Is Search Engine Optimization Becoming Out of Date?
The Future Of SEO. There is a tickling sense to events such as SMX. Being able to know about SEO trends and developments way before the big media in general catch on is as thrilling as it is unnerving. The rise of social networks, web 2.0, Digg, YouTube and blogs have made it very easy for anyone to get the word out about their online business. Now, the future of SEO looks bright indeed.
SEO is not rocket science but you wouldn’t know that by reading through any of the material put out by SEO companies these days. SEO is still known as the magic box that Google left behind, promising that it would make their results better. The magic seems to be coming into its own with more prominence being given to organic SEO efforts such as keyword density, content and link building and fewer mentions of paid advertising (paid link and pay per click). In fact, the future of SEO looks bright indeed. We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out but one thing is for sure.
In order for SEO to continue on its bright and shiny future, you need to engage in some good old fashioned keyword research. It may be a tedious task at times but when done right, it makes all the difference in the world. No matter how complex the various schemes put together by SEO firms, the bottom line remains the same. SEO needs you, plain and simple. SEO strategies and techniques can be very sophisticated, but if you’re not using the information they give you in your campaigns, your efforts are wasted.
One of the most interesting things coming out of the SEO industry at the moment is the idea of leveraging Artificial Intelligence to better understand and target web pages and their users. The idea here is not to stuff the entire web page with keywords and make it look like a marketing advertorial. Rather, the idea is to use the data that Google has gathered from its massive database of the web’s billions of users and leverage it to understand user intent queries and then deliver the content that the user is looking for on a relevant topic. This is basically what is known as “artificial intelligence” working in conjunction with social signals and SEO to improve search rankings.
Social Signals Improve Search Rankings Social signals are all about the user experience and search rankings. It’s not about optimization. If SEO is all about off-page optimization, then SEO experts should stop doing what they are actually supposed to do – optimise page content and get links for high ranking in major search engines. There is no point in stuffing page after page with keywords so that Google thinks the site is a sales page. What they want is a user experience where the user finds what he or she is looking for, is satisfied and leaves the site. If SEO is all about rankings, then the social signals work from the SERP onwards, delivering better search rankings in the long run.
It makes a lot of sense when you put all this together. If you have a product, you would want it to sell, but if your target audience does not know the answer to your keyword, then you will never be able to sell it. If you have a website, you would want visitors to find the information they need there, but if your website is cluttered and confusing, then visitors will just move on to the next site. SEO experts should not be focused on optimizing pages so that they appear high in search results, but should be focused on understanding the target audience and using Google trends to deliver better results in the long term. This is the only way that SEO will achieve real value for businesses.