Being an early adopter here could have a big payout down the road. Concepts like hangouts and circles are amazing ways for affiliate managers to keep in contact with their best affiliates, and affiliates to keep in contact with their best players.

"Stop trying to game the system with old tricks. Search engines have gotten smart and no longer need spam detection because the search marketer's aggressive behaviour is doing their jobs for them."

Sharable content
Panda ripped into the adage that 'content is king', but the concept isn't dead. Sharable content is the new king. It is the fodder that makes all of the above work. Content doesn't have to be 'indexable' to have value today, because the value of the citations and traffic will help you regardless of whether your content is an image or video. The key is making sure that you have content that your users will want to share and interact with in some fashion.

Simple outreach
Real social media marketing is about creating relationships, and that is how all outreach should be undertaken. Create relationships with other content producers and watch how quickly your website and content works its way into their content.

Science fiction to reality

The concept I discussed here is happening today. The question isn't whether you should change your approach to marketing online, but rather how fast will you lose ground if you don't.

Every link you build with optimised anchor text that isn't tested for value or part of a larger strategy is one more link you are building towards your eventual filtered failure.

The biggest issue for affiliates is going to be scaling out a smart approach, which is often difficult without a team. However, companies like Hua (huamarketing.com) are giving affiliates access to highly trained scalable labour sources that are paid based on deliverables. The cloud-based working environments at our disposal today have made team building relatively easy. Whether you utilise a company like Hua or opt to train your own staff on a site like Odesk.com, you can quickly scale out a trained staff of integrated marketers to help you combat the changes happening in search.

The only thing keeping you from dominating the Citation Singularity is disbelief in its existence or complete laziness. Either way, the more you ignore the changes going on the more likely you will get 'Terminated' by your competition.
 
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