This blog post discusses how Search Engine Optimization has changed forms and some of the new techniques applied by digital marketing experts to stay ahead in the ranking race.
SEO is dead
This is a major interest topic and contributor to huge amount of articles on the internet; various bloggers and marketers are discussing the death of SEO or predicting its death in near future.
However, this statement is missing an important word – traditional.
Traditional SEO is dead. Yep that is right. You can no more follow a step by step instructions – optimizing website, creating backlinks, pouring content with keywords etc and believe that would work for you as has been the case in the past. Sure, all these practices have not become obsolete but no single recipe applies to SEO anymore.
With changes in Google’s algorithms and more and more updates even including phantom updates, search engine optimization has changed drastically and if any digital marketing company promises guaranteed results – better throw the money away rather than hiring them. Outsmarting the search engines has become difficult, still humans are smarter especially SEO experts and they are engaging their minds to come up with new ways to beat those search engines.
Therefore, we can surely say traditional SEO is dead, however an evolved, new form of search engine optimization exists, and it is still creating waves.
Smartening up of Google’s crawlers
Google’s crawlers have smartened up but so does SEO experts. In the starting filling unrelated content with hundreds of keywords and creating back links (as many as you can) works and gets you the top ranking. Obviously, this is not the case anymore as Google is rolling out changes and working on machine learning.
For more knowledge on algorithm changes read History of Google Updates.
Because of development of Artificial Intelligence, a shift has occur in the SEO industry – while focus on keywords is still there, the question asked these days before any activity is whether user would find it highly relevant and beneficial because we all know customer is the king.
According to sources; Google’s ‘DeepMind’ has developed a lot and can learn from past experiences, stores data, and make human like suggestions. The world is not far, where search results would be based on human quotient rather than keywords & quality backlinks.
Let us take an example to discuss latest changes in Google’s result –
If you search for ‘vintage sports car’ – the result nowhere includes the word vintage, rather it shows top results of classic cars.
So, how is this possible? Where is the word ‘vintage’ in the results?
This all had been the result of artificial intelligence.
Keywords in SEO
Keywords were and still are most important in Search Engine Optimization. While most bloggers would suggest avoiding keyword stuffing and that focusing on exact keyword is not necessary anymore, we can definitely say that is not right. Obviously, keyword stuffing is bad and we agree but focusing on exact keyword and using them still applies. Creating relevant high quality content with exact keywords is still very important and the screen shots given below proves our point.
We searched for ‘mobile app’ and ‘mobile apps’ in Google and more than 80% of the results were different. With a slight difference, we get different results, however inclusion of some of the common results show that Google is improving on machine learning but the rest different web pages shows SEO is still very much alive and kicking.
After optimizing the website and making it Google friendly, the most important SEO activity is Content. Content is supreme and decides whether your website is worth spending few minutes or not. Human scans content by superficial reading while the crawlers use certain identifiers to rank content as of high quality and relevant. These identifiers or entities are majorly words related to keywords.
For example if you are writing about Apple – then words such as phone, iphone, iOS, iTunes, store, online are obvious identifiers, without which you content would not be marked highly relevant. Obviously if you try to provide quality content, above all is automatically included but sometimes it pays to include these entities.
Target Market should be number 1 priority for SEO
Knowing your online visitors & customers is the key SEO tactic for getting high organic ranking. Developing customer personas helps in deducing trends and interest areas. Personas help a lot in understanding customers and making the websites as well as user experience better. Many marketers develop multiple personas based on different demographics, segments or emotions and these personas provide better understanding of users as well as finding quality keywords and in link building.
SEO practices in general
Apart from On-page optimization and quality link-building, content and using personas have gained huge importance in SEO. Well-written and value-added content is prerequisite to best digital marketing services.
As long as there is competition to be on first page of organic search result, there will be services to improve your website’s ranking. However, it is a fact that SEO is changing and digital marketing experts have to change as well to stay ahead in the race.
SEO is not dead rather its form is evolving with improving technology & it is for the long run.