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SEO isn't dead

Please shut up, SEO is not dead.



OK I’m truly sorry if that sounds snippy (those of you who know me know that’s not like me at all).



But I don’t know how many social media posts or newsletters I’ve read over the past decade announcing to me that ‘SEO is dead’.



It’s a lot.



And it’s intensified over the past few months.



I used to get really nervous when I saw this headline. But now, when I see this, I just roll my eyes.



Because the truth is, it’s clickbait and nothing more.



Clickbait gets attention. It’s lazy marketing, but it works. So I guess I can’t blame people for repeating it over and over and over again.



So here’s my PSA:



SEO is not dead.



It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.



It’s still a GREAT way to grow your business.



However, as with any industry, it’s undergoing changes.



(As if that isn’t predictable.)



  • AI

  • Google algorithm updates

  • Big changes to Google search results pages – snippets, AI, user-generated-content getting a huge boost.



And although none of my own sites or clients’ sites have been negatively impacted by this, some sites have seen huge decreases in traffic practically overnight.






If you’re a member of the blogging community, you’ve probably heard quite a lot about it, because it’s mostly bloggers and niche sites that have been affected – as well as a lot of sites that make money from advertising or affiliate marketing.



However, sites affected tend to have one thing in common:



They tended to make money purely from the traffic they drove, rather than from any product or service they provide.



And this is the kind of content that Google was deliberately demoting in October (in Google’s own words):


“content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.’



So if there’s one thing we’ve got to keep doing, it’s creating content for our audience FIRST.



I’ve said it before… the best way to get Google to fall in love with your site is to get your audience to fall in love first.



So here are a few things to keep us all sane when we hear clickbait-y stuff like this:



  • Google is pro business

  • Google likes to promote identifiable ‘brands’ over nameless sites.

  • Google has been very clear it wants to promote content demonstrates experience of a given topic.

  • Google demotes content for content’s sake (i.e. ‘not useful’ content).

  • Google wants us to write for our target audience FIRST.

  • AI is not good enough (yet) to take over from search engines.



If we always work towards fulfilling Google’s mission statement of providing ‘useful and relevant’ content, we will be in good stead going forward too.



AI is the big elephant in the room that will continue to shake up the SEO industry, but it isn’t good enough – or sufficiently widely used – yet – to be close to taking over from search engines. (Compare ChatGPT’s 100m users/month to Google’s 6.3m searches/minute for a sense of scale.)



I haven’t heard tales of business sites being penalized or targeted by recent updates, unless they were employing dodgy ‘black hat’ SEO tactics – which will always eventually get caught.



For the time being, we are all still using search engines to find information, and any search functionality still relies entirely on the content of your website to understand what your business does.



So it doesn’t especially matter which search engine is being used, but the goal of search, or AI-assisted search, will always be to pair the any given search term with the most relevant search result.



So the best thing we can do as business owners is to ensure that the material on our websites is crystal clear, and written for people who will buy our products or services.



This is one of the biggest moats you can dig to protect your business.



And that’s why SEO isn’t dead.



It isn’t dying.



It doesn’t even have the flu.



However, search IS changing. And we as SEO experts always have to stay on top of that, and adapt our processes and systems.



But that’s what I’m here for, to be your guide through all of these messy evolutions.



If you’re looking for SEO help to grow your business, contact me and my team at one of the links below and we'll help you get started.


 

My name's Claire and I’m an SEO and content strategy expert. I help startups and ambitious businesses improve their content, so that customers can find your website in search, and so that when they do, they convert.

 

I’m a former startup CEO, and I’ve worked for some of the world’s biggest publishers (Penguin Random House, Oxford University Press), as well as training with Google's in-house SEO team. I even built a website to attract 45k in organic search visitors/month. Drop me a line if you need help of any kind with SEO and content.


 

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