Every year we see the discussion, is SEO dead? Well from someone who’s been doing it for 10 years, no. SEO is not going anywhere. SEO will change, mutate, evolve as part of the digital transformation that has started to take place worldwide, but SEO is never going to be dead.
Why the definitive statement on SEO? Well, it stands for Search Engine Optimization, how to get your website in front of Google, Bing and other search engine users. Consequently, search engines like Google is basically the new type of library. It’s a database of knowledge, and libraries has been with humankind since way back. Google has just changed the physical form of a ‘library’ into a digital form. Humans thrive on knowledge, learning and storing new knowledge for future generations.
With this in mind, SEO is going nowhere. It’s about writing that great book that will be stored in Google’s library and be featured by the librarian when you hop over to do some research on a topic.
Nevertheless, old-style SEO has faded. A few years ago, we said article directories and business directories worked wonders. It was all about the link-building game (it’s in a way still, but has evolved into something more meaningful for the audience). Then it faded away as the librarian (search engine algorithms got smarter). We then came across the age of the EMDs (exact match domains) and PBNs (private blog networks), which also faded away.
As each SEO tactic come and go, there is one that has stayed true from the very beginning: your high quality website and content. As long as we, as marketers, stick to putting customer’s experience first, we can ensure we are developing a product that is well suited enough to be featured in the Google library and possibly even highlighted as a best seller by the librarian. This is all highlighted in Google’s Micro-moments campaign. How search is integrated with a users every moment of life. Mastering the micro-moment concept will become more and more critical for SEOers in 2018.
With this big picture view on SEO, it begs the question, will SEO in 2018 continue to be a game of the fastest to evolve with the changing trends? Yes and no. Move fast, innovate fast, but with the consumer at the end, not Google’s bots and algorithms. The consumer experience comes first. Google will love you when your consumers love you.
So where will the consumers be in 2018? Trends you don’t want to miss as a digital marketer with an SEO focus: voice search, IoT (internet of things), visual content. One thing we can confidently predict is that as the consumers’ lifestyle gets more and more digitalized, voice assistants will come in handy, video and short to-the-point digest-able content will become the norms. And IoT will open new opportunities for consumers to have a more balanced lifestyle between work, hobbies, family, and friends.
With that in mind, perhaps, SEOers, should ramp up their knowledge on how voice search works, how IoT is setup, how Google and Bing image recognition technology is evolving and at what speed.
So yes, SEO in 2018 may continue to the a battle of ‘survival of the fastest’. But not in the context of growing backlinks, creating content at scale and microdatas, but the fastest to learn, evolve with consumer’s changing interaction with the internet and technology. Ensuring to keep the knowledge gap to a minimum at all times.
Just starting out on SEO? Need to ramp up on SEO skills, or want some help with your 2018 planning, feel free to connect and discuss with any of our digital marketing enablers.