There have been growing questions as to whether the practice of search engine optimisation is alive and well, or whether what some people in the digital marketing field are chanting is true - that “SEO is dead”. There are fears that with all that search engines are doing, especially Google, that there is no space for an SEO strategy. Before we get ahead of ourselves though, let’s just look at what I am getting at.
I don’t mean that SEO is in fact dead. I mean that the old practices of manipulating the search engines have passed. The days are gone when all you had to do was add your site to a few well known directories and “BAM”, it ranked. Many SEO’s, including the big guys, have used black hat tactics in the past to rank themselves and their clients. Things like forums, cache links and general comment and link spamming have been noticed by search engines and they too can no longer give you that short cut to the top. Building up link chains or a multitude of Web2.0 sites also no longer guarantees rankings, SEO is no longer a set formula - there is no step by step to get you the rankings you want. Just as the algorithms of the search engines change every day, so does SEO. It is constantly evolving and everyday there is something new that changes for the good or bad of the industry. “Adapt or Die” - it’s the same as in any industry, if you are not prepared to evolve with the times, you will be left behind and in no time at all you will be old news.
With Google’s freshness update, ensuring that relevant and current news can rank, blogging and social media have become increasingly important for an SEO strategy. In fact I would take it one step further and say that with the current times and trends of internet marketing, social media (and all that falls under its umbrella, blogging, videos, infographics etc) should be on the tip of your spear. And by spear I mean your marketing strategy - and this includes SEO.
In current times it is a social world, social media has taken the world by storm and it is only going to get bigger. If your company doesn’t have a blog then you are missing a vital aspect of not only social media, but SEO as well. Humans love to stay connected to everything and social media helps us do this. If you search your company in Google, blog posts and social media sites come up in the results, and that is because of SEO. Online marketing is becoming an interconnected sting of webs; one facet can easily affect another. Growing your brand nowadays involves a lot more than making sure you are at the top of the SERP.
SEO is an ever-changing industry and who knows, in a few years SEO could have gone from being the forefront of your digital strategy to a mere part of a strategy. We could very well see SEO falling in line with other strategies and becoming much more innovative compared to the structure/recipe style of old. One thing that’s for sure is that the SEO leaders of the world are there because they innovate, they are pioneers, they are not afraid to experiment and see what happens. So maybe it’s not SEO that is dead, maybe it’s just your SEO efforts that need to be laid to rest?
Cale Pissarra is a SEO specialist that enjoys the world of online marketing, his topics he writes about does not only include SEO but also pay per click advertising.