‘The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’ Mark Twain
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is being reported as a dying art. Is it true? Or are these reports greatly exaggerated? If it is on the way out then what’s next?
And did you even know what it was in the first place?
Here’s what you need to know:
What do you do if you want a product or service? You type it into Google. SEO is a broad term covering any methods employed to get your site found higher up the search results than your competition. The process of search engine optimisation can be split into on and offsite methods.
This involves looking at your website, and using the best proven strategies to design and code it. It will then be tailored to your industry sector and the searches that are made when customers look for your services or products.
If other websites link to yours, if there is content on the web (blogs, articles, comments) about your products and services, then this strengthens your site’s credibility, improving it’s ranking. Offsite SEO practices include building links, creating content, and getting as many external links to your site as possible.
Over the last 5 years the SEO industry has grown. SEO techniques have produced results, improving rankings and increasing traffic for many companies. In this time however, the variety of techniques used has caused some controversy.
These terms are applied to the different sorts of strategies used. Black hats are the ‘any means necessary’ folk, whilst white hats go by the book. Both methods have produced results in the past, getting better search results and increased traffic for business that use them.
Google uses complex algorithms to index the millions of websites around. In response to the growth in dubious black hat methods being used to play the system, Google launched Panda and Penguin, new algorithms. Sites which use black hat methods can now be penalised, and SEO techniques need to be changed in response to Google’s updates.
So if Google is no longer indexing in the way it used to, what is it looking for now? Instead of valuing quantities of backlinks created by dubious methods, it’s looking for quality content. SEO now must be about creating content that people are actually looking for – tips, advice and information.
One of the most effective ways to get your content found and create engagement is through social media. Facebook fans, tweets and genuine comments on your blog will always be effective. Building a community of followers who want to engage with the content you provide is the best long term strategy.
There will always be those looking for ways to play the system and beat the algorithms. That is now a risky game that can lead to penalties. A core content strategy integrated with social media is the most dependable way forward. SEO is not dead, it’s just evolving.Tags: Content Marketing, SEO