Recently, there have been some people who are jumping on the bandwagon that SEO is dead or it no longer works. You can find articles, conferences, and blogs pronouncing SEO as dead. Well, it honestly depends if you are referring to the original type of SEO, where you created a website and added a few links. This way of SEO is dead. Outdated.
I would argue, however, that SEO is not dead. It just no longer looks like its original form.
There is no place for this type of SEO anymore. There is no one magical, repeated equation that will make you a guaranteed success in SEO. Anyone who tells you this is a liar. Please, get your advice from someone else. There are many who have thought or still currently think if they adjust their website or a new link this will increase their ranking on Google. This will never work and really never worked in the past. Those who are against SEO struggle with the fact that you can’t quantitatively determine your results and the return on your investment. Since it is not utterly predictable, they believe or want people to believe it is dead and has no place in a marketer’s world.
This is the big word that many have to come to grips with in the SEO world. Google changed how we do SEO when they created algorithms that used artificial intelligence and machine learning. Google took data from multiple users and had them rank sites based on the quality of the site, information, and helpfulness. Google used this to create an algorithm to determine “untrustworthy” sites verses “quality” sites. This has continued to be used and perfected by Google.
Google took the understanding of concepts a step further. Google search used to just use keywords and no comprehension of the context of the words. It just linked what was typed into the search screen to websites online by the exact keywords used. Now, Google has created algorithms to understand concepts and make interpretations in the words and statements used in searches. We have gone from the “stone age” to the “bronze age” in the SEO world. We are still using SEO to search and link concepts with websites and information, but it functions at a whole new level.
Since Google is much better at understanding concepts and not just relying on keywords, there is significantly less impact on keyword searches. There was a helpful study by Backlinko that demonstrated through one million Google search results that there was a correlation that the keyword in title tag had very little impact on the rank searching by Google. Google is much better at understanding the purpose of your website and not dependent on keyword searches. This is a fantastic advancement.
Entities in the SEO world are words or descriptions that further define what you do, who you are, or what products you sell. For example, if you have an article about online marketing and you are directing your site toward dentists, you would likely have “SEO” with “increasing rank lists” for “dentists.” The “increasing rank list” and “dentists” help better define you and what you do. Now that Google can understand concepts, it’s going to be much more important to portray concepts than just depend on keywords.
First, you need to make your website Google friendly. Once it’s Google friendly, then you need to forget about the old ways of doing SEO and adapt to thinking in concepts and entities.
Second, think about your user and how they will think, and try to find what they want and morph your website to be able to capture this.
Third, focus on the experience on your site. The better the experience, the higher Google will rank you and more people will find your site.
Fourth, focus on making remarkable content that is far above the competition. Content has always been important, but now it is far more important than it ever was!
Good luck and SEO on.