Is Google Trying to Kill SEO Industry? Not Really. Read On…


Every new Google update brings up questions like ‘Has Google killed SEO techniques?’ and starts speculations about the demise of search engine optimization.

Google has from the very beginning preached best practices like content, back links, domain authority. What SEO companies did was find every possible loophole and trounce the algorithm with manipulative optimization techniques. Until recently, SEO could be zeroed down to:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link building irrespective of whether the link got you any relevant traffic
  • Thousands of irrelevant directory submissions
  • Anchor text optimization
  • Content networks and content spinning

To address these issues and assure quality search results and content which was actually worthy of getting a good ranking,

Google made regular updates in its algorithm:

Google Panda : Initially introduced in February 2011 which penalizes websites for low quality and duplicate content, high ad to content ratio and keyword stuffing.

Google Penguin : This was introduced in April 2012 with the purpose to bring down websites which violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. Thus all websites which has unnatural inbound links, excessive links from low quality websites, low quality directory listings were pushed down in search results.

Google Hummingbird : While people still focused on optimizing their websites for short keywords, Google Hummingbird update (rolled out in September 2013) has made search results smarter to answer specific questions. Google is now trying to process the meaning behind a query instead of the actual keywords used. Its emphasis is on matching the meaning instead of the words in the query.
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In such a scenario, you need to change your approach. Gone are the times when stuffing keywords in website content, title tags, and Meta tags used to promise high rank on search engine result pages. Today, you need do much more than that, without letting Google’s goal escape your mind. SEO companies that provided results by getting website rankings for branded and non branded keywords through unethical SEO techniques (commonly known as black hat SEO) have seen their client’s websites instantly lose traffic after any update.

A professional SEO company which follows ethical techniques understands that a website rank is now broadly dependent on the following factors:

  • Domain authority
  • Brand value
  • Quality and unique content
  • No keyword stuffing
  • Overall online presence
  • Relevant and authoritative inbound and outbound links (Yes quality outbound links also helps)
  • Direct traffic with reasonable visit duration (Direct traffic with high bounce rate will score negative)
  • Social sharing of content
  • Website user experience
  • Website bounce rate
  • Average visit time duration and Average Count of pages visited by each visitor
  • Repeat visits percentage compared to your competitors
  • Width of your website
  • Frequency of updates
  • Loading Speed and Validated HTML/CSS
  • Mobile friendly responsive websites ranks higher on SERPs

All these things cannot be achieved overnight and need constant effort of a team of SEO expects, social media marketers, good website designers and content writers if you operate in a highly competitive industry.

SEO is no more about repetitive tricks and techniques. It’s a combination of art and science. Google’s algorithm is confidential. We depend on each other’s good and bad experiences to understand what Google wants. Only a trend analysis can help an SEO professional know what works and what backfires.

Also Read: History of Google and Evolution of SEO – Major Google SEO Updates in Last 17 Years
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The truth is that Google wants you to alter your SEO practices as per changing search habits of people. Every Google update brings its algorithm closer to how we think of a query, type it in the search bar and expect an answer. While Google is trying hard to make search as intuitive as possible, SEO industry is taking it all in negative light.

Here are some of the cases where you are forced to think; whether Google updates have killed SEO. These points might make Google look like the culprit or help you see the reason behind the change in its approach;

  • SEO professionals are now producing unique content but are populating it with keywords. Post Panda update, relevant keyword density is also harmful for your web page ranking. Using the keyword or phrase repeatedly through the content becomes irritating for the readers and thus penalized by Google’s post Panda update. A professional SEO company will know that sharing content that uses not just one keyword but different versions of the same throughout the content is the right way. Keyword laden and exact-match domains, anchor text and title tags still have advantage – provided you are scoring high on other factors also. EMDs with poor content cannot get you higher on SERPs.
  • The original keywords research used to happen on Google Keyword Tool which is now dead (August 2013). The new AdWords keyword planner is only available to those who login to an AdWords account. This move from Google was completely unexpected and made many question: Is Google killing SEO and organic Search?
    The new launched Planner has no match type data for search volume (search volumes are displayed for exact match only), no device targeting, and no local vs. global monthly searches. This is a clear indication that Google does not want SEO companies to focus on keyword and search volume research for organic SEO.
  • A popular keyword rank tracking tool Raven was forced to discontinue providing its service in December 2012. This decision came as a shock to a lot of SEO companies who tracked the performance of their campaigns through such tools. It also resulted in difficulties for individual websites who have relied on Raven for Google rankings. From all such steps taken by Google, it seemed that Google is at war with SEO professionals. It is expected that Google might revoke API access from other, similar service providers like MySEOtool and AuthorityLabs. Google justifies this by saying that rather than keyword ranking you should focus more on how to make your visitors convert, time spent on web pages, and actual ROI. All the information required to track these is still available in Google Analytics.Here is a Matt Cutts video explaining the same:
  • All of the above mentioned updates seem justified and acceptable. The one change that shook the entire SEO industry is “Not Provided”. This update indirectly meant that Google killed organic keyword data. Google now hides around 93% of the keywords (Source: eConsultancy report) that people search on Google to come to your website are now hidden in your website’s analytics reports. Now you have no idea which keywords bring you maximum traffic. Searches are now secure on Google and the details are not available to the webmasters. Bing and Yahoo have not followed the league and this data is still available in their Analytics.

From the above points, you can reach 2 conclusions; First, Google wants SEO dynasty to end and doesn’t want anyone to outsmart their search algorithm. Second, Google is trying to cater its audience base in a better way by making search process more humane and giving more weightage to your website performance in terms of user experience and technical performance as well.

In our opinion, just like all of us, Google also has every right to service its customers in the way it seems appropriate. As far as SEO is concerned, it is never going to evaporate from the face of web. Because brands and businesses will always need help to come in good books of Google, this industry will keep on maturing and prospering.

SEO can only get you traffic for your website. The final step is converting those visitors into regular customers. To help your SEO Company’s efforts to show monetary results, get your website optimized for conversions. Work on your website’s design and user experience to get a good return on your investment.
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Spook Seo

Every google update brings a vast change in the SEO techniques and strategies and impact a lot on digital marketing.The most recent hummingbird update will prove to be the most influential update in the history of SEO.


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