Is SEO Dying? Are Search Engines Dead?

Often people like to claim that some kind of apocalypse is on the way, whether that’s for a specific industry or the world in general. Is SEO dead? Read on to take a deeper look.

Is SEO Dead?

Is SEO dead?

Exaggerations get clicks, so pretty regularly some doomsday type article will float around claiming some sort of scary end is on the way. Sometimes it’s for the whole world and sometimes it’s for a specific industry. Every so often some article full of “experts” claiming an SEO apocalypse is on the way goes around.

But, is it true? Is SEO dead? Let’s take a look at why this is very unlikely.

Online Search Isn’t Going Anywhere

While SEO can be complicated to understand, when put very simply, it has to do with how people search for things online, and how you can best label and create your content to be searchable.

In order for SEO to die, all search engines would have to collapse entirely. Either that, or people would have to stop using search engines to find things.

This is very unlikely to happen. While certain innovations, such as the rise of audio search, might change how people search, this does not mean that no one will search online for things anymore.

In fact, it is the opposite. The growth and change of online search means that is is alive and well, and unlikely to go anywhere. Healthy entities change and adapt to new circumstances all the time, if they stick around.

Google Is Changing

While Google is not the world’s only search engine, it does get about 90% of the world’s search traffic. In fact, Google rakes in over 70,000 searches every second of every day, globally. It is hardly on its way out.

People conduct online searches everyday, and often consult Google before doing everything from making local purchases and finding local restaurants to booking international vacations.

Search engines are adapting and changing their algorithms and methods to create more targeted and richer results, to ensure users can find exactly what they want. While people are often are afraid of change, in this case, change is a healthy sign of growth.

SEE ALSO: Why SEO Pros Should Care About Branding

How Search Engines Are Evolving

All of these changes make a lot of sense, and are very necessary. Think about it. 25 years ago, the internet was often slow and only accessed by most people through bulky home computers, if they had one in their house at all.

In 2019, it is not unusual for somebody to have a smartphone, a tablet of some kind, a personal laptop, and maybe even a device just for work.

We can access the internet 24/7, almost wherever in the world we are. People are now connected at all times and accessing the internet in a variety of ways. In fact, in 2019, it is estimated that over half of all people on earth will have internet access for the first time.

is seo dead

Since people are accessing the internet more and in new ways, Google and other search engines are changing to meet that demand and those needs. Advancements such as voice search, conversational AI, and virtual assistants are changing how we search and search engines must keep up.

SEO Is Changing, Not Dying

Search engines and SEO go hand in hand. If Google’s algorithms are changing, than digital marketers must keep up. The days of keyword stuffing, or including as many keywords as possible in content to rank, are coming to a close. Google is about to get much more sophisticated in how it ranks websites and in how it shows them to users.

Google will consider everything from a user’s search history to their speech pattern in order to best answer their questions.

In order to stay relevant, marketers will need to be sure that their site can be accessed across a wide variety of devices and that it is appropriately presented to target those with the intent to view it.

SEE ALSO: What Google’s “Mobile-First Indexing” Update Means for Your SEO Strategy

Rank For Queries, Not Keywords

Keywords have defined SEO for years, which is why changes in its relevance have many people asking “is SEO dead”?

While what it focuses on in search and the tools and strategies it encompasses will likely continue to change far into the future, this is hardly an SEO apocalypse.

The Internet of Things, conversational AI, and virtual assistants are only making the prevalence of SEO stronger. However, the way people are searching for things and the way that search engines will choose to structure its search results are changing.

People are speaking more and more to search engines, rather than typing in keywords. This means that marketers need to understand the intent and what questions their ideal audience will ask. They will have to do this rather than stuffing their content full of keywords.

Focusing In On Rank Zero

If you use Google Assistant on a device and ask it a question, it will do two things. First, it will give you a simple answer to your question. Then, it will follow that answer with a list of results that are relevant to that question.

Before it shows you the first result, however, you will see a small snippet of the result that Google thinks best addresses your query.

This is called the Rank Zero. It generally contains more in-depth information about your question. Due to changes in search algorithms, Position Zero is an important thing that marketers should strive for.

As you can see, search engines are changing. So, in response, marketers’ SEO strategy must also change if sites want to stay relevant. This is hardly a death, but a natural evolution. It is occurring due to shifts in technology and user preferences.

SEE ALSO: Optimize Your Digital Brand with Google’s Featured Snippets

So, Is SEO Dead?

To sum things up, no. Billions of people make Google searches every day, and more and more people around the world are gaining internet access with time.

People are increasingly using online search to navigate the world in a more convenient way. That is not going to suddenly stop, and will likely only grow over time.

As long as search engines exist, SEO will likely continue to exist, as it has a large commercial value. Google’s changing algorithms to not mean that the death of SEO as a whole is on the way. It just means that marketers will have to adapt their SEO strategies to suit those algorithms.

However, this change will not be an instant. It will not be a dramatic change that occurs over the course of a single night. Even as people start to adapt to new search technologies, there are still billions of people typing in keyword searches every day.

Do you think keyword searches will ever completely disappear? Is SEO dead? Why or why not? Comment below…

Written by
Juntae DeLane

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