It’s alive, it’s alive!

March 10
Gabriel Chua

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, has been claimed by many to be dead for some time now. But, what exactly in the world is SEO? To put it simply, SEO is the techniques and methods utilised in order to place a website at the very top in the results page of a search engine, so as to garner more traffic to a website.


With definitions out of the way, I really question why critics of SEO claim it to be dead. True, perhaps attention is shifting away from SEO due to inherently high costs, but that does’t necessarily mean its dead. Not all companies are following through with this claim so, how can SEO be dead even if it’s just a few companies out there that are using it?

So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty stuff. We all know what search engines are. When we search for things online, search engines are the ones that actually help us filter out what are the websites that we’ll be interested in. This really does go hand in hand with SEO. In a world where competitors are always competing to outdo one another, it stands to follow that whatever appears on our results page will be better than what previously appeared on it. Businesses would rely on SEO to come up with better content and more easy to use interfaces to ensure that they are always placed top. Sure, paid placements may guarantee top positions, but what’s the point of it all if the website is poorly designed? Again, this is why I’m an advocate for SEO.

When it comes to the utilisation of SEO, there are actually 2 main categories. The first SEO, labelled “Black Hat”, which basically entails using inferior content and loopholes to direct traffic. The second category, labelled “White Hat”, which involves the creation of content which is tailor-made for interested parties to increase the number of clicks a website receives. Evidently, a “Black Hat” SEO doesn’t seem to make much business sense unless your intention is to grab cash quickly. Otherwise, “White Hat” SEO is the way to go to create a smooth customer experience which ensure that they’ll always come back. Additionally, considering we’re in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) where so many devices other than computers and laptops are connected to the internet, optimal website layouts, strong brands and attention grabbing content is required if you want to truly create a good business which has evolved SEO, effectively adding more points to the table in the picture shown above.

Now, how does the SEO link to internet marketing metrics? YouTube rewind, a video released by YouTube at the end of each year, highlighting the various trends and whatnot of the year, was a huge fail in 2018. Tons of negative comments flooded in , the video received so many dislikes and YouTube had so many complaints. Granted, YouTube is not exactly a marketing company, but the point nevertheless remains the same that if businesses were to suffer the same as YouTube rewind 2018, their internet marketing metrics would like show the same statistics as YouTube, receiving bad reviews and dislikes amongst other form of complaints. When utilising SEO, it’s always worthwhile from a business perspective to pay much attention to feedback, both positive and negative, so that they can alter whatever that needs to be changed such that they are able to create and online environment where customers feel comfortable navigating through.

So there you have it. My take on SEO and it’s huge involvement in internet marketing matrices. So, to answer the question once again, is SEO dead? No, it is not. It’s alive, it’s indeed alive, and will continue to evolve as technology evolves. But that’s enough from me today. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section!


Signing off,
Gabriel.

20 thoughts on “It’s alive, it’s alive!

  1. Agree that SEO is actually very much alive, it is just that companies may have overlooked this channel for marketing. However, I find that the recipient who goes into those sites will eventually judge for themselves if it’s a good site or not and would leave if it’s bad, so then, the website will still need to be good enough for it to be an effective marketing tool

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    1. Mmmm.That’s true. Because at the end of the day, everyone will have their own personal preferences and whatnot. So no one SOE tactic may actually be favoured by everyone interested by a particular topic/ website. It can be quite subjective at times and that’s why now perhaps regular changes and updates should be made to ensure a successful SEO campaign. Thanks for the insight!

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  2. I agree, SEO is still very much alive and till today plays an important role for businesses and websites to be at the top of the web search. At the end of the day, it kind of boils down to how businesses themselves design their websites in order to entice users and keep their marketing strategy afloat I guess?

    On a side note, it is also interesting to learn more about the black hat and white hat strategies and that it does remind me of a red ocean and blue ocean business model

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    1. Hmm, I understand where you’re coming from. Black Hat are similar to Red Oceans in the sense that under Black Hat SEO, you’re not really doing anything different like in a Red Ocean. Its in the White Hat SEO where you try to stand out, like in the Blue Ocean. This is quite a good analogy!

      And yes, I do agree. It really depends on how websites are designed. Although now looking back, paying and having a good SEO may actually seem like a good idea now. Sometimes you need a bit of an extra push and money may just be that factor.

