Every now and then, there’s a fanatic telling the world that it’s about to end. There have been gurus, scriptures, deluded people on television screaming that a meteorite is going to hit the world hard in a few months or that we are all going to drown.
The SEO world too witnesses the madness every now and then with some “SEO experts” claiming that SEO is officially dead. Those new to the domain often end up buying into these exaggerations because the truth is that saying SEO, an industry that powers millions of businesses around the world, is dead is a lot like saying that the world is ending.
SEO isn’t dead. Given the ever-expansive reach of Google and other prevalent search engines, the industry is only set to grow in sophisticated ways. Just in case, you are having a hard time understanding if SEO is really a thing of the past or has a bright future ahead, read on to find the answer:
People are still going to search online
The biggest reason why search engine optimization isn’t dying anytime soon is because people enjoy the luxury of being able to search anything online. Their ways of accessing the internet and making searches may be different but people are not quitting Googling even the simplest query that comes to their mind.
In fact, almost 47% of the world’s population access Internet in 2017 and estimates reveal that this figure may grow to an impressive 53%.
Google, the market leader, gets a spectacular 3.5 million searches everyday amounting to around 1.2 trillion searches every year!
Consider this: What do you do you visit a new neighbourhood in your city? Find cool places to visit with friends? Make reservations at the hottest spots? But what if you just end up in a neighbourhood with plenty of time and nothing better to do? Or what if you go on a new journey, looking for a bar or a shop that you have never visited before? This is where Google search steps in.
It’s a reality Google doesn’t rake in 100% of the searchers that happen over the internet. But more than 90% of online experience begin with a Google search. So, if you end up in a new neighbourhood with plenty of time and company, there’s a strong chance that you will ask you smartphone for best coffee or hangout places nearby.
The fact that search engines are encouraging richer results with sophisticated algorithms is what makes search engine optimisation even more vital.
Search Engines are evolving
People are 24×7 connected with the internet and the growing use of smartphones and other devices is what’s making it easy for people stay connected at all times. Since people are finding more ways of accessing the internet, search engines like Google are developing more sophisticated methods to offer users a better search experience.
Search Engines are evolving to accept the advancements in search behavior. For example, voice search and conversational AI is making it easier for Google to offer a far more reliable, accurate and relevant experience. The touch interface is still prevalent but virtual assistants are offering more quality-experience with comprehensive results.
Imagine driving to an interview and suddenly the ultimate question pops in your mind, the question that you never really considered and can’t figure out the answer to. Just talk to your mobile device, ask Google the question and they will get you the most popular and relevant answer. If you aren’t satisfied with the query, you don’t have to stop driving, you can still just keep talking to your phone to further tailor your query and get more answers until you find that you can relate with.
With time, search engines (especially Google) are focused on making search accessible for all. Since search engines aren’t dying anytime soon, search marketers will need to design new strategies and keep up with the evolving taste of the audience.
RankBrain focuses on smart, semantic search that yields more relevant results even for queries that are fairly new to Google. From your search history to speech pattern, Google considers every little factor to yield the best results that answer a query in depth.
Naturally, it’s not the era of keyword-stuffing anymore. If search marketers want to rank a website, it’s time they understood the intent behind a query instead of mindlessly targeting keywords.
Rank Zero is real
Google is thriving and thanks to conversational AI and semantic search, there’s also a Position Zero that websites should consider claiming.
Like I mentioned before, touch interface isn’t so dominant and conversational AI is what will define search in the future, search marketers need to leverage the power of these changes and focus on offering the consumers or the target audience value instead of products.
The Internet of Things and Conversational AI (and Virtual assistants) are only making the need for SEO stronger but search marketers now need to consider ranking for queries, not keywords.
It’s possible that you may not have noticed this but if you speak to your Google Assistance in your phone or other tablet and ask a question, Google will give you simple, succinct answer to your query followed by a list of results relevant to the query. But before you see the result on the number one position, you will see a brief view of the result Google things resolves your query the best.
This is called the Rank Zero and it usually contains elaborate information on the query so you can learn all about the process and get comprehensive information. Thanks to the evolving algorithms, Position Zero has become a real thing that search marketers should focus on.
Again, these evolutions in search prove that SEO Industry is not dying anytime soon but some evolutions on part of the search marketers are surely needed.
Billions of people make queries on Google every day and the number of people accessing this platform is only increasing. Not only has online search made it easy for people to navigate in the real life conveniently but also helped them locate sources of information from the comfort of their couch and bed.
SEO exists because Search Engines exist and also because there’s an extensive commercial value to the latter. Given the way Google has been making waves for its technological advancements, the current SEO techniques and trends need a lot of polishing and sophisticated scaling up to accommodate the new conversational AI and its impact on search.
As far as SEO’s demise it concerned, it’s pretty far considering the number of people still typing in keywords and looking results up (it’s in billions!).
Yes, people actually start looking for products, services and even real-estate online and often visit the local business or real estate property they saw online in real life too. When done right, organic SEO for well-defined audience can really help you keep your traffic up.
Nagendra Singh, a well known name in the SEO Industry, is also a Chief Search Strategist at SEO Corporation, the leading Indian Digital Marketing Agency. Other than being a cofounder, he also heads the Search Strategy, Research and Execution team the agency. Nagendra Singh is dedicated to helping brands grow their web traffic and derive more revenue-oriented benefits out of it through smart SEO.