IS SEO DEAD? IS IT STILL RELEVANT IN 2018?

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Here’s a News Flash! Is SEO dead? Consequent to the fact that Google is determined to ensure it remains number one in user experience, your carefully crafted SEO strategy may be officially history as at now!

In 2018 major and critical changes in Google are making it better for users but tougher for black hat SEO Specialists. The downside is, it is difficult as well as for businesses to adapt to the updated algorithms, leading many to ask: is SEO dead? Is the party finally over?

There is no doubt that the internet seems to be getting better with every day that passes by. This has brought about opportunities for business people wanting to venture online. Companies have been known to adopt various means to promote their websites in reaching out to target audiences. They make use of platforms such as email marketing, advertisement, referrals and search engine optimization.

While the Internet exists, the day will probably not come when online businesses no longer need the visibility that comes with a good ranking on a SERP or Search Engines Result Page. Currently however it is becoming increasingly difficult to consistently maintain decent rankings while employing the old tried and true methods of Search Engine Optimization techniques.

Many former techniques which used to be the gold standard of SEO designs simply have become near obsolete overnight, much in the same way Keyword stuffing became redundant with the advent of Google and the brandishing of its sophisticated algorithms years ago back. 

So where does that leave most online businesses that have depended on good old SEO practices to keep them in the green for more than a decade?

To answer bluntly, old SEO, or the keyword centered SEO variant which has ruled for more than a decade, is definitely and truly on its way out to well-deserved pasture. The good news is new SEO is still as relevant as ever, only it comes packing some new rules you and your site would do well to live by.

Here Is the Truth

The truth about search engine optimization is that it isn’t dead. Rather, it has gone through some evolution and modification processes over the years. The changes that it has experienced in recent times are all geared towards ensuring improved browser experience. This post will be highlighting some points to prove that SEO is still alive and answering questions on how to remain relevant in 2018 while still riding the SEO digital stallion.

what does google really want

Google, in a quest to satisfy its users, will keep using its search engine because becomes disappointed in Google’s search results and decides to stop using Google search engine, then their advertising sector will go bankrupt. As long as Google needs to ensure they’re providing high-quality search results, tons of analysis are in place with various criteria to decide if your site should top the ranks or not.

One of such criteria Google looks at is the quality and amount of hyperlinks indicating from different sites your site. Simply, better websites that combined make for a better all-around web experience for Google’s precious millions of searchers. And the big G is ready to wield the big stick to ensure just that.

The way out is to write not just good SEO content but basically good content. Content that is informative, well written, and geared to give users the immersive web experience they are tending towards. Pure keywords optimization strategies will gradually take a back seat as time progresses.  

Talking about penalties dished out by Google, it isn’t handed over as often as people think.  However, the very serious penalties are penalties given as a result of manual activities and the intolerable conduct that most website admins know of and refuse to avoid.

Drops in rankings and programmed punishments are more typical yet far less serious. But the truth remains that if you follow the prescribed procedures, you would never be a victim of these punishments.

VIDEO TRAFFIC

Video traffic is one of the most common forms of marketing that companies seem to be making use of at the moment. According to Cisco predictions in the year 2017, the traffic that is expected to be generated from video content will make up over 80% of the total internet traffic.

This simply implies that video content is expected to be used more than any other method of driving traffic by companies.

For instance, YouTube seems to be one of the largest search engines on the internet. Also, over 50% of the results produced by search engines for different keywords do contain videos. Marketers and companies are being given the opportunity to present their offers to target customers through the use of videos. Another reason is that over 60% of people surfing the internet do prefer exploring video contents as compared to written articles.

MOBILE FRIENDLINESS

Is your website mobile friendly? If it is, just how so? 58% of Google searches these days are on mobile. It’s no wonder then that the search engine is offering mobile-optimized results not as a second set or even a first set of results, but currently as the only results in response to a search.

Google announced in the year 2017, that websites which weren’t mobile friendly wouldn’t be given priority as regards search engine rankings. Websites are expected to be mobile – friendly as well as responsive in other to ensure a better user experience.

The major reason for a change such as this is to ensure that mobile users are carried along. There are a few websites that have started experiencing the mobile-first index of Google. The fact that Google recognizes the increasing rate at which browsers surf the web through mobile devices, there shouldn’t be much any question like ‘‘is SEO dead?’’