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  3. Definitely agree that SEO is still alive! However there are certain tactics of SEO that are considered dead, but nevertheless still alive as a whole. Interesting reference to the black and white hat strategies and how it is tailored to meet the different needs of the business objectives. SEO really does help to boost marketing traffic, but it also depends on the way the website is created, so it can create a positive or negative impact if not careful.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! That’s something I should have analysed a bit further. Perhaps that there are indeed certain facets of SEO that are more utilised than others and that’s why there are naysayers claiming that it’s dead, which isn’t really right on its own. But I do agree that once again, SEO, like a lot of other digital marketing strategies, can be a double-edged sword, depending on how people choose to utilise it. At the end of the day, I do feel that SEO can help direct traffic to any website but its hugely important that they are designed for its target audience in order to attain maximum efficiency!

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    1. I agree. I’ts just something that companies don’t really attention to. Though their websites are pretty decent, the don’t really the importance of a well-designed website which is ultimately, not good for their business because they may lose out to their competitors who actually put some emphasis on SEO.

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  4. I don’t think SEO is dead its just slower than other forms of marketing. However I agree that it is still just as important because at the end of the day, readers will still filter out content and find organic and relevant information. Being ranked first on the search engine doesn’t always mean that a company is doing better because other distractions like advertisements exists. Companies could use more interesting and engaging content to make a better user experience and create more interest when posting. SEO is definitely evolving ! Interesting to learn about the black and white hat strategies!

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    1. Yup, I totally agree. For sure, being 1st has its inherent advantages but may still be more of a bane than a boon if there’s no real quality in a website being ranked 1st. Underhanded tactics and whatnot that helps you rank first doesn’t really give your website any real value at all. Companies should really pay more attention towards SEO! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. SEO is apparently still relevant to the online biz marketing practices but then again there are pros and cons depending on how the marketers could utilize it and well to make it profitable… and yes, YouTube Rewind is such an epic fail .. think that something’s wrong to their gross impressions and yet how do they boost the exposure with the mediocre tactic…

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    1. That’s true. Ultimately, it really depends on how you manage yourself that decides whether you benefit from SEO or fail miserably and get left behind by so many competitors who are adopting a tactic that has many benefits to it.

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  6. I do not agree that SEO is dead. I believe that Paid Placements are the more preferred choice as it gives the suppliers an easier way to measure “clicks” that converts to Sales relative to the budget spent on marketing expenditures. This information is critical as it helps firms to plan their next steps in their marketing strategy.

    However, SEO is still very much alive. This is especially true for purchases that involves “near me” searches.Based on “Think with Google”, in the month of July-Dec 2017, there has been over 500% increase of “near me” searches compared to 2015 in the same period. This means that consumers are increasingly trying to seek convenience on where to buy their ideal products. SEO can still be a form of leverage in this sort of situations. However, as you have mentioned, firms need to ensure that the websites are appealing to the target customers. SEO will only help to make them be “seen”, but the contents of the web still have a much greater influence to translate to sales according to Katherine Smith.

    In conclusion, firm should understand the unique constraints and advantages of both tools and use them accordingly.

    References:
    https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/near-me-searches/
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0965254X.2011.581383?src=recsys

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    1. Mmmm. Thanks for the insight and the additional resources for me to view!

      I do agree with you though that before businesses apply both tools, they have to carefully analyse which suits them best. At the end of the day, improper management and utilisation of these tools can be very detrimental. And this could prove really consequential as businesses who improperly utilise these tools may get left behind in their industries in the wake of careless and neglectful practices.

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  7. Great read, Gabriel! SEO is certainly not dead! Especially with the white hat techniques you’d mentioned in your posts, I believe SEO can be a very effective driver of traffic into sites. I do think, however, that at the end of the day, it’s up to how the marketers themselves choose to use both SEO and PPC – because both can be effective when utilised optimally; briefly discussed this on my blogpost, check it out if you will! 🙂 https://tinklingthoughts.home.blog/2019/03/12/just-google-it/

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    1. Thanks for the comment and I’ll be sure to check yours out! Hmmm, I do agree that at the end of the day, it’s really about how/why businesses use PPC and SEO because both have their own sets of pros and cons. But perhaps its all bout finding the right balance between each of these 2 tactics that businesses can find a way to succeed.

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  8. Interesting take on the SEO – never knew about the White and Black Hats! Whether or not the company chooses to use the White Hat or Black Hat strategy, it really boils down to what they are trying to achieve on their websites, aye? Truth be told, it does make more sense for a business to choose the former for more organic growth… Do you have an example of a company/business which uses the Black Hat strategy and still managed to stay on top of the list? Nonetheless, great read as always!

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    1. That’s what I feel as well. But at the end of the day, to each business it’s own. We can’t really force but only recommend. That’s an oversight on my part about not giving an example of a company using a Black Hat SEO yet still maintaining a good position. Will try and find out more and get back to you!

      Like

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