Digital marketing has always been strongly tied to the gatekeepers of the time—and for quite some time, that’s meant Google and the social media networks. The ongoing dominance of Google, Facebook, and their peers hasn’t led to a stagnation in digital marketing, however. Instead, the increased sophistication of the algorithms behind each gatekeeper has caused a rather violent upheaval in the way savvy digital marketers do their jobs. The technical tricks of yesterday simply aren’t worth the investment of time and effort today. Let’s take a look at a few specific areas that have changed.

The death of quantity over quality

Whether it’s the Facebook news feed or Google search results, more used to be better. More backlinks, more updates, more more more. Today, the algorithms behind these engines are far more advanced. They can tell that your site is a nightmare to navigate, full of reused content, that you’re spamming and wasting everyone’s time. And so good modern digital marketing needs to offer up content that would honestly attract users.

Backlink profiles

Few areas reveal the differences in modern digital marketing so starkly as the evolution of ideal backlink profiles. Early on, you’d want anchor text—the words that are linked—to be a perfect match for your keywords, from as many sites as possible. Over time, the quality of the linking sites mattered increasingly more and the ideal anchor text became a mix of related terms—synonyms and the like, rather than just slapping out your keyword target over and over.

Today, the perfect backlink profile has so-called junk or trash anchor text—the ‘click heres’ and ‘this sites’ that were once such a mistake—or raw URLs with no anchor text at all. Because that’s how real people really link sites to their friends and audiences.

User segmentation

Just as you segment your prospects into market segments according to demographics, usage details, culture, and everything else you can think of, the gatekeepers are doing the same. That’s allowing them to identify what their users—your prospects—want. And that means that when you throw out content that isn’t particularly interesting to their specific users, it’s going to the bottom of the search results, the bottom of the news feed.

You can find out more about what a modern digital marketing company needs to do to make search engine marketing, PPC, and social campaigns work with modern gatekeepers by contacting us today.