Recently Forbes published an article titled “The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content” quoting Adam Torkildson, one of the top SEO consultantsin Utah and one of the best in the country stating that Search Engine Optimization as we know it will be dead in two years.
This theory has been slowly coming to fruition after the Panda update first, and then the most recent Penguin update. Basically what happened is that Google was not providing results that the users wanted. The search engines were in fact being manipulated by “black hat” digital marketing techniques allowing those with the largest pocketbook, and most back links, to be pushed to the top of the search rankings, rather than those with the most valuable information.
Of course, every small business owner believes their product is the best and should be on page one, but there are over 800 billion websites out in the world wide web right now, therefore serving up what the USER is looking for has become more and more difficult. Thus, Google decided it was time to put the “smack down” so to speak on those who were manipulating the algorithms, violating the Google terms and conditions.
Lets start with a little background on the Google Penguin update…Penguin was officially announced on May 26, 3012 and Google described the Penguin update as an algorithm change that’s aimed at webspam and, more specifically, “sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines.” With this Google penalized any and all sites that they felt violated those terms, as well as others which proved to be “false positives” leaving many small businesses scared and unsure of what to do next.
The Search Engine Journal published an article back in June stating:
“Penguin places more of an emphasis on the reputation and quality of a site that’s linking to your specific domain rather than the sheer number of links that point in your direction. Basically, this means that SEO technicians won’t be rewarded anymore for taking shortcuts when it comes to link building. Those $10/mth for 2000 back link offers are now not only pointless, but they’re also quite dangerous.”
So with all these changes, is SEO in fact dead? Our opinion at Cook Wheelwright Group is that SEO is dead in its current form, however is being reborn through quality content and proper social media management. This is a theory we have believed in for over a year now, even before the Penguin update.
We still believe that both on page and off page SEO are important, it just needs to be done in a tasteful way that compliments the algorithm rather than attempting to manipulate it with paid backlinks. So, again, how does a small business compete with those who can afford to have a full-time staff writing quality content, consistently updating social media posts, commenting on other blog posts and keeping up with all the different review sites for reputation management? Again we refer back to our blog regarding Sabermetrics:
By using statistical data available to us, and focusing on the marketing version of moving runners around the bases (customer behavior patterns on the website) we can effectively determine the best methods for progressing the sale. Analytics tools allow us to not only track, but predict customer behavior online which helps us to revise and model websites based off the data. Bounce rates, keywords, and onsite navigation patterns all factor in to delivering the best marketing experience. All of this data can be leveraged to improve the ultimate measurement of your marketing, the ROI.
In blogs to come we will expand on the importance of social media and quality content to replace the previous form of SEO. We will teach you what we look for when doing a digital marketing audit as well as a few tips and tricks that you can do to help your online marketing campaigns.
Of course you can always reach out and ask questions or schedule a complimentary review with one of our strategic marketing specialists. Follow this link to our website or call us anytime at 480-779-8001!