SEO for the non-internet jargon-ists amongst us, stands for Search Engine Optimization and it might be a specialization that is on its last leg. Just a few years ago, SEO companies such as SeoMoz (which recently has been branded as plain old Moz) were the big boys of the communications field and even power players in the SEO game such as Jill Whalen, a twenty year veteran, have officially announced leaving behind their SEO-ing ways. Why is that and is it truly time for SEO consultants to really consider a different career?
So, before you panic and start spamming hiring managers with resumes and job applications (which doesn’t work in SEO anymore why would it work for your job search) take this into consideration: SEO is dead in the form and context it was previously employed as in “tricking” search engines to rank your website higher which is currently an obsolete strategy. That being said though it doesn’t mean that SEO consultancy is completely expired. Now, Google’s ranking system concentrates on the quality of the website’s content and not on the quantity of the content. That means that you might need a readjustment of your responsibilities as an SEO consultant and not necessarily a complete relinquish of them.
According to this Forbes.com article, associating SEO with manipulating a search engine’s results is a fallacy. The true role of an SEO consultant is to truly optimize websites so they are better compatible or readable to search engines and in doing so increasing a website’s chance of ranking on the search results. It’s evolved from trying to play a game to helping the website communicate better with the search engine and the people that use it. Although previously an SEO would employ both techniques to rank their client’s website, tricks/manipulation and search engine optimization, today that first option has been thrown out due to Google’s concentration on quality of content as metric for ranking.
Even Paid Ads Don’t Work Anymore
In an article on entrepreneur.com the author mentions that cynicism is also helping redefine SEO; people seldom click on paid and sponsored links that usually show up at top of search results list. This is probably a result of consumer education they are now aware that the links at the top of the sponsored list probably won’t offer the best quality of content as the link found in the organic search results. Not only that but alternative ways of searching for content are veering away from Google towards both social media and niche specific searches. Some experts project that Facebook might be Google’s biggest threat when it comes to searches regarding services, products and businesses.
Worse Case Scenario
So, say the entire SEO industry implodes due to Google’s change in website ranking metrics. What can you do with your experience with SEO? Well, keep your job and team for now, because Google’s regulatory system is complex and demanding. Anything can hurt your ranking from duplicated text to something as seemingly arbitrary as having an unnatural anchor text. You are still needed…for now.
Do you feel that SEO is a dead industry or can it still contribute? Let us know in the comments section below.