Jordan Koene is the Chief Evangelist at Searchmetrics, but he drew on a lot of his experiences spending 5 years at eBay. It’s incredibly important to plan for the upcoming year when it comes to digital marketing, and while most companies think they have it down, there are always a few things that come out of the woodwork. In fact, some companies never even know they didn’t plan for something they should have until they’re given a tip. Koene’s presentation did just that—he gave us a few stories and points that many companies forget when it comes to planning.

3 Different Points You May Not Have Planned for in 2015

  1. Content Security

Always ask yourself: What is your website putting into Google’s index? Is there any sensitive content that shouldn’t be in Google that’s easy for hackers to access? In other words, we’re talking about the risks of content, which is something people don’t think about when doing content audits. When it comes to auditing your content for risks, you should be looking for three things:

  • Login pages, email reset
  • Content which is only for a select group
  • Help or instructional content
  • Ask yourself, is this necessary in Google?

Koene exaplined that is a great example. Someone can easily go up to you at a party and that person can ask you where you’re from, make small talk, ask you what street you lived on, if you have any pets, etc. You can get all sorts of information to hack into something just by being friendly and talking. If you then go to the author page of a WordPress site you then have all of the information you need. Moral of the story: Maybe this page maybe shouldn’t be on Google!

  1. Dooms Day Plan

If you just lost half of you Google traffic, are you prepared? Are you prepared for all of your revenue, traffic, new users, etc. to just be gone? Recovery from this is a very slow process. Koene explained that more and more brands are seeing dramatic SEO drops, the number of penalties is growing, and Google changes are targeting niches, so it’s very possible you’ll need a Dooms Day plan. Koene didn’t get too deep into how to put a plan in place, but I would recommend this article for more information.

  1. Non-Google Search

This is often discussed as vertical search, but Koene highlighted the topic around the lenses of your own brand and talked about planning. A few Non-Google searches to consider include:

  • 3 Y’s (Yahoo, Youtube, Yandex)
  • Social Search (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Commerce Search (eBay, Amazon, Alibaba)
  • Image Search (Pinterest, Twitter)
  • Content Search (Wikipedia, CNN)
  • Local Search (Yelp, Maps)
  • Job Search (Glassdoor, Indeed)

Because most initiatives in a company are working with other departments—PPC team, PR team, finance team, etc—it’s clear that collaboration is key of the planning process. Lots of these key partners can drive the vertical search experiences.

He continued to example that you should always be focusing on how to get some of the positive news up there. For example, figure out how CNN search works, which is probably much easier than Google, and then see if your PR team can do something about this so the good news gets on top. Think about what content you have index from a risk standpoint. What is your plan if everything disappears, and finally, are there opportunities for me to gain exposure in non-Google search?

To see Koene’s full presentation, visit the Search Engine Journal presentation here, and then let us know what you think of his thoughts in the comment section below.