If your website is one of those not fully optimized for mobile, and that hides content under a “Read More” button, then you are skating on thin ice as it were. Google’s spiders will leave just such a site, once that is detected.  It is no news that Google prioritizes comprehensive content as its #2 ranking factor only after good links. So whatever you do, get on that site and make it as responsive as you can.

PEOPLE THINK SEO IS NOW LESS RELEVANT

This is because the algorithms used in ranking websites in search results are being changed progressively by search engines. Also, there has, as a matter of fact, been a slight shift in the past years towards ranks placed by the search engines not just on SEO but also on the grounds of website content quality.

However, instead of making SEO seem unnecessary, it is only fair to say that you need a content that is SEO optimized and of high quality at the same time. It doesn’t necessarily imply that SEO is no longer required or is less relevant. Because people have decided never to figure out how SEO truly functions and to some degree because of some untrue stories told by writers and journalists, a great number of people still don’t completely see how SEO really functions.

Its okay to think SEO is some kind of trick or stunt, I mean after hearing what people say about SEO. Truly, it may look like some kind of trick that magically has your site topping the ranks in search results. But the real truth is that SEO is not just trying to place your site up there for less or no reason, but their endeavors are towards detecting and providing contents and features that are most essential to users and of course search engines. As a result, this leads to website enhancements and eliminates spam and hacks.

Another priority SEO holds tenaciously is having your site top the ranks as high as possible in the search engine results, yet this frequently prompts an error in attaching importance. However, advertisers believe keyword rankings are most important while there are lots of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that should stand as a check for successful marketing of which keyword rankings and just one of them.

get your voice search on

This is another answer to a question such as ‘‘is SEO dead?’’. Voice search has been discovered to be increasing in popularity as compared to years back. Over 30% of adults carry out a minimum of one voice search on a daily basis.

Voice Search on Google grew by more than 3000% in the last ten years.  One major reason that can be traced to this development is the advent of Google Home and Amazon Echo. This coupled with the new initiative to provide search features and Internet in cars means this feature will only grow and grow.

Google’s crawler bots will give that site of yours a good ranking if your site is also optimized for voice. You need to be careful however and make certain that your site boasts of significantly quick response time and speed because slower speeds will not leave the bots very happy.

There are even plans to ensure that voice search technology gets integrated into mobile devices. This is why it has been predicted to make up over 40% of the entire searches that will be carried out on the internet by 2020. Hence, internet surfers are searching for the easiest ways to get results.

LONG FORM CONTENT IS IN

About a decade ago, website owners could put up posts of 300 words and 500 words on their websites. There were even webmasters who were making use of spinning software to churn out articles in huge numbers within a very short period of time and these would be indexed by search engines. They were considering the search engines ahead of browsers (real people).

Do you belong to the old school of content 500 words and less? Well, here’s a shocker; from here on out, if you are not packing 3000 words and more, then you are not packing at all. Remember when I said Google is after a more informative experience for users? It turns out UX (User Experience) show users; especially millennial increasingly have shown a preference for in-depth, informative content as opposed to short form, shallow pitches.  Google’s spiders will reward you on long-form content every time.

Everything changed with Google trying to emphasize on the relevance of websites. It is all aimed at ensuring that website browsers find contents valuable. Webmasters are now offering contents that are not only lengthy but of the highest quality. This is to keep visitors on their websites for as long as possible.

SEO Dead

Is Video the new keyword? More and more, Video is increasing in the share of web content it represents. As users seek a more person to person model of web interaction, videos continue to be a vital tool towards that experience. To introduce Video SEO, it is simply the optimization of a video content to be listed and ranked high on search engine result pages. There are many strategies to having your video content top the ranks on the search engines but first, you need to understand what contents to put up there.

Over the most recent couple of years, video advertising has become a very popular practice amongst marketers. The new sophisticated digital cameras and even smartphones have made video production easy and getting them online now pose no challenge as YouTube has provided a means. As it stands now, you can barely surf the internet without meeting a video here and there and this has become a major issue, proving difficulties in universal search engine ranking.

To gain a high rank now with a video on universal search has a great deal to do with the expert of your site, how centered it is on videos and its positions for associated video queries. Choosing the best Hosting Platform for your video should be considered when analyzing where and why you want your videos to top the ranks.

Finally, paying close attention to the description and title of your video should also be a considerable factor in ranking on the universal search engine. Proper keyword research should be carried out to ensure that the keywords being used are actually searched for by users. Also be sure not to pack keywords in a title as this may yield uninteresting search engine ranks.

