Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
There are a lot of bigtime SEO bloggers claiming the sky is falling. After Google Algo updates Panda and Penguin, many webmasters took Search Rank hits. The SEO gurus say SEO is dead, they say it’s all about social media and content now. In fact, some have been saying this for years. Not me.
Did I get hit by the Algo changes? Sure, I had some domains take a dive. While I had others actually rise in the ranks. That being said, I’m not worried.
While the tactics involved in SEO will change, I don’t think the theory behind SEO has changed at all. I just think the environment is changing. SEO – as a practice – is maturing, because the internet and search engines are maturing.
Let’s think for a second, why does Google utilize the things we do in order to better rank their results? Simple, because it wants to use our actions to provide either positive or negative indicators as to the quality of that result for the query. With the best match, for the largest number of users, to be the most highly served result for all users (barring personalization).
Okay, I’ve described why Google needs SEO. My question is: has this changed recently? I submit that it has not. I don’t think the importance of social media or content has made SEO less important, SEO has always been a question of ‘how best to describe my site and its goals to the search engines’. Obviously, content is a huge part of that. Yes, thats right, I’m saying content is part of SEO – always has been.
Just because spamming is more difficult, does not mean SEO is dying. In fact it makes it easier for people who want to genuinely provide quality sites as search results, because Google is getting rid of the people who are insincere and shady in the ways they do this.
Just because the low-hanging fruit has moved, or is less plentiful in number, doesn’t mean SEO is dead.
In the long-run, we all know Google would be just as happy answering all of their users questions right there on their site — but that won’t happen, atleast not for ALL types of queries.
There will always be a place for sites optimized to provide the user with exactly what they are looking for. Our job as Search Marketers is to figure out WHAT our users are looking for, and then to provide that. If you can do that, then you can bet Google will treat you well.