When people say 'SEO is dead', it couldn't be further from the truth. Quite frankly SEO experts are pretty tired of hearing it.
SEO is much alive, a great article by Search Engine Land columnist Stephen Spencer ‘SEO is not dead; it’s just a shape-shifter’ is worth a read if you want to learn more about this.
SEO is NOT dead
Achieving online prominence is an arms race, as any entrepreneur who has googled his or her own business will all too readily lament. Climbing the search engine rankings is crucial for recognition, but can be an arduous task for a smaller enterprise with finite resources. Success is often won with a mix of technical know-how and the ability to recognise opportunities. Your innovative new strategy may coincide with a recent technological advancement and momentarily give your campaign the edge. But once your new approach has been copied and become commonplace, it loses its efficacy and you fall back down in the rankings. Eventually, another fresh strategy has to be adopted, or you risk being lost among a virtual crowd of near-identical competitors. And yet, for almost twenty years, search engine optimisation has established itself as a mainstay of web-based marketing strategy: employing simple techniques to raise your website to the front page of every search. So why are some commentators now sounding the death knell of this tried and tested approach?
Quality Controls: Staying relevant in an age of discerning search engines
First of all, let's remind ourselves that numerous experts have, over the years, declared “the death of SEO”. Yet every obituary to date has been spectacularly premature, and SEO remains an effective part of most web marketing to this day. The reason for its success is its ability to evolve to meet the demands of a changing online world.
Today, those goalposts are moving on a more regular basis, and the workload needed to remain current is growing every time. Analytical tools are no longer merely penalising duplicated web pages, metadata abuse and text stuffed with targeted keywords. They are sophisticated algorithms, able to conduct a qualitative assessment of the actual page content: from its relevance and readability to its formatting and mobile device compatibility. If search engine optimisation is to remain effective, it has to meet this broader set of standards.
Search Engine Optimisation: the constant, but an ever-changing strategy
In the commercially-minded online world of 2016, content may well be the undisputed king. But if we were to extend that metaphor, then search engine optimisation would be his squire: carrying out the vital and often-overlooked heavy lifting duties in the background; making sure that his master is seen in his best light - and by the right people. A poor quality page that is read by millions is hardly ideal, but a high-quality site which nobody visits is even worse. Search engine optimisation remains relevant as long as it is able to resolve this core dilemma.
Strategies for tomorrow
The role of search engine optimisation remains crucial – although now as just one aspect of a diverse set of promotional strategies. Browsing habits have changed, and social media has won ground from search engines as the favoured source of online information for many end users. This means that fewer businesses now rely on search engine traffic alone to generate revenue. Yet the changes to search engine algorithms mean that a high page ranking now confers an assurance of quality which is lacking from the crowd-sourced data of social media. And here is where search engine optimisation provides an invaluable service. Because on the internet of the future, a high ranking will not only provide high volume traffic, it will be seen as a reflection of high-quality content too.