The phrase “the SEO game” itself suggests that profiting from Google ranking is just a roll of the dice. With the frequency of Google updates, it can feel like a matter of chance. Has SEO really become like a casino trick, where the house controls the odds and it’s pointless to play?
In other words, is SEO dead?
Let’s look at some data to find the answer.
In 2010, Google changed its algorithm 516 times. In 2016, they changed it 1,653 times. This number nearly doubled in 2018 when they made 3,234 “improvements” to their search process.
Google has become more secretive about the number of changes now, but it’s safe to assume they haven’t slowed down. With at least nine changes every day, they’re working hard to keep everyone from manipulating their system.
Each day people search on Google about 5.6 billion times. Out of all browsers, 93% of searches happen on Google. Does this mean lots of opportunities? Let’s examine a common search phrase like “what is digital marketing”.
People type this phrase into Google over 11,000 times a month. However, Google says there are 953,000 pieces of content competing to answer this question.
Does this mean that supply hopelessly outweighs demand? If you depend on the digital marketing industry, is it still profitable to put time and energy into getting traffic from Google?
The answer is, undoubtedly, yes. But why?
Look at what the marketing team at Proctor & Gamble did recently for one of their Olay products. Not too long ago, Olay paid Google to display a simple ad for their product when people searched “dark circles under eyes.” Not anymore.
The New SEO Game Plan
These savvy marketers realized a new way to get people involved: direct them to a page that answers their burning questions as quickly and simply as possible. Instead of an ad that just names a product, their new ad said: “What Causes Under-Eye Circles? Easy Lifestyle Tips From Olay.” Then, all the selling happened inside the content. How did this work out for them?
A full 87% more people clicked on the ad. It cost 30% less to advertise, and 100% more people bought the product. Not only does this show what’s possible, but it also emphasizes how SEO is changing.
Back in the old days, Google only showed you links to websites. Now Google wants to show you the simplest, quickest answer to your questions. If your page gives the answer, you get the top ranking.
Google is constantly doing backflips to figure out what the user wants to see. Here’s another example:
Rand Fishkin, an SEO influencer, had his followers do an experiment. They all searched Google for “best grilled steak.” Rand had them click on the top result (Bobby Flay’s recipe) and then quickly leave the page. Then they all clicked on the 4th result (Alton Brown’s recipe) and lingered for a few minutes. What happened?
A little over an hour later, Alton had the top search result while Bobby’s recipe fell by the wayside.
True, keyword research, links, on-page SEO – these are all still important. Yet popularity and simplicity are beginning to outweigh even links.
What The SEO Game Can Mean For You
Keyword stuffing (repeating the same phrase over and over), as well as other black hat tactics (temporary gimmicks), stopped working as well years ago. Those who value speed and convenience over quality usually end up failing.
The good news for you? The effort you put into quality SEO now will likely benefit your brand for months and even years to come. Focus your efforts on finding out what people really want – and then give it to them. This is a win-win for you and for Google, so this strategy will keep working in spite of algorithm updates.
Extraordinary results await you with the SEO game. Will you play to win? First Direct Marketing has a proven record of helping people with their traffic and marketing. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.