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Is SEO a Dying Sector?

The same question is posed to digital marketers year after year. ‘Does SEO have a future?’ Is it a dying trade?’


When this rhetoric rears its ugly head at the end of the year, it astounds me. I’m wondering why SEO is getting so much attention. The unequivocal response is no. The SEO industry is not extinct. In fact, I believe SEO will grow in importance over the next 5-10 years. As more firms move to an online model, and as more governments encourage SMEs to learn more about digital tactics, SEO will become more valuable. Digital marketing is a mash-up of numerous channels, and I feel SEO has been and continues to be neglected.


The SEO sector has been tainted with a brush that should have been left in the early 2000s, whether due to a lack of expertise or otherwise.

Why are people claiming that SEO is no longer relevant?

The simple answer is a lack of comprehension. SEO, which was quickly followed by SEO specialists, has become enormously sophisticated. And I understand why. Some aspects of SEO are exceedingly difficult to understand. When you mention faceted navigations or PWAs, the ordinary site or business owner’s eyes will start to glaze over.


These are the topics that lead the general public to feel that SEO is a dying industry. Another factor to consider is that individuals want to rank at the top of Google without having to pay for SEO. I believe that SEO is underappreciated by the general public (IMO). They’re simply too complex for individuals to absorb in a short period of time. The simple alternative is to switch to PPC, social advertising, or email marketing. All of those play a significant role in any SEO campaign.


Likewise, vice versa. SEO is a black art, which I believe should be abandoned. Only a few will be able to use it. It isn’t only for the rich; it’s for everyone. But, like with anything, not everyone has the time, and not everyone is interested in studying it.

Is SEO still relevant?

When the official announcement of COVID and lockdown 2.0 came about, digital marketing (and marketing spending) came massively under fire. However, SEO demonstrated how valuable it could be to an organisation when physical store visits were forbidden. 

The outcomes you can achieve from SEO are sustained by allocating a monthly budget to it. So, if you decide to lessen your on-page SEO or link-building activities, you should expect a drop in organic traffic and ranks. Obviously! So, yes, absolutely,  SEO is especially vital. Even during pandemics, Google will remain the most popular search engine.

Do the major search media outlets make mistakes?

Every journalist has one goal: to get as many people to look at their work as possible. Does this imply that the SEO sector makes mistakes from time to time? Absolutely. It’s the same as any other industry throughout the globe. 


If one popular search outlet publishes an article proclaiming, ‘Is SEO Dead?’ – trends will arise. It’s entirely natural. During these moments, I recommend paying attention to the search engine result pages (SERPs). If you’ve been watching your competition all year, you’ll notice any changes to their SEO approach.


Forbes would not be my first option for determining whether SEO is dead. I’d rather experiment with firms like Search Engine Journal. Alternatively, you can rely on prominent Twitter feeds to acquire the most up-to-date information. You can find the official Google Twitter feed in this article I wrote about the Google algorithm

It's not only about keywords and rankings.

It isn’t, believe me. I know at least 20 SEOs who are experts in extremely specialised areas of search engines and their signals who would disagree with this statement.


SEO is the process of developing a website for a company that solves all of their target audience’s needs. It’s all about the experience, whether it’s with a product or service, or with useful content. Conversions, traffic growth, increased rankings (yeah, it’s a component of it), brand exposure, PR, online authority, and income are the end results of that experience.


You’ll never realise the benefits of SEO if you look at it in isolation. You could, but it’s not the whole picture. SEO has helped millions of businesses thrive online all over the world.

Paid marketing vs. natural search

When the debate over PPC vs. SEO comes up, I always find it fascinating. I won’t go into too much detail concerning PPC vs. SEO because a fast Google search will tell you everything you need to know. But here are my two pence…


SEO and PPC (or any type of paid marketing) should be used in combination, not alone. If you need short-term traffic to a page that you’ve just spent a week creating and optimising for SEO, PPC can help. If you want to gradually eliminate your reliance on paid ads and rely solely on organic visitors, SEO can help.


That brings me to my next point….

Paid search and SEO are linked via KPIs.


What is your primary objective as a marketer? Whether you work for a client or in-house? My goal is to get as many visitors as possible to visit my website or specific pages. What I do should be determined by the best path for growth. Whether I used PPC and paid social in conjunction with SEO, or whether I employed e-mail marketing. It makes no difference.


SEO continues to play a significant role in driving revenue and growth. However, no marketing channel should be considered in isolation. Everything should function as a whole. You’ll obtain considerably better outcomes if you focus on your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than specific rankings or budgets.

Is Google suffocating the SEO industry?

This is something I can believe in.


Since I began my practice more than 4 years ago, there has been a continuing struggle between Google and SEOs. The power struggle and mystery surrounding Google’s algorithms has long seemed to put SEOs on the defensive. Google has worked hard to improve its algorithms in order to make organic search more credible for users. Google wants consumers to search for a question and get the best answer possible. On the surface, that appears to be quite straightforward.


You’ll win if you create exceptional content that addresses your customers’ questions. You’ll do exactly what Google requests. I wouldn’t have a job if it were that simple. SEO is interesting because of the subtleties of search engines.

However, it is far from dead, and Google is merely attempting to improve the user experience,  whether or not at the expense of an online business. They are unconcerned.

Why isn't SEO a dying industry?

COVID has shown that maintaining your business online might mean the difference between profit and failure. With a significant increase in online commerce, it exposed the companies that invested in SEO and those that did not. This demonstrates that SEO is not dead. It’s just not as popular as Google Ads. Or perhaps Facebook advertisements.


What you should realise is that SEO is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. Sometimes you don’t realise how/why, which is why SEO and Google’s algorithms education is critical.


Survival Advice


My advice for dismissing headlines that proclaim “SEO is a dying industry” is to simply ignore them. 


Don’t be concerned about what journalists or other SEOs say. Concentrate on what works best for you and your company. Whether you own a small, medium, or large company, there is always room for growth. Is SEO usually the best (or first) option? No. No, not always. But, do I believe it is always present? Absolutely.

SEO's Future

At best, the future of SEO as an industry will be stable, but I expect massive growth in the next 5-10 years. SEO will become a more widely understood marketing practise. I anticipate there will be an influx of organisations that want to include SEO into their operations or individuals who want to learn the art of website ranking.


If you’d like to schedule a 15-minute chat with me, I’d be happy to show you how SEO may improve your business.

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