Gilad Sasson, also known under the alias @algoholic, runs Nekuda.co.il and has been doing SEO for about 20 years now. He worked for the Israeli Yellow pages and has worked for many large and small Israeli companies doing SEO for them since 1999. Gilad and I met at a PubCon in 2005 and he also came out to the first SMX Advanced in Seattle the year later.
Also he has experience working in the black hat area, a lot of affiliate income back in the early days. We also chatted about some of the old SEO forums, including WebmasterWorld and SEO Chat Forums. SEO in the old days were fun and less professional but we did have to grow up. Gilad helped me in the early days get SMX Israel up and running and still is a huge help with all things Israel for me.
Is there a future in search? Gilad believes there is a future in search and people will continue to search. People will search differently, i.e. voice and visual search. Plus how Google or search engines display those search results, via web page, voice or other methods will be different. He said Google envies Facebook because people spend all their time on Facebook. Do people share more with Google or Facebook, that is what we argued about. So we kind of went off topic a bit.
He said there is reason to be concerned about zero clicks. He said organic results were a present from Google. But yea, when your Google organic traffic drops significantly, it hurts. But SEOs need to adapt and they do adapt. The question is, does Google care about the publishing community and we talked about that for a little bit.
Gilad then spoke to me about medical cannabis and how there is a lot of legislation around this area. He said both Google and Facebook won’t let them advertise. So all you get in Google is ten blue links for those searches. So it is like the old times of SEO where there are no ads, maps, rich results, you just have ten blue links. He said often times, the first result is not always the best location. He said often these vertical search spaces, like image search, is important for these areas.
We need to be scared about Google using machine learning and AI to generate content. This is what we need to worry about, more than anything else he said.
But lucky for him being in Israel, he said that stuff generally happens first in the US and he learns from that. Then when it comes to Israel, he is all prepared.
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Forum discussion at YouTube.