There is no single answer to this question.
Most individuals whom I surveyed for this project, said that SEO was not dead.
But, the SEO game, which most of us are so acquainted with, has actually changed. And so, maybe it could be said that yeah, SEO is dead in the way that we all perceived it to be.
But, it’s a really complicated debate. So, read on – there’s a lot to learn here!
When I first started blogging in 2015 I scoured the internet for tactical SEO tips that I could implement and rank higher in Google. These tips ranged from commenting on other blogs to sending guest post requests in an ordeal to get featured on other blogs.
But, I soon realised something.
All these techniques are relics of the past. Most SEO experts nowadays ask you to focus on networking and branding, than on building links for the sake of ranking on Google’s page #1.
I made a lot of inferences over the years which I will share later on in this post but first something else –
I read about marketing a lot. And sometime in the recent past, soon after 2019 happened, most blogs were full of “Is SEO dead”, “Is SEO necessary” and “Does SEO Matter in 2019” kind of posts.
So I reached out to a ton of SEO experts via HARO to ask them one simple question –
What their opinion was on whether SEO is dead or not.
Here’s what I found.
If you are short in time, check out this video-
#1. SEO is evolving; not dead – Andrew Ruditser, lead Lead Technology Coordinator for MAXBURST, Inc feels that SEO is not dead but is evolving so as to provide even more relevant answers to search queries. As the internet continues to evolve and bring new developments, people tend to think that SEO has died.
But this is not the case.
While SEO trends have changed A LOT due to these developments, as long as Google and other search engines exist, it is important that you are still ranking in them. Although new technology may change the way we interact with one another, these search engines will always keep up and remain a factor.
This just means that you must evolve with the internet. Tracking your SEO strategies will help you do so.
This will help you see what SEO strategies you used in the past have died out and what new ones you must use instead. As long as the world continues to communicate through the internet and these search engines, SEO will always play a huge factor in making sure you remain on top of their rankings and ahead of your competitors.
#2. SEO is very much dominant in the present Internet scenario – According to Jitesh Keswani, CEO of e-Intelligence, SEO is inherently valuable and is not dying shortly.
And, what’s more SEO than building backlinks to your blog or website!?
- Handpicked Resources:
- Why is Link-Building Important?
- What is Domain Authority?
- How to Actually Build Links: All the Tactics that There Are
#5. Spammy SEO is Dead but Not SEO – Sean Dudayev, Founder of Frootful Marketing considers that most marketers that spread the message of SEO being dead have just not been able to adopt the modern approach to SEO.
Today, its a lot harder to do SEO and is a much more laborious process than it used to be.
However, if done right, it provides the best ROI of any marketing effort out there.
In 2019 SEO is all about quality over quantity.
It boils down to two things: high-quality content and high-quality links, which should be located within high-quality content.
Nachum Balofsky, the In-House SEO & Content Strategist for 1SEO feels that as Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated, high-quality content that is useful to the public is becoming increasingly vital.
The days are gone when you can just stuff your website with keywords and expect your site to rank for your desired keywords.
- Here’s How You Can Take Your Blog Content to the Next Level
#7. SEO is even more important than ever – I love the answer provided by Simon Ensor, the Managing Director of Yellowball. Here’s his quote-
In fact, Quincy Smith, the Head of SEO and Content at Ampjar, feels the same way. According to her, SEO is both more valuable and more complicated than ever, while the basics of SEO are still the same – that is, create awesome content that solves the searchers’ intent, observe on page and off page best practices, and make sure you have a plan for when you start getting traffic.
The last part is called conversion – that is, you need to have a plan to convert your audience into recurring audience or even better – customers! Although the last part is a bit complex, you have to consider SEO as a part of your marketing strategy as opposed to the crux of it – your channels need to work in harmony with one another and organic traffic should still play a huge part.
#8. SEO is now less technical and offers more of a qualitative approach – According to Danilo Godoy of Search Evaluator Partners since search engine optimization is not a recipe but rather a set of concepts that evolves along with the internet and search engines, without professional advice site owners may incur the risk of following outdated techniques that may even hurt their position in the rankings.
