Is SEO No Longer Important?

Anyone who tells you SEO is dying a slow and painful death really doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

For the most part, claims of SEO dying a death are based around the fact that Google is well and truly cashing in on paid ads. These days, punch in just about any search term and you’re more or less bombarded with sponsored ads and links at the top of the page.

To such an extent that depending on the device you use, it’s become the norm for the first organic listings to appear below the fold.

Now, at one time it was considered catastrophic for a website to appear below the fold in the SERP rankings. Today, that’s more or less where you’re guaranteed to be.

Does this mean the vast majority of businesses on page one are doomed? Not in the slightest, and for one important reason:

Most people are sceptical about paid ads, or disregard them entirely.

For this reason alone, Google’s new high-exposure approach to paid and sponsored links doesn’t in any way remove the lustre from SEO as we know it.  Even if it became necessary to click through to page two to access organic links, that’s what we’d do instinctively.

We’ve been programmed not to trust what companies say in their own paid marketing materials - that’s something that’s not going to change anytime soon.

The Changing Face of SEO

In a nutshell, therefore, that’s why SEO isn’t dying and nor is it likely to be for the foreseeable future. It’s simply that the SEO landscape is evolving, making it necessary to keep up with the latest efforts to remain relevant and visible.

Some of the latest changes to SEO as we’ve come to know it being as follows:

  1. The popularity of voice search is accelerating at a rate no-one predicted. In the United States, it’s estimated that at least 50% of homes will have a smart speaker within the next two years, taking the value of the voice shopping sector to $40 billion annually by 2022.
  2. User intent and the wider user experience is taking precedence over the use of appropriate keywords and phrases. Now more than ever, the major search engines take an extraordinary multitude of factors into account, when determining where websites rank in their listings.
  3. It’s far from a new shift in priorities, but the extent to which Google is prioritising local search and strategic local business promotion is skyrocketing like never before. These days, you’re far more likely to succeed by targeting a small but localised audience than by attempting to go global.

To assume SEO is dead or dying is to do your business a major disservice. The overwhelming majority of online experiences begin with a search of some kind and our reliance on search engines is only growing with time.

If your approach to SEO is no longer working, it’s got nothing to do with the death of SEO. It’s more likely your strategy is flawed, or has fallen completely behind the times and needs a major overhaul.