SEO Marketing is Dead, Long Live SEO!
If you’ve spent any time at all trying to work on a website for your business you’ve probably been flooded with information about SEO – search engine optimization. No doubt within a small period of time you’ll be contacted by untold numbers of vendors via phone or email that you really need their services for the best SEO marketing. Well, SEO marketing is dead.
Back to the Dot Com Boom
Back during the Dot Com Boom, SEO was all the rage. If you had a site you had to use tricks to get it to the top of the search rankings. This usually included flooding the bottom of your page or hidden data on your page with keywords you wanted to target. Use a bunch of these keywords and SHEBAM, you’ve done some SEO and everyone finds you.
Enter Google AdWords and Google AdWords Specialists
Once Google became the top search engine they brought their business model of paid ads more to the forefront. When you purchase ads using Google AdWords you’re in a bidding war with others for those same words. You show up above the search results for your selected keywords. This is pay-per-click advertising so the amount you budget is your bid to show up for that user. You can make your dollar go further by targeting a geographic region or other demographic.
There are a lot of strategies for using AdWords for the most benefit to your target group, Google even has a certification program for you to demonstrate your proficiency at it to your clients. Many people refer to this not as SEO but SEM for search engine marketing. Whatever acronym you use it’s based on the same thing – deploying strategies to make your way to the top of the search results.
SEO is Dead
While there is no doubt that for many businesses SEO or SEM is critical to their existence, their importance is fading for many businesses if not all but dead in others. Why? Two reasons mainly, let’s take a look.
We Filtered Out Commercials, Now We Filter Out Ads
Back in the day of interruption advertising there was a reason television commercials were so loud, it was to get attention. Now people just skip through them on their DVR or avoid them altogether. We do the same thing for search results. In the graphic above you can clearly see all the ads, they’re marked as ads! Most people have trained their eyes to just look beyond these as we see them for what they are, advertisements.
Content Drives Search Results
In order to accumulate information search engines use “bots” or “crawlers” to patrol websites and scoop up the information to pass on to their users. These bots come with some rules as they’re not only looking at what the content is but how old it is so it knows if it’s been there before. People want information that is fresh usually so fresh results make their way to the top.
Long Live SEO
While the old ways of doing SEO may be dead (though the thousands of so-called “experts” and “consultants” and their sales pitches certainly aren’t) that doesn’t mean that SEO as a concept is dead. By knowing how the search engines work you can climb to the top of search rankings without paying for ads that would be filtered out anyway. You can do it with updated, fresh and meaningful content that proves useful and prompts your users to share it with others and is a much better place to spend your time, effort and money.