Former eBay SEO Head Joins Searchmetrics, Shares Search Marketing Misconceptions

Jordan Koene, eBay's former global head of SEO and content development, has joined Searchmetrics as the company's Evangelist to help marketers better understand and plan how to take full advantage of search media.

Koene, once responsible for developing and planning eBay's strategic SEO programs in North America and Europe, will report to Searchmetrics Founder and CTO Marcus Tober from the San Mateo office. The company also has locations in Berlin, New York, London, and Paris, and is backed by Holtzbrinck Digital, Neuhaus Partners and Iris Capital. 

Search Marketing Daily caught up with Koene during the transition and asked his opinion on the three biggest misconceptions brand marketers have about SEO and content, and how he intends to change their thought process. Here are his thoughts.

1.  Content is king:  The idea that content is king -- relied on by marketers, including SEOs, as the way to solve all problems -- is really an abused industry statement. We would like to make content the sovereign solution for SEO problems, but it is not. User behavior and interaction with content is king, and oddly enough, it looks more like a democracy. Just the idea of using any form of user behavior to make decisions on content displaces the idea of "Content as King." 

2.  More content is always better: This topic started to grow in popularity, but remains challenging to grasp for the webmaster and SEOs. Reducing or deprecating content is becoming more of an opportunity than a loss. This often takes the shape of "clean up” and seems like a negative impact project. The reality is that removing pages or content has proven to help Web sites grow visibility and quality traffic. 

3.  We marketers can evaluate the quality of content. At best, our content quality perception is only directional. All too often, we fall into this trap of believing our content or product is perfect. We test the quality of content using data, matrices and numbers. We analyze length, keywords and usefulness of content. All these tests lead us to the preconceived notion that our content is great! Well, it was not! We often scratch our heads and ask 'why is no one engaging with our content? Why is no one sharing our content?' The reason is simple, and is staring us in the face. We didn’t ask our customers, users and community. We simple tested our way into the solution and never asked if anyone enjoyed our content. The ultimate resource in evaluating content is the end consumer of the content. Data is still very useful, but when evaluating the quality of content spend more time with a customer.

Search Marketing Daily also wanted to know how these misconceptions tie into today's emerging SEO and content-related trends. Here are his thoughts.        

1.  As marketers and webmasters we are seeking information and insights to help improve our content. The reality is the best information is with our customers. Spending more time with customers and asking the hard questions, can only drive away misconceptions and improve our overall experience. 

2.  It seems like almost every message or comment from SEO’s and Google revolves around creating a great user experience. The connection here is bringing the customer closer to the experience and asking for feedback. This trend will only continue to grow and understanding how to solve it for our companies is a critical need.
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1 comment about "Former eBay SEO Head Joins Searchmetrics, Shares Search Marketing Misconceptions".
  1. Nick Backstrom from Freelance , August 11, 2014 at 3:49 p.m.
    "Koene, once responsible for developing and planning eBay's strategic SEO programs in North America and Europe," Like putting them in a penalty with Google and costing the company over $200M to get out of? lulz