Written By: Adam Dince
Every time Google updates its ranking algorithm or language processing methodology, we hear the marketing echo chamber respond with, “SEO is changing again.” Or, “SEO is finally dead.” Or, the one I like the most, “SEO is no longer SEO, it’s sound marketing.”
At the end of 2015, Google released its newest, and in my opinion, most influential factor of its ranking algorithm, “Rankbrain”. There has been plenty written about Rankbrain in the past, so I won’t rehash. Check out this quick read on Rankbrain to get familiar with the concept.
Over the past few months, I’ve read way too many articles on the subject of how SEOs can optimize for Rankbrain and win in this new era of search engine “artificial intelligence”. The thing is, legitimate SEOs (not algorithm chasers) have ALREADY been optimizing this way for years. SEO has always been about sound marketing.
When I started in SEO, there was a clear difference in practice. On one hand, you had keyword stuffing link builders that did a fantastic job at manipulating Google’s algorithm to rank for highly profitable keywords. On the other hand, there were those of us who leveraged search engine focused holistic marketing strategies that drove powerful results. For example:
- Market research
- Linguistic analysis
- Customer focused, search engine optimized content
- Becoming a highly trusted source of content for search engines
- Natural and earned inbound link acquisition
- Proper coding of Web properties and digital assets
- User-experience optimization
- Focus on analytics based optimization efforts
- Leveraging insights from PPC campaigns
- Infusing search insights in to cross-channel marketing campaigns
- And much more
After years of fighting for legitimacy as a marketing channel: business owners, marketing executives and other stakeholders have finally recognized the importance of a sound SEO strategy.
As Google continues to mature its ranking algorithm and incorporate new features in to search results, it will be even more important for businesses to invest in SEO.
One final point I’d like you to consider. Effective SEO techniques do require maturation and increased sophistication to continue to be successful. However, SEOs that are in tune with Google’s direction, are able to be proactive not reactive to algorithm changes.
On that note, I’d like to propose a toast to those who have helped give SEO the respect it deserves.