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At its core, search engine optimization (SEO) is still very much the same as it was in the early 2000s. Yes, they’ve been many changes that have been introduced to the industry but many of them were influenced by search engines.
When search giants like Google refine their algorithms almost on a daily basis and at a steady pace, we have to pay attention. But as we listen to what they say to us in marketing conferences or hangouts, some of us listened without any skepticism (not good).
In many instances, this behavior has propelled confusion among professionals with regards to how SEO may be conducted in the future. However, SEO hasn’t really changed and there’s no one-way to do it, either. It’s a marketing discipline and with that comes several potentials that can be explored.
Admittedly, certain aspects of SEO has become much harder such as link building and content marketing but the core principles still apply. Build a great website, publish suitable, useful content and then promote it (includes obtaining links)!
Nevertheless, every year, it seems like new pieces get published about SEO being dead. Usually because of some new algorithmic change or when an old spammy trick is rendered useless.
But lest we forget, when consumer behavior changes, as marketers, we have to evolve our tactics too. So the same principle applies here. When Google or Bing releases a major update, then it’s up to SEO professionals to adjust too. That’s just part of the whole business and should be expected.
Since search engines today use more factors to decide whom to rank on page one and many SEOs don’t know what these factors are, things become a little harder to fake. When you can no longer fake signals, then you’re left with one honest choice: provide value!
Sadly, these people who ‘shout off the rooftops’ every year about SEO being dead are often the ones who forced the engines to make adjustments to their algorithms in the first place.
Spamming, coupled with low-quality content only skews search engine results pages (aka SERPs), which hurts the user experience. So if search engines want their users to keep coming back, they must protect the integrity of their search results. It’s that simple!
SEO Isn’t Dead
SEO is not dead and won’t be anytime soon. Even with the increasing adoption of voice search and growth of loT (Internet of things), which will eventually connect everything we use to the web such as vehicles, home appliances etc.
These advancements are just presenting new ways that people can access the Internet. And search engines will remain vital for organizing all accessible information online. Hence, SEO will only become more important. Look at this worldwide IoT growth projection from Statista.
If more devices are expected to have access to the Internet in the future, then search engines have a lot of growth coming their way. Because it also means that more people will be connected to the Internet and even more will turn to Google, Bing or other competitors for information.
And as the use machine learning in algorithms continue, SEO will be very necessary for helping AI understand context. Search is moving from purely keyword and factor-based to a much more deeper understanding or interpretation of human behavior.
Things like did the user immediately click the back button to look at other search results? Are people engaging with your content? Are there any notable social signals? These are just some of the data that may be playing a role in deciding what to rank today.
SEOs will always need to adapt to new advancements in search technology but that doesn’t mean that it’s dead. I know that a lot of people would prefer it to be easy but if it were, everyone would do it. From here on, competition within the SERPs will be stiff due to all the content out there (it’s a whole lot!).
However, how you stand out hasn’t changed and that’s by earning backlinks to your site, which may require taking a unique approach to traditional keyword research. At the end of the day, you want to create content that’s linkable, if content marketing is your strategy for acquiring links. Or build backlinks to your site, the right way!Is #SEO Dead?Click To Tweet