NO. Are we done with these articles now? No? Okay, Fine. Here’s more:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t going anywhere as long as there are search engines. However, as long as SEO is a thing, it seems that there will always be these annoying articles prophesying or declaring its death with every passing year (or Google algorithm update).
Things Have Changed
The world of search engine optimization is not what it used to be. You used to proudly fill out the meta data on every page of your website because it meant something. Your keywords were sprinkled strategically throughout your articles like the perfect ice cream cone on a summer day. You built links and directories like a boss to funnel in that sweet, sweet link juice to your site. Then, Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird happened and you were lost in the sea of SERPs far beyond the first page you came to know and love. That clearly means that the nails are in the coffin, and it is the end for SEO, right?
After each and every one of those algorithm changes, you would think that it was the SEOpocalypse. How would we ever survive in the dystopian future of search engines? Would there be annual fights to the death to determine the rankings with Google execs saying, “May the Page Rank be ever in your favor,” before the battle commenced?
Turns out that some brave and clever marketing managers had some meetings with their teams and were able to adjust their strategies to be successful in these new territories. At the same time, others capitalized off of the panic with trending headlines like “The Death of SEO!” and successfully drew a lot of traffic to their sites for a brief moment in history.
Most companies that either refused to change their ways, were not making educated data-driven decisions, or had no idea what they were doing with SEO in the first place were tragically lost in the sea of SERPs. It was a sad sight to behold, and it will keep happening as long as people buy into these articles rather than being adept SEOs who can change course when necessary.
What Does SEO Look Like Now? (2015)
We’ve established that SEO is not hat it used to be, and that it isn’t going to die or stop changing any time soon. So, what does SEO look like today? I plan on going into more detail on updated strategies that are successful in SEO in a future blog post, but let’s discuss some higher level perspective on the landscape today.
SEO is now a lens used to view your entire brand’s digital marketing efforts if you ever have any inkling of an aspiration for being found by a potential customer on a search engine. Notice that I didn’t just say Google. Google still holds on to ~67% of the market share on PCs and ~83% on mobile in comparison to bing and yahoo. However, those are not the only search engines in town anymore. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many more all include search functions and have millions of users searching on them daily. YouTube alone is considered to be the second largest search engine in the world after Google. Is your company utilizing these platforms effectively?
The need for SEO has permeated social media sites. It is nearly impossible to separate the two these days. Social media sites are now search engines, and now there are more ways to be found online than ever before. The internet is maturing and online behavior is becoming more and more like real life. As social beings, our social networks will always hold more influence over our choices than the opinions of one website. A SEO’s job is now to make sure all of those marketing efforts are working together cohesively, while they are also effective individually. More now than ever, a comprehensive and holistic brand strategy across multiple platforms will get you the highest ROI for your marketing efforts.
So, stop trying to declare the death of SEO. It isn’t going to go away that easily.
What are your thoughts on the current state of SEO?
Join in the conversation in the comment section below, or over on social media. Ask questions, share your thoughts and experiences, and maybe make some new connections.
Until next time, Stay Awesome! 😀