SEO’s longevity has become a matter of great concern over the last few years. Being one of the most prominently used digital marketing tools, SEO has been a boon to many, and its death could have deep ramifications for companies across the world.
A number of new digital avenues and trends have been changing the way we interact with content online since 2019. Additionally, a new batch of social platforms have emerged recently, reinforcing uncertainty with regards to the relevance of search engine optimization in 2021.
Changing times and consumer behaviour has forced seo experts to tackle the ever-present question facing us today; “Is SEO dead this year?”. This needs to be answered with unequivocal clarity for strategies to be formulated going forward.
Let’s begin by explaining the reason for all this talk of SEO. SEO, as an industry, began virtually two decades ago. Back then, excessive and irrelevant link building, keyword stuffing, invisible or hidden text, and other such methods, were how the game was played. These unconventional methods were termed; ‘Black Hat SEO’.
Whilst these methods are considered shady today, back then, they were virtually standard practice. Nevertheless, as we know, today’s methods quickly become obsolete. Whenever Google’s algorithm updates, the web development industry gets flustered, and rumours start to gain traction in digital forums.
So, what exactly is happening in the world of SEO? Those closely involved in the business of search engine optimisation understand that the industry is changing rapidly. A constant need for evolution was first realised by tech juggernaut Google. Google observed that webmasters were exercising many questionable practices to achieve good search rankings.
Such activities, and the sheer volume of them, resulted in less-relevant results popping up and damaging Google’s objective of providing relevant answers to user queries. This resulted in the launch of their primary search algorithm change. The Florida Update was released in November of 2003. Since then Google has introduced thousands of updates, all with one goal – to provide quality controlled and relevant information to its users. It is prudent to fully understand the finer details of how SEO has evolved over time.
Is SEO relevant in 2021?
The short answer is – YES! SEO in 2021 is more relevant than ever!
According to research company Cision – the global SEO market was valued at $46.66 billion in 2020, is currently valued at $50.45 billion in 2021, and projected to be valued at $103 billion by 2025. Do these numbers indicate weakness in the industry? Most assuredly not! While feelings may lead us astray, the data never lies.
Assuming the worst when considering the fate of SEO may not be the best stance. Instead, reforming or changing our perspective of its evolution is more beneficial. SEO endeavours may not prove very fruitful if you’re practising outdated methodologies. In short, SEO practices that aren’t relevant cause more harm than good.
When considering SEO, companies will now have to think of creating and publishing quality content that is relevant to the user’s query. They will have to aim for organic backlinks instead of paid ones. Investing efforts towards material that engages and provides users with a holistic perspective, thereby furthering SEO’s reach.
When considering SEO, companies now have to think of strong, relevant content, rather than pages stuffed with keywords. They will have to aim for organic backlinks, instead of paid ones. Spending more time on “behind the scenes” aspects of the website will allow everyday users to experience the benefits it offers.
While we can affirm that SEO is alive, kicking and here to stay, changes in practices are certainly with us. These changes are a result of evolving consumer behaviour. Here are a few of the most prominent transitions observable today:
A steep incline in mobile searches
A surge in the number of people using mobile devices aided Google’s move towards mobile-first indexing. This means that Google now considers the mobile version of web content as a parameter for indexing and ranking.
Launched by Google in the year 2009, rich snippets have assisted users to find tonnes of information regarding the SERP itself, without the need to visit any site. This information may include ratings, reviews, votes, read time, etc.
Google is now administering machine learning-based search algorithms which aid processing search queries and provide relevant results to users.
This feature has been a game-changer in the way we interact with and procure information from the internet. A lesser-known fact is that nearly 52% of all voice searches are executed on an Amazon Alexa device.
Voice assistants have come a long way since their inception. Siri, Google Assistant, etc, have all evolved to successfully assist users. This has caused a steady increase in the number of voice searches. Long-tail keywords play a crucial role too if you wish to optimise for voice search.
If you’re an entrepreneur considering whether to invest your hard-earned cash in SEO, be assured it is still a viable marketing strategy in 2021. Executing the right practices and securing optimal results with regards to SEO can be challenging if you are not intimately acquainted with the subject. Often companies use the trial and error method in-house, and end up losing more than they invest.
We recommend teaming-up with well-reputed partners such as Webchoice that can offer high quality SEO services in the UK. Webchoice is one of the most well respected digital management agencies in the United Kingdom, offering a wide range of SEO services in London and beyond.
To build a profitable digital campaign in 2021, contact Webchoice today.