SEO Is Not Dead
Just posing this question to any SEO guru makes them cringe or agitated or both. Just the same, the question of whether SEO even works anymore might as well be just as old as the practice itself. So where did the idea that SEO is dead and what proof is there to show that good old Search Engine Optimization is alive and well? Let us find out.
For decades now, people have been cheering the death of SEO for no apparent cause. Might this be the curious case of the proverbial Hare? He could not reach some fruits on a tree and consoled himself by saying how the fruits were not even delicious
Proof SEO is not dead
Case study. You just typed in ‘SEO is dead’ or ‘Is SEO dead?’ which by all standards is a competitive keyword. Definitely you will get arguments supporting and against SEO. Now, on a separate tab, please take count of all results that are for SEO and those that are claiming that it’s obsolete for the first page of SERPs.
Not surprisingly, you will discover that nearly all the top results for these two search phrases are in supporting SEO. Now, the answer to your query is already staring you right in the eyes. Every problem eventually resolves itself. People who don’t care to include good SEO in their marketing plans never make it to the top organically. The above is our first proof that SEO works.
How Search Engine Optimization Drives Growth
While SEO is still alive and well, it is a dynamic area and most of the original stuff is now obsolete. With each new update of Google’s algorithms, SEO has been proclaimed dead more times than we care to count.
Each passing year brings new developments to the SEO industry and there is no monopoly of knowledge here. The rapid change in what works for SEO and good practices for that matter is what has skeptics screaming at the top of their lungs.
Technology is growing in leaps and the trends in which people interact with the internet have gone through several metamorphoses. Just the same, the Search engine remains the custodian of the vast resources of the web. Website owners who want to found organically must unravel their riddle and SEO aids with that.
As long as ranking on Search results remains relevant, one surefire way to fail is to practice bad SEO or not to care at all.
Age of the AI takeover is upon us and we have algorithm-driven algorithms and so much more to comprehend. But SEO still remains a vital part of making money online today.
People argue that with the advent of the IoT, machines will not require SEO to navigate the web. It is hard to imagine how SEO could help with M2M communications once every device on the planet is connected to each other.
On the contrary, SEO is even more important to machines than to humans. Our eyes and brain have the incredible power to decipher meaning from virtually useless scraps of information. Machines have to iterate over content searching for clues from the contextual meaning of keywords and match up the best results. It is almost like finding a date online with millions of possible matches.
SEO for the future
Moving forward, Search engines are strategically even more relevant. The use of voice picture searches will be on the rise. Therefore optimization for algorithms will be a dire need for every business.
Optimizing for humans still remains relevant because when we use voice searches we tend to say more words. A conversational tone in a post will make it more natural and an irresistible hit when speech is converted to text.
The new generation of search assistants is now taking over with greater precision. In the future, even being on the first page will not matter because the search assistant is keen on getting that perfect hit that users want.
Leaders in the search industry including Google, Apple, and Bing now want to discard irrelevant first page results and present one best fit. This makes most niches especially local searches even more competitive.
As unsettling as this whole discussion might be for webmasters, it’s important to emphasize that
content is still king. Real users and search engines are still the main targets for web content. Methods of search my vary but you will be found for as long as you have high quality, original content optimized for finding.
Google vs Bing and Yahoo
The search engine industry is more of a monopoly with Google owning about 96% of the market today. There are other players like DuckDuckGo which have been struggling to stay competitive or at least afloat. Reportedly, DuckDuckGo has been on the upward trend even with the decline of Yahoo and Bing. Just the same, search traffic outside of the three most dominant search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing remains just under 1%.
According to Merkle Inc., a Columbian based performance-marketing agency and big data company, Bing and Yahoo lost their share in the total search engine traffic from 0.8% to 0.6% in 2018.
This explains why ranking for Google is synonymous with driving organic traffic. Google Ads drive a giant share of the giant as if an assurance that organic results will always have their place. Buyers are constantly becoming aware of the need to click on an organically ranking website rather than Ads for more solutions that are credible. Search Engine Optimization has actually just become even more relevant than ever.
New trends that are driving growth from Organic results
Internet searches for stuff performed by people are not going anywhere. Rather than search directly by punching a keyboard, we might prefer having our phone or watch or car listen. Without intuitive and well-optimized content, getting hits will become increasingly difficult with the following new and emerging trends in searches.
Mobile and smart devices
People often assume that the use of new and emerging technologies and the departure from desktop environments to mobile devices means the end of searches. This is not the case as mobile space is one of the largest sources of search engine traffic. Websites that are not mobile ready with responsive themes and intuitive web designs are doomed to fail.
It is important to understand that searches are the business Google is into and they are also the main proponent of the continued growth of the mobile space. Further, as much as mobile is growing in leaps, the desktop environment is not going anywhere because it is still a favorite for students and researchers.
Answers driven search results
Google may have started out as a result-driven operation but the focus is shifting from results to answers. The company has updated its results page design and presentation to make search results answers and solutions to users.
Voice search and search assistants
Voice searches and many other search modules only emphasize on the need for a naturally flowing piece of content for each post. Also, long-tail search queries are an area webmasters need to polish up on and a good SEO team will help with that. An average voice search query is a sentence that is 7 to 8 words long which specifies the user’s intent.
Sites only providing the information many not profit much from targeting Voice assistants. These assistants are only in their infancy but the rapid integration into smart devices will see them spread faster than android ever did.
The projected growth of the sector is over 40 billion US dollars by the year 2022 worth of sales in the US e-commerce alone. In the future, there will no longer be the ’10 blue links’ phenomenon of search results. With increasing searches and fewer money sites getting the lead, SEO is an excellent channel for making your case.
TheStreet predicts that by 2022, up to half of all searches could be hands-free. Any website that enjoys huge traffic today from organic searches and paid ads would be negligent to ignore such numbers.
A Deja vu
History repeats and especially with developments on the web. Anybody who has been monitoring the industry over the last decade will agree that the growth curve for voice searches is strikingly similar to that of mobile commerce seven years ago.
With the inevitable internet of things up and coming, the winners of tomorrow’s online business are entrepreneurs and firms that choose to make the best engaging and SEO tweaked the content.
Yes, the world of SEO much like the tech world around is growing and evolving at a fast-paced speed. Just a couple of decades ago, it was hard to picture how cellphones and smartphones could take over the world. Today, the smartphone has been benched by smart-almost-everything-else. Cars, microwave ovens, fridges, houses and such now have a ‘brain’ of their own.’
All-new smart technology relies on searches to make decisions which in turn increases the search traffic to prepared websites. Now smart devices are expected to rule the next decade with increased access to high-speed internet with 5G. Whether for man or machine, good content and best SEO practices are paramount to achieving any rank.
Some people who have been skeptical of SEO from the start tend to think that new technology will do away with a nicely written web copy but that is untrue. In fact, it could not be any further from the truth as good content will win today and tomorrow’s traffic.