Is SEO Dying?

By A Digital N.E.R.D

How the Marketing World Is Changing

Search engine optimization is a 25-year-old industry that’s finally coming to an end – or is it? The death of SEO is a topic that has been questioned and discussed for the past couple of years. With the rise of new social networks, many business owners are wary of whether or not search engines are still relevant. Voice search, digital PR, Facebook, and even TikTok are slowly gaining recognition in the business world.

If you’re hesitant to invest in SEO, think again. We’re going to discuss how it’s still a beneficial marketing strategy and why you shouldn’t give up just yet.

Short answer – no, SEO is definitely not dead. In fact, it’s alive and well.

Why Is It Rumored That SEO Is Dead?

How can an industry that’s thriving be proclaimed by so many people as dead? Think about website owners whose entire experience with SEO is nothing more than suspicious emails that seem to escape their spam filter: “Dear sir or madam, you must be wondering why your website is not visible on the first page of major search engines, despite your use of popular keywords and backlinks.” People in traditional marketing who do not work with SEO may think it’s a dying industry simply because they do not have a thorough understanding of SEO or how important it is for brand presence. After all, proper optimization is one of the best ways to boost brand awareness.

You may already be aware that SEO is a complex industry that is always changing. The trick to effectively utilizing SEO is to know how it is changing and what you need to do to keep up.

In an interview with Search Engine Journal, Brock Murray, Co-founder of seoplus+ said, “The biggest trend that smart SEO professionals should focus on in 2020 for greater success is UX – user experience.” It’s your goal to give consumers exactly what they need, right? Put yourself in their shoes. Think about your current technical SEO tactics and content strategy and how they can be improved to benefit users – not Google. Giving users what they want is exactly what Google wants, and if you optimize well, you will rank.

Is Paid Media the Top Dog?

One of the reasons why SEO is rumored to be dying is because of paid media. However, the number one position on Google isn’t everything it says it is anymore. Typically, Google search results pull up an ad first, followed by a Google Answer Box and, sometimes, a knowledge panel. These are known as zero-click searches because the information you need is most likely in the answer box and/or knowledge panel. Talk about online brand presence. However, Google doesn’t just hand out these spots.

You need to have the right combination of these elements:

  • High-value technical SEO
  • Great off-page SEO
  • Outstanding on-page content

Keeping up with these elements is where the hard work comes in. Google’s algorithm becomes trickier with every update, and tactics that prove effective one day may become penalties the next. In order to avoid these potential problems, some will stop investing their money, time, and efforts in SEO altogether. However, this may result in missing out on potentially hundreds of thousands of Google referrals every day.

It’s also important to consider the referrals you receive via:

  • Word of mouth
  • Traditional offline marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Social media referrals
  • Industry publications

Is SEO Still Worth Investing in?

How do you find information online without a search engine? Of course search engine optimization is still worth your time, money, and effort. With more than 3.5 billion searches per day just on Google alone, your online presence relies heavily on using the right SEO strategies.

Usability is also far more important now than it has ever been. Thanks to Google’s advanced semantic technology, users can plug in more complex, long-tail searches and get the answers they need. There are also more searches that provide zero-click results than ever before due to the functionality of Google Maps, Google Images, Google Answer Boxes, and other Google-owned tools. A search engine has never thrived the way that Google thrives today.

Modifying and sharpening your SEO techniques is the best way to achieve that zero-click search status.

SEO Then, Now & in the Future

Back in 1995, the internet was young. Search engines like AltaVista and Lycos were emerging and growing. This growth marked the start of automatic indexing – also known as crawling – and suddenly, SEO was born.

In 1997, a domain for a search engine that previously went by the name “BackRub,” was registered, and in 1998, that same domain brought the first-ever Google search.

That’s right – Google’s original name was BackRub because it depended on backlinks to determine which sites were important. Today, more than 20 years later, SEO and Google practically dominate the internet. This thriving search engine still relies on backlinks heavily, which is why understanding how to properly optimize your website is key to a successful online presence.

Many search engines in 1995 were not much more than virtual libraries that hardly provided users with an ability to search. Because these engines didn’t have a ranking system, it was next to impossible for users to find the information they were looking for. Thankfully, the digital world evolved quickly – even then. Soon, search engines ranked pages based on OPIC, which stands for “On Page Importance Criteria,” and SEO is still constantly changing today to continue improving overall user experience.

Knowing the history of search engine optimization is vital to understanding how it works today. While it may seem simple, there is a lot more that goes into SEO than some good links, a few good keywords, and a good-looking, functional website.

Google has introduced a few new updates, including BERT, E-A-T, and RankBrain, which have collectively been a game-changer in the SEO industry. Search engine optimization is still very relevant and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

The Biggest Cog in the Marketing Machine

You could say that voice search, digital PR, TikTok, and other platforms are threatening the SEO industry, but they are all just part of one big marketing machine – and among all these cogs, SEO is one of the biggest.

As the internet grows more every year, so does the importance of search engine efficiency. Search engines are more vital to users now than they’ve ever been before, and we can all thank SEO for that.

Google’s algorithm changes continuously for your benefit by working to keep shady marketers from using hacking practices to rank higher. Keeping up with SEO’s rapidly evolving industry is no walk in the park, but it is definitely worth your efforts. Your business will significantly benefit if you use the right strategies.

Keeping up with SEO Tactics

Rather than thinking SEO is dead, we need to learn how to reframe it. If your SEO tactics are not working, it’s most likely because they are no longer effective. What’s worse is that outdated techniques may be doing more harm than good for your brand. That’s why it’s so important to always stay on top of SEO’s frequent changes.

Push for content that’s strong and relevant rather than pages stuffed with keywords. Natural backlinks will help you rank organically. Focus on technical SEO – this is something that’s frequently overlooked.

At the end of the day, Google’s primary purpose is to display search results that provide the exact answers users are looking for – It shares the same goal as you. Google is on your side and SEO is the stairway to your success online.

Want to learn more about our 
SEO services? Contact our team at 323-387-3067 or schedule a complimentary consultation here.

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