SEO in 2018: a content marketing universe?

“SEO is dead”. It’s an overused saying (and clickbait title on LinkedIn) to fire up a discussion. SEO has been dead for a while now, according to Forbes since 2013, Entrepreneur since 2016 and mostly every other tech blog that needed clicks since 2010. It’s a discussion that mostly leads to the conclusion that SEO isn’t dead, but the focus is on quality content now — instead of ‘tricks’. Now, if you would’ve asked an SEO-specialist 5 years ago, their focus would probably be on quality content too. So what’s changed?

Traditional SEO or Blackhat SEO?

No, this next paragraph will not deep-dive into the death of traditional SEO either, because it’s not. What’s changed is that tricks don’t work anymore. Cheating doesn’t work anymore. And with cheating, I mean oldschool cheating. Techniques that are not used anymore by any respectable SEO-specialist: keyword stuffing, cloaking, invisible text, Russian link-farms and I can probably go on for a while. It’s pretty simple, as Google states in their Quality Guidelines:

Content marketing as trend

Looking at the Google trend data for ‘content marketing’ over the past five years, we can conclude it’s been somewhat of a hype:

  • SEO is still authority driven (links), content marketing creates and exploits opportunity for links.
  • SEO needs positive user signals, content marketing relies heavily on UX.
  • SEO needs to be kept fresh and consistent. Content marketing doesn’t work when it’s not consistent.

How to deal with SEO and content marketing?

Is there a difference when it comes to content marketing and SEO?