Is Search Engine Optimisation Still a Relevant Discipline?


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a practice to improve website ranking on Google and other search engine results pages (SERPs).

Notably, the principles in SEO often endure changes as Google updates the algorithm to rank sites for a given search. Due to the ever-changing nature of SEO, many believe it’s becoming a thing of the past and that the work required to top Google search is more hassle than it’s worth. But is that strictly true?

Search Engine Optimisation in the past

The Google algorithm used to have a fair few loopholes! That enabled marketers to leverage basic techniques such as keyword stuffing. That is, to use a keyword as frequently as possible without much regard for the quality of content. That, however, is not always effective today and can damage performance.

Search Engine Optimisation Now

The Google algorithm has since been improved upon and now recognises quality over quantity. It aims to show us the most relevant search results first. After all, Google’s mission statement is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. With more information being added to the internet every day, Google must produce relevant results for search queries to keep in line with its mission. Good job filling those loopholes!

However, these improvements make effective SEO a little more technical and much harder to achieve. Two significant changes over the years to Google’s algorithm that are well known are Penguin and Panda.

Penguin analyses links and checks them for quality. That means broken/poor-quality links are no longer practical for SEO. Therefore, any outbound links on your site should be from relevant, quality websites.

Panda reviews the website content and assesses quality. That ensures the most accessible results are relevant, beneficial, and spam-free. That has always been a factor in the Google ranking system. However, Panda presents the most crucial development in content analysis to date. Whilst attaining a high-quality website may require more work, it will ensure that visitors are more likely to stay and come back again. A win, win!

There are, of course, many more such as Hummingbird, Mobile, Rankbrain, Medic, Bert and Core Updates. All of which target different areas of search ranking loopholes. They are there to help improve the results we are seeing.

Where can I get my visitors now?

Undeniably, SEO is a valuable tool for marketing but is no longer as effective on its own. To achieve the best results, we recommend implementing SEO alongside other techniques. For example, Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Combine these and form a broad promotion and conversion strategy.

PPC campaigns have become a far more crucial aspect of marketing than ever before. PPC allows you to raise search visibility, especially in areas of high competition, as well as the ability to fine-tune the searches that bring up your advert using keywords and negative keywords.

Social Media Marketing on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business (previously known as Maps) have become more prominent tools for businesses. While not appropriate for all businesses, social media can increase online visibility and build brand identity.

So, is SEO still a relevant discipline?

All areas considered, we firmly believe so!

We actually think it remains a vibrant accessory to digital marketing strategies in almost any field if you know how to execute it.

What has changed is that SEO could be used on its own before to promote a website, business or company; it now requires a composition of strategies. The main areas to focus on are SEO, PPC and SMM. That may just be the best way to market your business. However, this has evolved into a far more involved and time-consuming process.

That is where the digital marketing experts come in!

If you have any questions about adopting a more holistic approach to promoting your business, please contact me at [email protected]



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