Well, is SEO dead?
In today’s Traffic Tactics Thursday, we will take a look at the importance of SEO in the present online world. For those of you who are new and don’t know what SEO means, it is the acronym for ‘search engine optimization.’
Immediately the first three questions that come to mind is:
- What is SEO and what does it have to do with traffic?
- Is SEO dead or worth pursuing as a tactic?
- Why should I care?
What does SEO have to do with traffic?
Every minute of every day search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, constantly crawl the web for information using bots. These bots use methods to extract information from websites, blogs, and other website presence like social media.
The information the bots collect is returned and then analyzed by the search engine’s software to determine the relevancy, and importance of that information, whether it is a website, blog post, or webpage, and the results then ranks how high or relevant the topic of that information is.
Once rank is determined for that topic (also known as search term, keyword, or phrase), then the information of that post, site, or page’s link is posted in the order of importance to the search results page (known as the search engine results page or SERP).
So if you were online wanting to find information on something, one place you might go is to a search engine like Google. Once there, you would then type in what it is you want to find (search term) and hit return. Within a second, a search results page pops up with links (and descriptions) related to your inquiry.
Once you see those results, all you have to do is choose which one you like and click on the link (most popular choice is the first or top link, and then on down in order of position which also becomes order of choice).
As you can see from the above example, that person is clicking on a link to visit a webpage or site to get more information, i.e. they are traffic. The more people who type in this search term and click the result page link, the more traffic those ranked site will receive.
However, to rank on the first page of a search engine is difficult, but even more so to be listed in the first spot on that page. That is where SEO comes into play. The more optimized the search term and information around it is, ideally, the better the page or post will rank.
The idea is if you have a highly optimize page, you should rank well in the search engines. And if you rank well in the search engines, you will receive more traffic to your site. This is the reason why there still is a lot of focus on SEO.
This brings up the next question which is the key point of this article: Is SEO dead (or still worth pursuing as a tactic)?
Obviously, if SEO is dead, then spending time and money to optimize pages, posts, even your website would be a big waste of time. Yet many sites, webmasters, third party services still invest both a great deal of money and time with SEO today.
Of course, what I’m about to say is controversial, but here me out. As each year goes by, SEO is becoming less important! The #1 search engine, Google, continues to see their search numbers drop (as well as the rest of them) as social media networks continue to grow.
Also as each year goes by, more and more people look for information based on recommendations from people they know, not on search results. This includes social sites, forums, even blog reviews.
And finally, there are literally millions of websites competing for popular search terms just to be one of the 10 spots available on the first results page with any one of the highest ranking search engines, especially Google.
So with these facts in mind, unless you use PPC (pay per click) or organic search results as your main traffic method, I would neither sweat about it or spend a lot of time learning about getting all the elements of SEO right!
In many ways, SEO is old school for a time period that no longer exists on the Internet (and is quickly shrinking away to nothing). It is an element stuck in the minds of experienced marketers who have cultivated it into an additive habit over time that is hard to kick rather than realizing it is no longer a sustainable means for traffic.
Even Google has seen the writing on the wall and started their social network a called Google plus which continues to grow for them as their search engine component continues to shrink.
Which brings up the answer to the final question: Why should I care?
SEO is still a huge topic among a large number of online marketers. Sadly, much of it is rehashed methods within SEO that no longer work or work less effectively.
Even Google keeps changing its calculating software (i.e. algorithms) believing the answer to their dilemma is by improving their search results to perfection, as this will somehow bring back more people. What is really does is create a lot more buzz to keep Google in the news and in the minds of people.
It is easy to get caught up with all of this without really thinking about it; I know! Even when you can rank high, doesn’t guarantee profits or success. Case in point:
I currently have a site (promoting hammocks sold by Amazon) that has been up and running for the last two years. In the beginning, I paid a few hundred dollars to get this specific niche focused site that is highly keyword phrase optimized (SEO).
Even though this site has remained a static site, with only two more review pages and a post added during that time, it has maintained its #1 organic search position on Google’s first page search results! So I guess that makes me an SEO guru to some (hilarious).
But even though I have maintained a high ranking, it still hasn’t even come close to breaking even. It has generated only 3 sales over the last 2 years, a site that completely relies on traffic generated by SEO results. And according to those SEO peddlers, I should have been rich by now!
To bring this topic to a conclusion, I recommend the following concerning SEO:
SEO still has significance, but continues to lose ground every year. So don’t lose sleep over it.
It’s okay to pay attention to some key elements of SEO without becoming overly involved with it because it is not worth it. There are other methods of generating traffic that are far more effective for the average online marketer that is worth the effort.
Because competition is maddening within every profitable market and the big boys still pour a lot of money into SEO to keep their site on page one of the search results, it is very difficult for you to rank that high and to maintain it.
Even if you could make page one in position #1 of the organic search results, it doesn’t guarantee you profitable results. So avoid being overly concerned about SEO for your website, it really isn’t what it used to be! 🙂