Search engine optimisation (SEO) remains a crucial digital marketing strategy for emerging startups of all types, even if various ranking tactics have changed on a regular basis since Google’ creation. Google has made and will continue to make changes to its algorithm to sort the goats from the sheep, that is, sort out the legitimate websites which are ranking on its search engine to those that achieve such rankings through “black-hat” techniques – such as link spamming and keyword stuffing.
Google is now downplaying traditional factors which mark success in SEO marketing such as keyword rankings and “entry words” – particular keyword searches that lead people to your site. There are some analysts who have speculated that it will only be a matter of years before SEO as we know it will no longer be a crucial strategy for companies.
Such talk though can be put down as reactionary – if we chart the algorithm changes, one absolute trend emerges: Google is simply making it more and more difficult for companies to engineer rankings and is favoring organic indicators (signs which tell Google how good that site is and where it should rank).
For startup companies in particular, SEO will remain an integral part of their digital marketing endeavors. Here’s why:
1. People will always search. Whether it be on Google, another search engine, social media or some yet-to-be-discovered database, people will always use the internet to digitally search for whatever it is they need. This simply means that there will always be a higher traffic proportion for companies who are able to appear at the top of those search engine results pages.
2. The fundamentals of Google’s Algorithm haven’t changed much. As I said before, Google is simply making it harder for people to engineer themselves to the top of its search engine. There have been many, many different code updates and tweaks, but its fundamental algorithm has only been replaced once since 2001. I think it’s safe to say that search won’t change so radically as to render SEO strategies and companies inefficient.
3. There will always be a way to improve relevance. Factors that determine relevance and the people that analyse these factors will always remain, no matter what happens. Keep up with these determining factors as they morph, play to those strengths and you’ll always have the important parts of SEO locked-down.
Change is the only true constant in this world, and it’s exactly the same for SEO. Don’t abandon your long-term strategy just because Google makes some changes now and then.