What follows the headline “SEO is dead!”? Usually a click, and that’s why people use that claim in their article headlines. They know they’ll get clicks by scaring people. When you see such a loaded claim, the obvious, knee-jerk response is to say, “There’s no way! Without SEO, what will I do now to make my website visible?” And then you read on to find out how to protect and ensure the success of your website.
One blogger argues that not only is this claim inaccurate, but the articles that follow it are surface level sensationalism at its most dangerous. Bad advice that eliminates good SEO strategies can lead people to make poor decisions for their websites that can hurt their ranking, and consequently, their chances for success.
The Timeless Definition of SEO
As long as there is information online, there will be a way to search for it. And as long as there is a way to search for it, there will be a reason to optimize said content for more efficient and effective searchability.
And that’s what search engine optimization is: the process of refining content for optimal visibility online. This “refining” process is where SEOs (search engine optimizers) come in. They are responsible for navigating and deploying the correct practices that will help a website appeal to a search engine’s defined yet evolving algorithms.
Kristine Schachinger of SearchEngineWatch.com gives two rule-of-thumb questions to consider every time you’re confronted with a claim that SEO is dead.
- “Is there still a search engine that seeks out and returns content to a user based on words they enter through text or voice input?”
- “Are these results based on programming, algorithms, and math?”
If the answer to these two questions is yes, there will always be a reason to continue employing SEO and you’ll be wise to keep yourself in tune with the current state your favorite search engine’s algorithms.
A False Accusation
Those that say SEO is dead also make sweeping claims against SEOs, lumping legitimate SEOs in with the spammers with unfair generalizations. It’s been called an “industry full of promises,” but Kristine clarifies that true SEOs “give Google what they want—sites that are good for users, guided by Google’s guidelines.”
A true search engine optimizer isn’t a proponent of “blackhat tricks,” because they know that the results won from those tricks won’t last. True SEOs understand that Google’s algorithms are constantly shifting in order to provide the end user a better and more accurate search experience.
If a website owner understands Google’s motive and the implications of each algorithm change, then they will be on top of making content and design strategies that will best appeal to those algorithms, and will see a boost in ranking and traffic as a result. A knowledgeable SEO acts as the consultant, or spokesperson, for Google in relaying those practices and strategies that will yield the desired results.
What content and design decisions have you made that were influenced by Google’s changing algorithms?
Schachinger, Kristine. “Is SEO dead? Nooooooo!” http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2358557/Is-SEO-Dead-NOOOOOOO?utm_term=&utm_content=Is%20SEO%20Dead%3F%20NOOOOOOO!&utm_campaign=08%2F04%2F14%20-%20SEW%20Daily&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Daily (August 18, 2014.)