In the past few years, SEO has gone through significant changes thanks to search engine behemoth – Google – changing the parameters every so often. From 2010 to 2016, Google made 5403 algorithm changes.
Since then, data regarding Google's algorithm changes have been vague, but you can bet the number is still high. In fact, Google makes about nine algorithm changes daily, so it's almost impossible to manipulate your way to the top.
To make matters worse, some experts believe that the rise of AI like ChatGPT will be the ultimate demise of Google and SEO in general.
So, is SEO dead or alive?
SEO is more alive than you can think.
For starters, let's look at the numbers. An estimated 5.6 billion searches take place on Google every day. That's about 2 trillion searches yearly.
This means that people are creating content around these searches, with several blogs covering most of these topics. Still, the search volume far outweighs the required content. However, this trend is increasing continually as content production may soon exceed search demand – but that's in the distant future.
To top that, Google is evolving into an answer engine as it now tries to answer people's questions without directing them to a website.
Basically, what's happening to SEO is that it's evolving, not dying
Keep in mind that Google is changing right before our eyes from a search engine to a discovery engine – for both organic and paid listings.
Here's how to dominate organic listings.
1. Google now ranks only helpful websites
With Google's new helpful content algorithm update, their core focus is no longer keyword density, backlinks, or any specific SEO metric for that matter. Their focus is now on the user's experience which means the content has to satisfy the user's intent.
For example, a site won't rank well even if it has tons of keywords and backlinks, but it doesn't help the user (this means they'll most likely hate the website).
Now, the end-user controls how Google ranks its listings.
2. Google aggregates lots of data from different sources
It's no news that Google loves collecting user data. They know the number of hours you spend using your phone and how long you spend on other apps and sites that aren't under their purview.
Google now crawls social media and uses social signals to help them offer improved and relatable results.
Even if you're not a fan of social media, now's the time to give it a rethink and give this strategy a chance.
Now, it can help increase your website's indexing and brand building, which would also go a long way in boosting your rankings.
3. Build your brand and focus on a niche
The more your brand grows, the more your ranking will increase as well. As it stands, branded search volume has a direct correlation with rankings than domain authority or links.
Most importantly, your site has to focus on a single niche with top-notch content. Google no longer appreciates mediocre or surface-level content that no one reads.
However, if your site offers topic-specific content that users love, you'll do well in SEO.
SEO isn't dead. It is just going through lots of changes.
Even though click-through rates are decreasing and Google keeps changing its algorithm, SEO is now more important to your site than ever. Now, it's easier to reach your ideal customer through paid ads or SEO.
It's time to start paying attention to things you can control by adapting your processes to Google's standards, or your business, traffic, and leads will dry up.