SEO is Dead

By: Alicia Beard, WildRock Account Manager

We’ve been hearing grumblings that SEO is dead over the last couple of weeks. As an inquisitive (and SEO certified) team, we thought that statement deserved a closer look. Google’s implementation of one of its largest algorithm changes to date, Hummingbird, has been interpreted by some to mean SEO is no longer a useful tool, but we interpret it as a challenge.

Hummingbird is an effort to keep doing what Google does best, dish up quality search results. The sweeping changes reflect how searches are quickly becoming conversational and more question-like, picture the person searching the web through voice-activation on their mobile device while driving. “Tell me where the nearest Starbucks is?”

Hummingbird is in response to this, making mobile optimization and relevant, fresh content even more important. We’ve pulled together a recap of some of the biggest changes to think about when wrapping your head around the more complicated algorithm:

  • Google no longer shares organic searches in its analytics, meaning you can no longer get keyword data from users arriving to your website via Google. PageRank is also predicted to be going away, but stay tuned on that one.
  • Hummingbird uses Google’s Knowledge Graph to better understand the relationships between concepts and keywords, so it’s worth taking note of.
  • There is now a greater emphasis on semantic searches and relevance, meaning search engines are trying to grasp the intent of the user in order to serve up more precise results.
  • Identifying geo locations are more important with more and more mobile searches.

Hummingbird shouldn’t be pushing you to throw out SEO efforts. Instead, it inspires a shift in strategy away from using SEO as a tactic, and instead being an integral piece of a more holistic marketing approach. Here are some WildRock tips for incorporating these changes into your larger digital marketing strategy:

  1. Content is king more than ever, especially high-quality and fresh content.
  2. Your website should have a good user experience, site speed and responsive mobile design.
  3. Google+ is becoming even more prominent and so are social signals in general, meaning a strong social presence equals a good search engine ranking (content shared by others on social channels will offer the most SEO benefits).
  4. Backlinks from credible websites continue to be important; hence investing in PR outreach will boost SEO organically.
  5. Removing poor converting SERP listings and high bounce pages will keep your rankings high.

While changes in the digital sphere can cause confusion (and sometimes panic), our team strives to stay up to date on these trends and help you navigate the complicated waters of an ever-changing industry. Give WildRock a call today (or leave a question on our Facebook page) to dive deeper into these changes and what it means for your business.