The presence of video as part of web content has rewards that can take your site to the dizzying heights of first ranking on SERP or Search Engine Result Page.   

QUALITY LINKS

Google in keeping with its “quality over quantity model” will favor websites that show quality links. Though traditionally, website owners are loath to send users away from their site, Google, if you recollect, is after the user having a good time while online. Therefore the search engine will reward outward bound links even if there are just a few of them. Google needs to look at your site with a friendly eye, as well as regard it as one that is major.

video content

It is not yet very clear how sites can maximally take advantage of Google’s Artificial Intelligence feature Rankbrain to give them better rankings; however, the company is committed to using the innovation to offer a more personal service to its millions of users worldwide. Rankbrain will serve up a search result page based on browsing history and individual UX. The moment RankBrain detects a word or expression that it isn’t acquainted with, it tries to figure out words or expressions that might have a comparable meaning and filters the result as needs be, thereby, making it more effective and efficient at dealing with words that have never been seen as keywords or search engine queries. Rankbrain is one important factor in the way Google ranks a site and this is actionable information you can use. Rankbrain also looks at factors such as CTR, or click-through rates on a website and this you can take advantage of by making sure yours remains consistently high.  

THE POPULARITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA

When social media platforms weren’t that popular, there were very few companies making use of them to promote their brands. That was also how they weren’t taken seriously by search engines. However, search engines are seriously looking at content engagement in all of these platforms more than ever before. They now consider social clicks, shares, re-tweets, and likes.

SECURE LINKS (SSL) AND SITE SPEED

Google pointed out that secure website certificates were beginning to affect how websites were getting ranked. It has been recently noticed that a web browser like Chrome is flagging down those websites that don’t start with HTTPS. These sites are being considered unsafe for browsers.

Also, the speed at which websites load has been considered to be a very notable factor in how they get ranked on Google as announced recently. Websites that don’t display their contents very fast to browsers are getting penalized. This has been one of the major answers to a question such as ‘‘is SEO dead?’’

THINK LOCAL

Going really local is increasingly fronted by the search engine, to ensure that search results are actionable and immediately relevant to the user. This direction needs to meet a like response in all future endeavors for optimal web rankings particularly with the dependence on mobile devices steadily on an increase. The outcome thereof is that there is a new responsibility for SEOs to leap out from the opposition in search results. But very often, there is confusion that same strategies applied to a general SEO plan can be applied to a local SEO. While the standards are being maintained, the ”local” factor comes with its own strategies to help top the ranks of websites in search engine results.

WHAT IS REALLY DEAD?

One of what is really dead is the act of creating different web pages with different look-alike keywords. This practice is a long gone practice that needs to be stopped as fast as possible. Current SEO would join these keywords and their related URLs into a solitary piece of well written content that passes information with natural language and reflects what users would think and want to search for. While many alert SEOs are already incorporating this strategy, RankBrain points out the need of distinctively centering the focus on absolute keyword integration and quality content as opposed to creating different pages to cover variants.

A FEW THINGS TO AVOID

As mentioned earlier, SEO isn’t dead but due to adjustments in the algorithm, you need to take on a new approach towards it this time. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

  • Cloaking, a kind of SEO technique which differs the content introduced to the search engine spider from that introduced to the user’s browser, is a very terrible thing to do and of course is restricted by Google.
  • Superficial content should be blended being made significant and profitable to the users as well.
  • Stuffing keywords in content will be a controversial case while listing SEO mistakes to avoid. You might think it does the search engine some good, but in the real sense, it doesn’t. It spams the search engine.
  • Also keep in mind that many of these mistakes attract punishments and penalties if it is detected on a website.

While these are the most essential mistakes to avoid, it doesn’t really imply that SEO is passing on. It is as a result of search engines not wanting their results to be topped off with content that are irrelevant to their users.

CONCLUDING

Having seen the above reasons, it is obvious that search engine optimization isn’t irrelevant as people are being made to believe. It is paramount that Google trusts your site and feels that you are a partner in making the web a healthier and more informative environment. Is SEO dead? Not quite, but it is evolving, and doing so at such a pace to be soon virtually unrecognizable. You would do your website a world of good to recognize and capitalize on the above, which is effectively the new SEO which is very much alive and kicking.

About the author

Rachael Chapman

A Complete Gamer and a Tech Geek . Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writting Techie Blogs.

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