Welcome to episode 53 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And if you subscribe to the newsletter in this post, I will also include bonus tip of the week to help you further about this topic.
In this episode of This Week Online Today, I talk about the following:
- Is SEO really dead?
- How this cliché is back once again because of a heated Twitter debate
- Why SEO has a bad reputation?
- What happens if you don’t believe or invest in SEO?
- And the answer to “is SEO dead?”
- Heated debate on Twitter about “SEO is dead”
- Job Demand for SEO & Content Marketers Soars in 2018
- It’s Official: Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop
Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, where I’ll be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week, today, to make sure that you’re ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully. And at the end of the show, I’ll also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further. So, let’s get straight onto the show.
What’s up, everyone? I am Ahmed Khalifa, and this is Episode 53 of This Week Online Today. But I’m going to tweak it a little bit and just focus on one news, which has been brought up again this week, and I’ll just see how it goes. But this week, I want to talk about the same old cliché that has been happening since the day the internet had begun, decades ago, and people are still talking about it. Is SEO dead?
The Debate about SEO
The reason I want to talk about it, even though it’s been around a long time, that kind of topic, is because yet again it has been brought up, and there was a Twitter thread that had been going on quite a … What can I say? The best way of saying it, not violent is the right word, just very upfront and direct and very full-on, kind of thing, about what kind of sham it is and why should you not bother with it and stuff like that.
So, I’ll put the thread in the shownote. You can have a look at it, when there’s a heated debate about what is the point of SEO, how useless it is, and just this one guy who’s going absolutely ballistic about it.
This is the stupidest thing on the Internet today
— nick eubanks (@nick_eubanks) May 2, 2018
So it was interesting. It was a fun read, although, not only necessary to be that kind of upfront about it. But anyway. SEO, is it dead? You know, should you be worried about it? Should you ignore it? Should I be thinking about something else?
SEO’s Previous Reputation
Well, let’s bring it back a bit because SEO, yes, it does have a bit of a bad history, I suppose. Because back in the late ’90s, early millennium, the way you can rank high on Google is to use spammy technique, and that has been working very, very well in the past.
Which kind of frustrated people, especially those who put a lot of effort into having the best website possible for their audience, but you’re not seeing that reward, you’re not seeing that ranking well because there are other websites who don’t have that quality content, they don’t make it look good, they don’t make it useful for the audience, they’re ranking better, because of whatever, what we call “black-hat SEO”, which is non-ethical SEO kind of thing. There are different ways of doing that, but there’s just no point in sharing it, because you shouldn’t be doing it, full stop.
It has a bad reputation, because of that history. The amount of spam there is. Also, you may have got it yourself, a lot of people will receive these emails from various parts of the world about how someone can help you guarantee a ranking on Google, and that kind of stuff. Which is also part of a spam.
It’s also something that you should not take seriously. I always say, if someone says, “Guaranteed ranking on Google,” run away fast. If I ever say that, you can just ignore me and run away from me and never listen to me, because no one can say, “Ranking guaranteed.” Absolutely no one.
Because of that reputation, it has people questioning what is the point of it, and also, maybe people had bad experience about it, and they just don’t want to touch it again. But at the end of the day, I think a lot of people are in the situation where if you have an established website or it’s quite new, you have a good chance that most of your traffic sources is from organic search, and most likely it will be from Google.
All you have to do is check in your Google analytics and find out from there whether that is true or not, but there’s a very good chance that the majority of your traffic is organic search, unless you have been pumping in money in advertising, whether it’s Google AdWords or Facebook ads or banner ads, whatever it is.
If the way you’re going to build your site and creating content there, and if you’re not doing advertising, you’re not really pushing social media as such, organic search is going to dominate. There’s another old cliché people are saying, that organic reach is going down on Google.
On the one hand, people are arguing that Google are doing the thing where it’s maybe limiting your reach, because the number of ads has increased, or your link has been pushed down because there are so many things at the top, such as maybe, for example, Google Maps or a YouTube video sometime appears at the top, or these related question kind of thing coming up at the top, which means that your link will appear further down, even if you’re ranking number one, actually.
Is Organic Search is Going Down?
So, people are questioning that, but even despite all that organic reach still hasn’t gone down. People are doing their own research about that. It’s still there. It’s tough. It actually is getting tougher, but it’s now more important than ever to have that quality over quantity kind of thing.
The other thing people are talking about is the fact that social is taking over. Now, I’m not going to say social is useless, because there’s a huge benefit in social traffic, social media, that kind of thing. People are saying that it’s kind of taken over in terms of as a traffic source.
Again, that’s not exactly true, and there’s been evidence of that online, where people are saying it’s not the main purpose, to attract traffic. People use social to be social. That’s one thing. But at the same time, unless you’re talking about using advertising on social media, than that’s a different story. Then maybe, yes, social media is dominating your traffic source, which is fine.
But still, you know, people are still finding it hard to get traffic via social media. It’s unlikely going to overtake organic search, unless, as I said, you’re going to be pumping in money and focus on social adverts, for example. There are a few things I want to say about SEO and what could happen if you don’t even do it, if you don’t touch, and also the benefits of it, as well.
So, what we need to think about is that if you don’t invest in SEO it can either damage your ranking and you will not be visible on Google, or you can be completely removed from Google. Well, yes, completely. That’s it.
And it can get you blocked from Google if you are not doing certain things right, because I’ve seen so many times where a website accidentally is blocking themselves from Google. That’s a small tweak that you need to do, which is related to SEO, to make sure that Google can find you. It can crawl through the website. Understand what it’s about, and eventually appear on the search result. And that’s important. That is SEO.
