Is Search Engine Optimization still relevant?
About sixteen years ago, Google rose to prominence as the premiere search engine for Internet users. No other algorithm provided results like Google and their PageRank system became the standard. It didn’t take long for entrepreneurial minds to figure out ways of manipulating PageRank to generate a lot of revenue. Within a few years “microsite millionaires” sprouted up all over and set Google on a path towards finding ways to improve their search engine. Fast-forward to 2016, and several updates later, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed a lot. But is it still relevant to your business?
HOW IT WORKED IN THE PAST
Before 2011, Google’s search engine algorithm worked on simple principles that primarily looked for “keywords” in a search to figure out what a user wanted. The microsite millionaires learned that making dummy websites and creating content with keywords repeated over and over would help their business rank high on Google searches. As many know, Page 1 of a Google search is where you want to be. Google made tweaks and updates along the way to curtail the abuse of keywords. In 2011, they introduced the Panda update which put a huge dent into the keyword frenzy and helped improve Internet content in general. In 2013, Hummingbird took Google’s search system to a whole new level that many claim has done away with SEO altogether.
HOW IT WORKS NOW
Hummingbird looks beyond just keywords. The algorithm takes into account nearly 200 factors when ranking a page. One of those factors is phrasing and intent. Google’s latest system can understand precisely what a user is looking for based on the entire search, not just one word or group of words, but ALL the words. So, while some claim SEO is over and done with, the reality is that it’s evolved, and SEO managers need to grow with it.
Google’s algorithm now looks at factors on a page such as outbound and inbound links to learn if your site is connecting to other relevant information or only trying to vacuum up clicks. It takes into account content quality, making sure that a keyword or phrase is not being repeated more than once every hundred or so words. Google’s search is now also taking page design into account. Believe it or not; Google understands the difference between a well-designed page and a poorly designed page.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
It’s A LOT harder to cut corners now with Google and its search engine. There’s no one way now to trick Google into thinking your page is the most important. Your business needs to create quality content on a quality page. Content managers need to understand how to build the kind of content people need and web designers must understand the principles of user-friendly landing pages, as well as using images, meta tags, headers, and more. It’s more of a team effort now than merely a handful of people churning out mostly irrelevant content just to rank high.
SO, IS SEO STILL RELEVANT?
Search Engine Optimization is absolutely still relevant. SEO is as important now as ever, but it’s changed, it’s grown into something new and will continue to do so. Google’s focus is on making internet content better and providing its users with the best possible results. Those who believe that SEO no longer matters will only find themselves falling behind in the rankings and relevance.
Cloud Talk Interactive not only builds amazing websites that reflect your company’s personality and story, but we also take into consideration the best SEO practices to maximize your site for the best results. Talk to us today about your SEO needs.