Is SEO Dead? SEO used to be so easy. It was predictable and formulaic; if you did all the right things then your spot on the first page of Google was pretty much guaranteed. All the ‘right things’ included time-honored techniques like article marketing, link building, use of keywords and more.
Then not so long ago Google released the Panda update. (Named after the main programmer). When that happened, all these time-honored tricks no longer worked. Many SEO gurus were left scrambling as websites that once enjoyed the top spots were exiled to lower regions of the serps (search engine results page).
However, was this really such a surprise? The truth is Google had been rolling out these changes slowly for close to a year prior to the big update. SEO gurus who paid attention knew that things were changing. Even before the Panda update, some people who used to enjoy a spot on the first page noticed decreasing rankings.
Suddenly, SEO got a lot more interesting. True, the rules have changed, but SEO is far from dead. So, what does work now in the world post-Panda? What works now is the same as what has always worked in the past; quality. Google wants to deliver quality content to their users. So they decided to focus more on sites that have the end user in mind instead of someone who is trying to catch the attention of a search engine.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to be some sort of professor or academic to be seen as an expert. You simply have to be everywhere on the Internet, that’s all. Suddenly, it’s just not enough to be seen a zillion times on one or two article directories in order to get the top spot in search engines. These days, being seen is all about diversification.
Diversification can include Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, and other social networking sites. It can also include things like Google places for local businesses, having a mobile website, being on Yelp, photosharing sites and even Trip Advisor. Also, backlinks need to come from relevant authority sites, not just any site. Although this seems like a lot of work, the right SEO marketer can not only help you get on the first page, but also dominate it.
This domination is possible thanks to something called ‘domain stacking.’ Domain stacking is where you build one site ‘on top’ of the other. Once, you had only your main site on Google’s first page. People clicked on it or they didn’t. Now you start with your main site and then you branch out into social networks, link building, video, even photosharing. All these little sites link back to your site. They can be ranked either together as part of your site or separately as multiple sites on the same subject. (It’s up to Google and they change that depending on the search.)
What that means is that your many sites can actually occupy the first several spots on Google for any given topic. Though that’s great news, it’s not always about Google anymore. Even though we all need Google traffic you shouldn’t rely on it exclusively. You also need to market your site and social media does just that. Also, even though Google is the largest search engine in the world, YouTube, (which is a video sharing site and not technically a search engine,) is the second-largest search engine. Facebook is soon catching up to be the third-largest search engine, though that’s not technically a search engine either. Even photo sharing sites like Flickr are sometimes used as search engines. Having a strong presence on all the social media sites will grow your customer base exponentially, even if they never visit your website.
The good news is that SEO isn’t dead, but it has changed a lot. SEO will always be actively growing and evolving, changing into something else. Gone are the carefree days of set it and forget it SEO marketing. Instead, it’s been replaced by social media marketing, something you have to constantly keep up with. Backlinks are still as important as they ever were, but now the wrong backlinks can ruin your site while the right backlinks can elevate it. Yes, SEO’s gotten a lot more interesting, but it’s also gotten a lot more fun and is full of even more potential for getting you on the first page.