Mobile search is becoming more and more important. There has been evidence, and even Google has admitted, that the number of mobile searches has exceeded desktop search. That is not a surprise, really. It was always going to happen that people, they get their phone out of their pocket and just start searching.
And related to that, local search has become more important. Again, if you are out and about, you take that phone out of your pocket and you want to find a restaurant in your area, or you want to find information about a particular shop, whether they have certain things in stock. You’ll go and search for it. Local search, combined with mobile search as well, also, separately, is becoming very, very important as well.
SEO is Cost-Effective in the Long-Term
Another thing, as well, is that SEO is cheaper in the long-term.
There is an initial investment in time and effort in the beginning to get things up to speed, to get the foundation right and everything, but in the long-term it’s actually cheaper, because if you are focusing, for example, on advertising, and if you’re spending money, you know, hundreds or thousands of pounds every month, okay, fair enough you can get that return on investment which is what you’re looking for, but you don’t need to pump in … I keep saying “pump in”. Why do I keep saying that? Anyway. You don’t need to keep investing money as much as you need to do for advertising, compared to in SEO.
Because, maybe there is a lot of effort in there, and you have to make sure, for example, the content is up to scratch, and you’re doing your testing, making sure that your website is easy to use and to navigate. That’s fine. And people also argue that Facebook advertising is cheap, but I say, “For now,” because you never know. That used to be the case for Google AdWords. It used to be incredibly cheap, and people took advantage of that. But it’s becoming more expensive, and that’s how it works now.
There’s no guarantee that Facebook advertising will not become more expensive, but it is cheaper in the long-term because you don’t really need to spend tens of thousands of pounds and dollars every month to stay ahead. On top of that, when you set that foundation, it can actually reap dividend in the long run, as well. You can actually get that benefit in the long-term, rather than the short-term boost. And sustainable. It is definitely sustainable, if you invest in it, as well.
Also, I just want to say that SEO is part of … A lot of things link to it. People think of the SEO part as keyword research and make sure you’re ranking for a keyword, that’s it. But there’s a lot of factors to take into consideration, such as content and technical and user experience and analytics and even social and conversion. Conversion optimization as well. They all play a part in SEO, because Google take it into consideration more and more about how people are engaging on your website and their experience of it. It’s not just about your content. There’s more to it than that.
That’s the thing. SEO is almost like a hub, and there are other factors around it which benefit SEO in the long run.
SEO Jobs is in High Demand
There’s also a news I saw this week. Not a news, actually, a research that has been put out, that the jobs demand for SEO, and also content marketers, because there are some overlaps there, but the job demand had actually soared up in 2018.
And I will put the link in the shownote. You can read about that as well. But that just shows that the demand is still there. The demand is still high. People still want help about it, and people still want to take it seriously and invest in it. You should never ignore it, when, you know, the numbers are saying that there are actually demand for more people to do it.
I guess, again, this is bringing back to trying to find the right people, the quality sources and the people you can trust in SEO. That history is still lingering there, and people are searching for good quality people who can do SEO right.
What Google Gets Out of SEO
And one point I’d say about the benefit is, as well, to Google. Google actually need SEO. It makes their job a lot easier. When you think about if Google want to present the best search result possible, and of course, they want that because it makes them look good, it’s good for advertising, people use Google more, and of course, you see all these new features coming up at the top like related search and related questions, all these things.
SEO plays a huge part in that. It makes their job easier in terms of getting the best quality search result possible, because they can find the content on your site, and they can find what they’re looking for and display it in the search result, to the point where they display it and you don’t even need to visit your website anymore at certain situations. But, they get a lot out of that.
On top of that, they get a lot out of it in terms of their cost, because obviously they have huge costs in terms of running their server to make sure that everything’s up to scratch, the speed is high, and people can find Google quickly. But, the fact that they have put such a big emphasis on, for example, improving site speed, it just shows that they really take into account of that, because when you are forcing people to take site speed really seriously, Google can find your website easier, and people can find your website easier.
It also makes it easier for Google to crawl through your site. It doesn’t require as much effort and energy, which means less strain on their server, as well. So, they get a lot out of it. People think Google get annoyed by all these SEO. Yes they do, because there has been time where people have been abusing the recommendations or what works on Google, and they’ve been abusing that, and spamming the hell out of it, and that is something that should not happen. And it doesn’t work anymore. If anything, it’s getting less and less effective because Google are getting smarter. Their algorithm is getting better and better.
At the end of the day, they update their algorithm at least 500 times per year, which is on average twice a day. On average. Think about that. That’s how much effort they’re putting into, into making sure that the algorithm is as best as it can be and present the best result possible. It’s not always going to work, but they’re not perfect, we’re not perfect, it’s going to be an ongoing thing, and that’s where SEO comes into it.
So, if we round it up, if we going to round up the whole thing we’re talking about, I would say this. SEO is dead when you don’t know how to do it. SEO is dead if you’re not taking it seriously and not investing in it. And, SEO is dead or will die when there are no search engines around. So, the moral of the story is, if we round it all up, is, no. SEO is not dead.
— kelvin newman (@kelvinnewman) May 3, 2018
And don’t forget, if you subscribe to the newsletter, I’ll give you some bonus tip of the week and I’ll share some more advice about how you can make sure that your site is appearing correctly on Google. So, subscribe to the newsletter. It’s in the shownote. And I’ll talk to you next time.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today. I really do appreciate it and I hope you found it useful. If you have enjoyed the show, please do leave a review on iTunes. It would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that. Thank you again. You rock. And one more thing. I just want to remind you to do your thing, because it matters. And I’ll see you next week.
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