I recently read a post on social media from a person who (while remaining nameless) was supposed to be an expert in his field. This post, however, got under my skin because he essentially called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a fruitless endeavor, saying it was “dead” and calling on companies to make their investments elsewhere.
I truly hope this person is not an advisor for companies in his spare time.
Here’s the truth. SEO is not dead. Backlinks? Yes, it’s true that backlinks are now one of the least important parts of SEO nowadays. While still somewhat relevant, they’ve taken a much-needed backseat to more important SEO-based endeavors like natural shares in social media, content quality and relevancy, and keywords and phrases that aren’t overly pushy (keyword stuffing has never been a good tactic for driving SEO-based views from search engines).
But no, it’s not dead. SEO, like many parts of technology and language, evolves over time. It changes. Each algorithm, every advancement in internet technology, and even social trends can play a part in making these changes occur.
For instance, when Google released its Panda algorithm update a few years ago, websites known as “content farms” were primary affected, and not in a good way. Before that update, these sites were all too common on the web, leading to less than high quality content in many cases.
Subsequent updates to the Google search algorithm have continued to change the dynamics of SEO, with the most recent algorithm update as of this writing occurring in December 2017.
Google is not the only example. Bing has also made changes to its algorithms.
SEO, however, continues to not only survive, but thrive in the aftermath of these algorithmic changes. It’s an important tool for web developers to help their clients get discovered and find success online. It remains an important part of building and maintaining a healthy website or blog. It evolves, matures, and expands as new technologies emerge.
But most importantly, it challenges web designers and developers to come up with the very best strategies and solutions to help their customers and clients – – and by extension themselves – – succeed in a diverse, dynamic, and very competitive environment.