Imagine your rudimentary courtroom: a judge, a prosecutor, a defendant, and two lawyers (one for each party). The case, are SEO services dead or alive?
The prosecuting lawyer presents and argues for the case, while the defending lawyer presents and argues against the case. All ends when the judge delivers his verdict and “BAM!” the case is closed.
Now take that same picture, only change it a little. Instead of a judge, you have a small business owner who is trying to make a living.
The small business owner just recently launched his website and he is now trying to optimize its performance. Before the small business owner lay two opposing parties. The first argues that local SEO services are a waste of time, money, and resources, while the latter endorses local SEO services as one of the most fundamental tools for organic traffic, search rank, and other goodies.
What is the business owner to do?
If you are reading this post, you’ve probably faced a similar SEO services dilemma. We have too. After all, our main job is to help local businesses in Houston TX to shine. Because implementing the right Internet marketing strategies at the right time and in the right way is critical to our clients’ success, we have decided to take a hard look at the case with the hope to unravel the mystery and help you to make an informed business decision.
The Case for SEO’s Death
Panda, pigeon, hummingbird, and penguin may be cute on TV, but when Google uses them to label their search algorithm updates, these animals suddenly appear — let’s say — less adorable. It’s true that Google has many updates. With each update, there were websites that got penalized. Then there will be talks about how to avoid the audit, and then things will go back to normal… until the next update.
With so many alleged SEO updates, it’s difficult to believe that SEO is dead. Maybe it just went in for a surgery. Maybe it got a new car. Or maybe it just matured. So why do people think SEO services don’t work? Here are a few reasons:
Reason #1: SEO Services Can Be A Manipulative Ploy That Is To Be Condemned
Kill search engine optimization. End its life. We don’t need SEO because it is a bad tactic used by the “bad guys.” This reason is commonly used by people who are either misinformed or have been penalized by Google for playing the bad guys. The truth is SEO is not about algorithm manipulation. In fact, algorithm manipulation is the very reason behind Google’s consistent search algorithm updates.
Reason #2: SEO Is Always Changing
Partially true. SEO is always changing, but the fact that it changes simply affirms its existence. The reason for algorithm updates can be best summarized by Google. According to Google InsideSearch, “You want the answer, not trillions of webpages. Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want.” Each algorithm update is aimed at improving user’s search experience. And as we mentioned earlier, it is Google’s way to counter algorithm manipulation or the so-called black hat SEO practices (more on that later).
Reason #3: SEO Services Will Not Work For Me
First off, define “didn’t work.’” SEO is not the magical ingredient that sends your website to win a gold medal for the Google Olympics. What it does is improving your website performance and online visibility. And that comes with a price. While most people think SEO is all about keywords, the truth is far from it. SEO includes keywords, but it also includes other strategies such as link building, responsive web design, web load time, and quality content optimization.
All these take lots of work. To succeed, you need to account for various angles of optimization, and stay updated all the time. So when people tell you that SEO didn’t work for them, ask them to describe what they’ve tried and compare that to the results. You will find that SEO didn’t work for these people because they were not doing things the right or ethical way. Other times, SEO DID work for them, but they have not implemented all the strategies to achieve the results they wanted.
Reason #4: Mobile Apps & Niche Social Networks Are Taking Market Share
We found this reason from an article published on Entrepreneur. It made four strong cases why SEO is dead, and here’s one we find truly compelling. However, as much as most of the points are right and accurate, we just need to say this: Just because something is working better than SEO, doesn’t mean SEO is dead. We agree fully that mobile apps and niche social networks are on the rise. This again shows that SEO is only a part of your overarching online marketing strategy. In fact, SEO is a tool that should be used with other tools like mobile apps and social media.
Unraveling The True SEO & Debunking Black Hat SEO Services
So with conversations about the death SEO, we would like to tell you that someone did die. And it’s Mr. Black Hat SEO. According to WordStream, black hat SEO is “a practice that increases a page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service.” It manipulates search algorithm through buying links from link farms, stuffing keywords all over your content, spinning content, and etc. These practices violate search engine’s goal of quality search, and that’s why it is dead in the grave.
Mr. White Hat SEO, on the other hand, is alive and healthy. This is because white hat SEO companies focus on creating large amount of high-quality content like blog posts, web content, landing pages, and sales copy. As Copyblogger wrote in one of its blog posts, SEO services is truly about “optimizing content for discovery and conversion across a wide spectrum of the web … not just search engines.” This means crafting meaningful, informative, and valuable content onsite and networking with credible websites to build links and establish solid relationships.
That’s the passion of the true SEO. And it gets more alive each time it evolves.