Is This The End Of SEO?

IS SEO OPTIMIZATION DYING OFF?

Over time, repeated changes in Google's search algorithm appear to be going more and more away from rewarding highly SEO optimized sites with traffic. Countless webmasters and blog owners spend time, energy and some fund, in some cases, trying to fine-tune and optimize their site's SEO rating for maximal traffic from organic search. However, continuous changes in Google's search algorithm appear set to stamp SEO principles to death.

Google

What are you hoping for when you search for something on Google?

Are you looking for a site that deployed every SEO tip and trick to game their way to the top of the list? Or a site that has relevant, reliable, authoritative content?

Most likely it is the latter, and it seems Google may want that, too. If it happens to represent the antithesis of the results of good SEO, that's just fine with Google. They don't make a nickel on your optimized site and they are worried that users may become underwhelmed with their search results if the only links appearing above the fold are those not with the best content but with those deploying the most effective examples of chicanery we know as "SEO."

When Google in 2013 stopped providing data about keyword popularity, this must have served as a shot across the bow of SEO. It signaled that Google wanted to put a damper on SEO because they had determined it was skewing the results in a way unhelpful to its users.

In the "old" days, SEO was a matter of stuffing your metatags with top keywords; then it became more complicated as Google continued to refine its search algorithm. The current state of SEO, in rather sober fashion, calls for "quality content," no keyword stuffing, longevity of the domain, lack of duplicate content, a well-ordered site-map and other items more esoteric. Really, it's become more about just building a great site with great (and focused) content. Phony inbound links are not supposed to cut it anymore, although sometimes this can slip by undetected.

SEO is a big industry. According to a site called State of Digital, 863 million websites mention SEO globally and every second 105 people search for SEO links on Google. Most of them seem to be looking for "services" or "companies," which explains how there came to be so many SEO companies.

SEO is also an industry full of promises. Despite evidence to the contrary, many SEO mavens continue to insist they can fool the Google algorithm into getting your site - no matter what it is - higher in the rankings. That it is easy to see whether it works when you search for your own company makes it an appealing payoff. But the waters of SEO remain murky and it's difficult to measure success of SEO in any meaningful way (in other words, even if you got to the top, did it improve your business or did you just accumulate a very high bounce rate?).

Now SEO may be going the way of Megalodon, a 100-foot shark rumored to exist but mostly accepted to have gone extinct a million years ago. If it isn't functionally dead, it's certainly in the sick-house. Google does not especially want the SEO industry playing games with its rankings, and what Google wants, especially in a case like this, Google gets.

Customers still ask for "top keyword" reports as if they have not read the news about the unavailability of it - perhaps because they believe that if you wish hard enough for a pony on Christmas, one will eventually find its way under the tree.

It isn't going to happen.

Certain SEO principles should not be ignored, simply as a matter of site-hygiene. A well-organized, content-rich site is a good thing to have. But most other SEO tricks and tips have just a little bit (if not a lot) of snake-oil in the recipe. It sounds like a great proposition to a site owner: drink a bottle of SEO and your site will zoom vigorously to the top of the heap. But too often, and partly because Google does not seem to want it to, it doesn't work as advertised.

There is no good reason for Google to stop trying to stamp out SEO, because in effect, SEO damps the quality of search results for the user. Google is interested in the user - and, as you might have guessed already, it reduces the value of a paid AdWord link. Because Google AdWords is a form of SEO, which really is SEM (search engine marketing); in other words, you optimize your site's Google performance by bidding on Google keywords whereby Google makes pretty much all of its money.

SEO is not going to get easier. It's going to get harder and eventually will most likely be next to impossible - because Google's algorithms are always a step ahead of the marketers trying to game them. And with no keyword reporting, a major support system for SEO has been, quite simply, taken away.

If you want to rank high on Google, build a good site and market it the best you know how. Just don't expect SEO to be the answer to your traffic-related prayers because, increasingly, it won't be.

This article was originally published by ClickZ here.

13 comments:

  1. Very good article. I don't think SEO plays as big as a part we think it does though..Although basic SEO is definately a must. On-site optimization, keyword research, etc. The whole link building thing with me doesn't really fly with me though.

    Reason i'm saying this is when I started a small "cooking" blog earlier this year (January I think) I found this "blogging blueprint" so to speak, followed it to the T, and now my blog is up near the $300+ per day range. I didn't focus on link building at all, just steady traffic from free resources, On-Page Optimization, and keywords... Just my two cents. I'm obviously not a expert or anything..

    For anybody wanting to check out the blueprint I used, here: http://bit.ly/1wzPiO3

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    1. Hello Jackie, I've never looked kindly at link-building because, in most cases, site readers and users are sent to completely off-topic sites which can be very annoying. Besides, linking in such ways will surely hurt both your site and the site linked to in search engine rankings (not only Google's). Anyways, thanks for dropping by.

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  2. no matter what google or anybody else does or feels, seo will always remain relevant so far as there is the internet. its google today, but may be another company tomorro. h/v, whether google or any other company, seo will always remain relevant.

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    1. Hello Anonymous, I guess you should be right after all. Your opinion is noted. Cheers, friend!

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  3. If there is search Engine, there would be SEO. However the technique will be different according to time and different search Engines.

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    1. Hi, just like @Anonymous above I think you should also be right, because I see your reasoning; its just like saying 2 + 2 = 4, right? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, friend.

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  4. I won't say SEO would die, even in future. SEO will remain LIVE forever. Although, working scenario of SEO has changed a lot in recent years. As a SEO company in London, we always carry out each and every tactics and strategies that boost not only ranking, but also business from organic ranking.

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    1. Hello tauseefazhar, thanks for sharing your views!

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  5. Therefore, for small businesses the most suitable and effective way of internet marketing is to opt for qualitative SEO services

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    1. Hello Jodi W. Brown, thanks for dropping by to share your insight. Cheers!

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  6. excellent and amazing tips thanks for sharing.

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  7. SEO is always needed one for business and it will always alive only and there is dead for SEO.

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