The SEO Game: Is It Really Pointless Now?
People often refer to the “SEO game” as if profiting from top Google rankings is just a roll of the dice. Has it 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, and then you’ll see what you should do with this discovery.
In 2010, Google changed its algorithm 516 times. Then 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 gaming or manipulating their system.
Each day people search Google about 5.6 billion times. Additionally, 92% of all searches still 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 the 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 an enthusiastic yes.
Look what the marketing team at Proctor & Gamble did recently for one of their Olay products. Not too long ago, when people searched for “dark circles under eyes” Olay paid Google to display an ad for a product. Not any more.
The New SEO Game Plan
These savvy marketers realized the 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, the new ad says: “What Causes Under Eye Circles? Easy Lifestyle Tips From Olay.” Now all the selling happens inside the content. How did this work out?
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, it 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 this answer, you get the top ranking.
Google is constantly doing backflips to find out what you want 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 This SEO Game Means For You
Keyword stuffing (repeating the same phrase over and over), as well as other black hat tactics, (temporary gimmicks), stopped working years ago. Those who value speed over quality usually end up failing in the end.
What’s the good news? The effort you put now into good SEO 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 win-win for you and Google, so this strategy will keep working.
At first glance, SEO may seem as mysterious as credit repair or weight loss. Yet people still clamor to get on The Biggest Loser because they’re desperate for the dramatic results this reality TV weight loss game keeps delivering.
In the same way, dramatic results await you with the SEO game. Will you play to win? First Direct Marketing has a proven record of helping people with their marketing. How can we help you today?
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