SEO: “The Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated”
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a well-recognized digital marketing technique. But ever since the introduction and rise of pay-per-click or PPC ads, reports of SEO’s demise and obsolescence have been rampant.
“SEO is dead.”
“You no longer need SEO.”
“Who does SEO when there’s PPC?”
You must have heard all these statements as you tried to wade your way through the complex metaverse that people call digital marketing.
How accurate are these statements, though? Is SEO really dead?
Well, no. SEO is very much alive. In fact, it is thriving.
But what about the reports of its death? Well, if SEO could talk, it would’ve told you how the reports of its death are ”greatly exaggerated.”
Why Are People So Keen On Killing SEO?
The speculations of SEO’s demise have been making rounds since the popularity of Google Adwords. The Pay-per-click or PPC ads now appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) for most searches, pushing organic results to the third or fourth position.
These PPC ads are Google’s source of revenue. The search engine makes a ton of money through them. As opposed to that, organic results offer no explicit monetary value to the search engine giant.
Therefore, some people believe Google will continue prioritizing PPC ads over organic results. This will, according to them, shrink the organic space on SERP and eventually kick organic results and SEO out of the scene.
Apart from Google Adwords, Google My Business has also occupied some of the SERP organic space.
When you search for local businesses, you come across a local pack. This local pack occupies the space where top organic results used to appear. And as a result, it gives rise to speculations regarding phasing out of organic space and the futility of SEO.
Another reason that fuels the flame we call “SEO is dead” is that many people don’t experience positive SEO results.
However, the reason for this could be their own mistakes.
Google’s algorithm undergoes thousands of updates each year. These updates change how the search engine works and, of course, how SEO works.
SEO best practices change. And when a company does not adapt to the changes in search algorithms, its SEO strategies start failing. And instead of identifying their own mistakes, they start propagating the idea that SEO is a useless technique.
The Reports of SEO’s death Are an Exaggeration
The reports of SEO’s death are similar to those of Mark Twain’s death. People started speculating that Mark Twain was ill. Some people took these speculations too far and began spreading rumors of his death.
Mark Twain himself had to clarify that he was very much alive.
The same has happened with SEO. When people started spreading the news of the downfall of organic results, the masses took it as a sign of SEO’s obsolescence. And similar to what happened in Mark Twain’s case, some other people took the news, exaggerated it, and started spreading the rumors that SEO is not about to become obsolete. It is already dead.
Actually, the opposite of this is true.
SEO is Far from Being Dead
SEO is not even close to its demise. In fact, some SEO experts claim that it has become even more critical than before.
Search engines might give PPC ads the top position on the SERP, but many users don’t trust these results. They are almost blind to PPC ads and go to the top-ranking organic results, even if it means scrolling down a few spaces on the SERP.
Therefore, as much as Google loves PPC ads, the search engine giant is unlikely to lose its users’ trust by replacing organic results with PPC ads.
And as far as the local pack is concerned, that only offers some basic information about local businesses. Therefore, it cannot satisfy users who are looking for detailed information about a business’s service or are out with a buying intent. Such users will always scroll down the local pack and go to organic results.
Therefore, despite the SERPs now being occupied by local search results and PPC ads, the importance of organic rankings and SEO will never wane.
SEO is Not Dead. Here’s How You Might Win At It
Another reason why people call SEO dead is that they can’t do it. It’s too hard for them. And so they go into denial and make themselves feel better by claiming that SEO has lost its power.
SEO has, indeed, become harder than it was in the past. But that doesn’t mean it is useless. And businesses that manage to invest time and effort and be patient do see positive results.
Here are a few ways you can potentially win at SEO that is very much un-dead:
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity of Content
Google has become content-oriented and prioritizes quality content. It works to make sure the users get the answers to their questions easily.
So, one way to win visibility on the search engine is to determine your prospects’ struggles, problems, and unanswered questions and create content that addresses them.
Search engines and users will both love optimized, high-quality content. And your website will be more likely to escalate in its rank.
Understand Search Intent
Google now ranks websites that are textually and contextually relevant to the search terms. Therefore, determine the search intent behind each keyword that you use. And make sure the content you create aligns with this intent.
Search engines also look at your website’s user experience (UX) when determining its rank. Therefore, make sure your website has an excellent UX. From content to design and navigation, ensure that everything is top-notch and intuitive to satisfy the spoilt-for-choice modern customer.
Prioritize High-Quality Backlinks
Unreliable SEO “experts” often recommend buying bot-created links in an attempt to build a backlink profile quickly. This approach no longer works since Google has become quality conscious.
Therefore, prioritize building high-quality backlinks. It will take time. But the results you will generate will make it worthwhile.
Don’t Neglect Technical SEO
Your website is a lot more than text and visuals. There is an entire technical back-end that contributes to how your website performs in the search results.
So, take care of your website’s technical SEO as you work on publishing authoritative content and generating high-quality links.
Keep Track of the Changes
Search engine algorithms will continue to evolve. And so, the best practices will keep on changing. Therefore, you must keep track of the changes in the search algorithm and adapt your strategies accordingly. Unless you want to be in the “SEO is dead” squad. In that case, you can continue with the outdated practices.
SEO is Here to Stay
Many people fear the demise of SEO due to the rapid rise in paid search results. Users and businesses believe there will come a time when Google will dedicate the entire first page to paid ads.
But Google isn’t naïve. At all. The search engine giant must know most users jump over paid results to click on organic ones, even if that means scrolling down to reach the third or fourth search result.
Therefore, the idea that it will replace organic results with paid ones is far-fetched and unlikely to happen.
As far as local packs are concerned, they should be looked at as opportunities instead of threats to your organic exposure.
If SEO were a person, its response to the speculations about its demise would have been the same as Mark Twain’s. When asked, SEO would have exclaimed that the reports of its death are an exaggeration. But SEO can’t speak. And so, the speculations will continue.
Adopt SEO and Grow with It
Rest assured, organic rankings are not going anywhere. Yes, the search engine landscape may change. SEO may evolve. But search engines will never phase organic rankings out because they know that’s what people look for.
And if organic rankings will stay, so will SEO. So, next time someone tells you SEO is dead, ignore them and continue with your best practices.
And if you can’t find the time to create high-quality content, optimize your website, and track algorithm updates to adjust your best practices, go for consulting in internet marketing and SEO services to sort a way out.
Landau Consulting, a NJ SEO company, helps small-to-medium sized businesses in NJ and other areas with SEO. With web development and SEO experts all on the same team, they can take care of everything, from content creation to backlinking, UX optimization, and more.
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