His understanding is that as most platforms are now what they claim “optimized for SEO”, the optimization efforts are getting geared to an approach that is not as technical as it used to be in the past.
This idea is aligned with the recent post on Google’s official Webmaster Central Blog.
#9. Branding is Key in SEO – Google had issued a statement that the solution to SEO was in “brands”. I believe that they meant that if your site has a good branding, it is expected to publish more quality content and thus it will be valued more in the eyes of Google. However, let’s come back to this in a later section in this article – “Why Branding Matters More Than SEO”.
- Related Read: How to Brand Yourself Using HARO
- How Commenting on other Blogs Can Help You Build Your Brand
#10. SEO is a process of constantly improving websites – According to Irena Zobniów, Co-Founder of Insightland.org, SEO is not only about creating content optimized for key phrases or link building, but is a constant process where you keep on trying to improve your websites, perform activities that stick to the newest search engine guidelines in order to achieve high positions and to generate organic traffic.
Shakun Bansal from Mettl has a similar view on SEO. He feels that SEO is not just about inserting keywords in content that would go dead or out of fashion, because Google algorithms are improving each day. SEO is about finding out what probably could be the changes that Google had done to its algorithms and how to prepare content accordingly so that the website’s ranking isn’t affected.
SEO optimizes the website according to search engine algorithms so that your website (if it has content worth ranking) ranks on the top organic searches in SERP rankings. Some or the other kind of algorithms will remain in the bigger picture of Google’s ranking and SEO will take precedence to understand them. Nobody knows how these algorithms work and a major part of ranking depends on continually researching and understanding the practices that work best for traffic and audience find you.
While algorithms can keep changing, it won’t go. There’s been a shift in page rankings from keyword-filled content to longer formats of content that provide the best of knowledge and information in one go in an easy to comprehend language.
Going forward to 2022 I believe that we will see fewer new SEO’s due to the requirements and endless amount of knowledge that you are needing to know in order to rank has increased.
One thing that never seems to go out of style is technical SEO. Improving factors like page speed, on-page SEO and keyword optimisation are still very important and will be sure to keep you high on SERP’s.
These strategies provide the biggest SEO gains, and with on average 40% of revenue being captured by organic traffic, they cannot be ignored.
Indeed, Google is dramatically increasing in intelligence year on year, but that doesn’t make the need to optimise SEO any less important, it just means us as marketers must evolve our practices just as Google does.
Why Branding Matters More Than SEO
Slisha Kankariya of withclarity.com feels that a good SEO presence is established by educating your customer about your product and the thought and process of crafting it.
It’s also all about establishing yourself as a thought leader within the space and getting ranked accordingly. The more people see you, the more you will be trusted as a person or brand capable of providing a valid source of information and ultimately when you try to make any sale with them, they will be more warm to you.
Try to anticipate questions people will have throughout the funnel so that you can get in front of them and cultivate your brand awareness at all points of their journey before they purchase from you.
They feel that this is the best way to establish a presence, credibility and organically get people to discover their products and services.
Challenges to this are always heavy competition in the marketplace and contenders who have more money and man-power than you.
Why Networking Holds the Key to SEO Now
As you can see from above, SEO is no longer how it used to be, wherein you got your post linked from a thousand and one unrelated websites. Now, it’s not just the number of links that count but also the quality of the links, the latter being the more influential.
Links from high quality pages can take your website to the next level and significantly boost your website’s rankings.
But, it is not as easy to get links from these websites as it was in 2000s. Editors and website owners are ever more cautious of linking out to spammy and shady websites as it can affect their own rankings. Although Google wants you to link out to other relevant resources, the fact of the matter is gaining links is much tougher than it used to be.
As such, writing great quality articles and asking people to link to it, aka the Skyscraper technique won’t work if you are new in your niche. What worked for Brian Dean, an SEO expert has failed for others in numerous other tests.
So, why was Brian so successful, when others failed?
- Branding. And lots of it. Heck, he has a Forbes article dedicated to him!
- Writing articles that address pain points of his audience.
- And, this is the most important – networking.
- Related Post: Here’s How You Can Exploit the Most Underrated SEO-Hack, that is Commenting on Other Blogs in Your Niche
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