The Great Debate: Is SEO Dying?

The Great Debate: Is SEO Dying?Since 2004 it seems that every year there’s an article about SEO being dead followed by 100 more about why it isn’t dead. There is a small basis in fact here (e.g. organic search decreased 2% between 2016 – 2017). In the third quarter of 2018 it grew by 9% though. While Google leads the way, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo struggle to be competitive with DuckDuckGo making the biggest strides. Nevertheless, Google still owns 96% of this market today.

Why Organic Search Isn’t Dying

Google is organic search. Their ads drive a lot of revenue and continually grows bigger. This is because certain emerging search trends make organic search a more likely source of traffic. These trends include:

  • The use of mobile technology is on the rise. This is something that Google is so confident of that they’ve implemented their “Mobile First” ranking strategy. Considering that the Boston Consulting Group found that over 55% of smartphone users are willing to forgo dining out for 12 months just to keep their smartphones, this isn’t something that’s going to change any time soon.
  • Using your voice instead of your fingers to make search queries is growing in popularity due to the increasing use of mobile technology. Google is getting on board with this change. Now that a growing number of people are using their voice instead of their fingers to make searches, Google is transforming itself from an information provider (a.k.a. search engine) to an answer provider.
  • Google is redesigning its SERPs page to include knowledge features (e.g. the answer box, knowledge graph, “people also ask”), carousel (e.g. news, brand information, videos, similar items and locations), map features that include local results, and rich snippets (e.g. reviews, ratings, and “featured” section). Of course, not all pages have undergone this change – yet.
  • Voice assistants (e.g. Google Home, Amazon Alexa) are projected to grow into a $40 billion industry in the U.S. alone by 2022. These assistants can’t give their users a selection of blue links to click on. Instead, they only provide one answer and this answer comes from Google.

Clearly Organic Search is Growing, not Dying

Some marketing experts believe that voice commerce will be the next major interruption to the retail world. When you consider how both ecommerce and mobile commerce have changed the retail landscape, you can only begin to imagine how shopping through smart speakers is about to change things. The speed at which consumers are adopting smart speakers will open numerous opportunities that bring with it many challenges too. These opportunities will expand with the use of organic search.

Another thing that you can’t ignore is that many people believe that by 2020 about 50% of all online searches will be done by voice. V-commerce (voice shopping) will become just as popular as mobile shopping is today. Of course, this still remains to be seen since under 5% of consumers are using voice shopping today. However, this is a similar growth trajectory to what we saw with mobile commerce 7 years ago. In 2011 under 10% of Americans bought anything with their cellphones.

Unfortunately, there are still many Google queries that only contain 10 blue links today. Since these are long-tail keywords, they’re even more relevant to people conducting voice searches and those who are marketing to them. When possible, this is where you should spend your time when it comes to SEO.

Now that you see SEO isn’t dead, isn’t it time to get to work on yours? For help with this, you should contact Local SEO Tampa Company. They’ve been helping many companies over the years and yours should be next.