Let’s cut the suspense. SEO is not dying.
As long as people want to search for queries on the internet, there will be search engines.
As long as search engines exist, webmasters will need to optimize for search engine algorithms.
With this being the case, why do you keep hearing that SEO is dying or dead?
One reason people tend to (mistakingly) think SEO is dying is that...
SEO is Ever-Evolving
What it takes to get content to rank has been evolving since the creation of search engines. As search engines get better, what they look for in a piece of good content has changed. Some take this to mean that, eventually, they’ll get so good that we’ll no longer need SEO.
There are a number of reasons why these assumptions are off base. The most obvious is that the number of internet searches continues to skyrocket. More internet searches only mean SEO will become even more important.
Search engines will keep changing. However, they will always need to rank their results based on metrics. With that being the case, we will always need to optimize our websites for those metrics, no matter what they are.
Webmasters will always need to optimize for the metrics search engines value.
The only way to have search engines without SEO is to feature results purely based off bids, meaning all results would be ads. No internet user wants that, and everyone would boycott any search engine that did.
Before we dive deep into why SEO won’t die anytime soon, let’s go over how it has evolved. Here are some SEO strategies that have died and some that have stood the test of time.
Which ones died and which lived was (and is) largely determined by which metrics Google placed the most value on.
Outdated SEO Strategies
Linkbuilding for Sheer Quantity
SEO strategies go in and out of practice every year. Linkbuilding for quantity alone, for example, was one of the most successful strategies only a few years ago. Now, it’s on Google’s list of black hat practices.
Today, if you simply try to get as many links as possible without caring about the quality, you more likely to do harm than good. You might even get a Google penalty and no longer be indexed. Quality now matters far more than quantity.
Quality links from authoritative, trustworthy sites are what matter most.
The same is true with keyword stuffing. A decade ago, you used to be able to rank on the first page just by putting in the keyword you wanted to rank for as many times as you could. Not anymore.
Now, it’s better to optimize your pages and posts for user experience and to increase the average time users spend on a page. If you have the top result and Google notices users are bouncing from your page and clicking on the result below you, that page will overtake yours in no time.
SEO Strategies That Aren’t Going Anywhere
Playing the Long Game
SEO experts agree that focusing on the long-term is the name of the game. Getting a page to rank on the first page of SERPs for any meaningful keyword takes time. Usually at least a year.
The internet as a whole getting older, and it’s almost inconceivable that page history will ever be devalued as a metric. It’s not going to get any easier to dethrone first page results that have been there for months or even years.
An excellent way to play the SEO long game is to write high-quality content that stays relevant.
Writing High-Quality Content
Readers can tell when content on your site isn’t written by experts. You used to be able to pay a freelancer 20 dollars to write a blog post that would rank on Google. Not anymore.
If you want your content to rank, it needs to be long (preferably over 1,000 words), well-written, and structured for great user experience. On top of that, you’ll probably have to share it via every channel you can think of.
This might be more work, but it will pay off in the long run. And the long run matters, because...
SEO Isn't Going to Die
Search engines are getting better. This makes ranking well on them more difficult. You have to write content that’s high-quality, thorough, and user-friendly. All of this is good news. It means that, when searching, you’ll have a better user experience for the results you see on Google.
The fact that SEO changes as fast as any vertical doesn’t mean it’s on the way out. Does it mean SEO will continue to get more complicated? Probably. Does it mean it will die? Not in the near or distant future.
As long as there are search engines, there will be search engine optimization. Search engines want webmasters to know and execute SEO best practices. It makes search engines more efficient. Google even has SEO guides that outline how to, in their own words, “make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your content.”
SEO won’t die. Search engines won’t let it.