The “SEO is Dead” Debate Demystified

SEO has been one of the most effective means to improve the online presence of a business or brand. The progression of SEO constantly evolves with new and innovative ways to boost visibility and traffic, helping all types of businesses amass a greater audience and exploit untapped markets.

SEO

In the greater search marketing community, there seems to be a divide among the experts regarding the viability of SEO in today’s ever-expanding world of digital platforms. While some contend that SEO is still well alive and thriving, others support the notion of SEO being long dead and a thing of past.

The arguments behind the latter group are vast, ranging from points made about traditional SEO techniques losing their efficacy to social media platforms now paving the way. While these points do hold some validity, they don’t tell the complete story behind the “SEO is Dead” debate.

Redefining the Role of SEO

The acronym SEO seems to have played a major rule in obfuscating the true meaning and purpose of the term SEO and associated SEO activities. SEO, at its honest, core is comprised of “white hat” techniques employed to make a website more visible and accessible to specific individuals seeking relevant information (data, reviews, products, services, etc.) associated with the website.

Over time, people have started thinking of SE0 as manipulative, using black hat techniques to remain atop search results for specific keywords. Unfortunately not uncommon, some SEOs narrow-mindedly reach of higher rankings at the expense of quality content. And many of them are successful to seeing top rankings, whether or not they site itself actually serves any value.

Tyler Tafelsky, Senior SEO Specialist of Captivate Search Marketing in Atlanta, states that:

“SEO has dramatically changed over the years from achieving easy yet sketchy wins with simple keyword optimization to now more user-centric strategies that put quality content and superior usability on the forefront. Many still consider SEO the former techniques that have gone by the wayside, yet our definition remains consistent and our best practices continue to evolve.”

As an advocate of content marketing-driven SEO strategies, Tafelsky and the team at Captivate continue to evolve the industry standard in search marketing.

SEO Degrading Reputation

As Sam Mc Roberts, CEO at VUDU Marketing puts it in his interview with Jayson Demers of Forbes:

“Google relies upon having excellent search results to ensure that people will continue using them when they make searches. SEOs were muddying the search results with crappy sites resulting in a degradation of the overall search result quality And this is where all the “SEO is dead” talk stems from Google has made so many changes that directly impact SEO tactics that the message is crystal clear: ‘SE0s: Stop messing with our search results.'”

It is evident from Sam’s insight on this subject that Google is actively combating the black hat SEO techniques and has made no secret of that fact. Google is meting out harsh punishments to the exploiters and manipulators of its algorithm.

The War Between Good & Bad SEO

So, the notion that SEO is Dead is true to the extent that it is dead or a dying art for the con-artists of the SEO world but for the experts who are relentlessly working hard to make their websites more authentic and relevant, SEO is alive and thriving. In fact, they have google standing by them and rewarding them for their efforts and when a tech giant such as the Google itself stands by you in something, you know it isn’t going to fade away so quick.

Andrew Girdwood, Head of Media Technologies at Signal and a guest blogger for Econsultancy puts it, SEO is D.E.A.D. It is all about: D: Data E: Engaging the A: Audience D: Matching intent with discovery.

Conversely, Andrew makes the point that actually supports the all alive and well idea behind a more modern SEO approach.

“That’s why D.E.A.D. is a pretty good way to remember modern SEO. If you’re always thinking about data, engagement, audiences and discovery as you plan your campaigns you’ll have a far greater success.

So all in all, SEO isn’t dead but it is evolving by every passing second and it is evolving for the betterment of the SEO community by rewarding the smart and hard workers while penalizing the manipulators.

Google SEO Audit: The Modern SWOT Analysis For Your Business

Google’s search engines use many variables to determine which pages of a website are displayed first in the search results. Although Google’s exact search engine algorithm is a closely guarded secret, there are proven strategies and techniques one can do to improve their standings in the search rankings.

Google SEO Audit

The term for this is (SEO) Search Engine Optimization. With SEO, the organic search results (shown just below the paid ads) are where you want your business’ website ranking near the top. One of the most important foundational steps in the process is getting a Google SEO audit done on your website.

Considered the modern SWOT analysis for your business website (SWOT = strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats,) SEO site audits are, in a nutshell, when someone is employed to examine a site with tools and their web expertise to pinpoint areas that need improvement.

The Importance of Google SEO Audits

Google’s Panda is a search filter that was introduced in February of 2011. It was designed to stop sites with poor quality content from getting ranking in Google’s top search results. Panda can adversely affect a website with thin, duplicate or low quality content.

Keeping the website up to date and optimized will keep the site out of Panda’s clutches. Google’s Penguin is a search filter that was designed to catch sites that are spamming their search results. These sites do this by buying links or getting them through link networks designed to boost Google ratings.

The Backbone of Google SEO Audits

SEO site audits are when a professional SEO company like ClickCentricSEO.com or an individual SEO expert is employed to examine a site with tools and their web expertise to indicate each of the four elements of SWOT.

There are many types of site audits. Here are some of the most common ones;

  • Security Audits – For site vulnerability are especially important for high value and high risk sites.
  • Red Flag Audits – Assesses a site for potential penalty issues.
  • Site Health Audits – Assesses the general site health or when there is an issue of decreased traffic.
  • Competitive Site Audits – Assesses site gaps with a sites competitors to see if there are any opportunities for growth.
  • Penalty and Recovery Audits – Assesses when a site has been algorithmically or manually penalized.
  • Attacked Site Audits – Assesses when a site has been attacked by negative SEO methods.
  • Usability Audit – Assesses a website’s usability.

The Google SEO audit is a technical analysis of a website. Based on that analysis, internal linking and keywords are analyzed and evaluated. Off-site aspects of the website includes online reputation, competitors, external linking and movements on the market.

Ensure Your Site is Google-friendly & Rankworthy

Googlebot is Google’s web crawling bot, often called a spider. Google uses a huge array of computers to “crawl” for billions of pages on the web. Googlebot’s crawl begins with a list of webpage URLs, generated by previous crawl results and enhanced with data provided by webmasters.

By getting a SWOT analysis for a website, it offers an evaluation of the website’s strengths and weaknesses. This evaluation is critical for any business that want’s to ensure its website is Google-friendly and rankworth for SEO.

Strengths and weaknesses looks internally at the business and see what the business can do to succeed. While most of the analysis is very subjective, it can provide many benefits for a business. These include insight on how the business can grow and by understanding industry structure by using the SWOT analysis in a profitable business plan.