Search engines, and particularly Google, have heretofore served as the gateway to the online world.
Nobody could find anything on the web without previous knowledge of a domain or access to a search engine.
Traditional advertising could help you get the name of your business and the URL of your site in the eyes of the public, but the only way to get traffic from web visitors who hadn’t heard of you was to rank on Google for competitive terms.
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But is SEO dead and dying?
The availability and diversity of online and mobile technology is starting to chip away at the dominance of search engines on online behavior.
We still use search engines, obviously, or Google and Bing would have gone under by now, but their influence is starting to wane in response to important trends and developments.
What is SEO and what is its purpose?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to increase its visibility in organic search engine results. SEO involves a variety of strategies and techniques to improve a website’s ranking in search results, including optimizing content, structure, and HTML code, as well as building backlinks from other websites. SEO also involves researching and analyzing competitive keywords to ensure that a website is targeting the right phrases and words in order to maximize visibility.
SEO is an ongoing process that requires ongoing maintenance, as search engine algorithms are constantly changing. SEO experts must stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends in order to remain competitive.
SEO also involves monitoring the performance of a website (in perhaps Google Search Console or Ahrefs) in organic search engine results pages and making adjustments as necessary to maintain or improve its ranking.
SEO is important for businesses because it can help drive more traffic to a website. A higher ranking in search results can lead to increased visibility and more potential customers, which can help grow a business. By optimizing a website for search engine visibility, businesses can ensure that they are reaching their target audience and increasing their chances of success.
eCommerce (i.e. Amazon)
The impact of eCommerce giants such as Amazon has been profound. Initially seen primarily as a retail platform, Amazon’s launch into search engine advertising represented an important moment in online commerce, competing directly with Google for clicks and purchases via sponsored ads that appear above organic search queries.
This changed the game significantly since now typical businesses have to compete not only against websites optimized by effective SEO strategies but also well-funded tech behemoths driving users off-site towards their own platforms or services.
The following graphs “show” better than I could “tell.”
Over 50% of product searches start on Amazon, not Google.
That’s a big problem for Google. If you’re a product or eCommerce company doing SEO and you’re not optimizing your search on Amazon, you’re missing out on over half of the revenue opportunities online.
As online retail continues to grow at an accelerated rate, SEO needs for eCommerce sites are becoming more specialized. E-commerce websites have different optimization techniques than other types of web pages because the goal is not just visibility but also transactions.
There are three main areas that need to be optimized for a successful outcome: page structure (visuals and content), URLs, and product metadata.
Social Media Ubiquity
Facebook (now Meta) did for social media platforms what Google did for search engines—it was the undisputed king.
Until TikTok, overran both Google and Facebook for overall traffic. TikTok gets more traffic than Google.
Consumers are fickle and willing to move to other mediums for entertainment and consumption.
Facebook itself is making search less relevant as it Google works to keep users on its platform for a source of news and information.
Consider Facebook’s Instant Articles, which allow certain publishers to post full-length versions of their articles for Facebook users to read, without ever posting it to an external site first. This idea came from the fact that more people see certain articles on Facebook than they see them on the original publisher’s site. This isn’t the only functionality that Facebook has added recently, with new aggregated messenger functionality, “buy” buttons for advertisers, and auto-play videos just scratching the surface of what it’s introduced.
Facebook’s goal here is to present an all-in-one online experience for its users, preventing the need for a search engine to find articles or display content. It’s even planning the release of a digital assistant and search engine of its own, accessible entirely within the app itself. Other social media platforms will likely take notice of Facebook’s shift, adopting new features and add-ons of their own until virtually every social media site becomes an all-in-one online experience unto itself.
Social media has revolutionized the way people search for information. With platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at their fingertips, consumers are able to find news updates and product reviews more quickly than ever before. Additionally, social sites enable users to share content with family and friends, which only increases online visibility, furthering businesses’ reach even more than through traditional SEO methods alone.
Since it is estimated that over two-thirds of adults in today’s world use some type of social networking platform, this method provides a powerful tool when used correctly by business owners looking to increase organic results within relevant searches on different mediums, including both mobile devices and desktop versions, across various industries like retail and service providers alike.
Social media has become an integral part of modern life, and it’s impossible to deny its influence on the way people search for information. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more at our fingertips, 24/7, users are relying solely on social networks as their source of data instead of turning to Google or other traditional search engines. This shift in behavior directly affects SEO since content must be optimized differently based on where a user is searching from.
Companies need to consider how they can optimize their website’s visibility within these different types of searches that have higher click-through rates than organic ones (40% versus 6%).
Finally, consider how the average user’s online experience has changed over the course of the past decade.
Mobile apps have rapidly become the preferred method for searching online, with smartphone use across all age groups on the rise. Users are increasingly ditching traditional web browsers as their primary means of accessing and navigating information or products in favor of accessibility-focused mobile applications, which can respond instantly to user queries within a few taps.
Wireless Internet is available almost everywhere, and mobile devices represent the majority of all online marketing activities. Users are no longer reliant on dedicated devices, wired connections, and web browsers to find the information or functionality they need in any given situation.
If they need a ride somewhere, they can use the Uber app. If they want to identify a song, they can use the Shazam app.
Imagine for a moment that you had an app in your phone for every piece of information or every functionality you could ever need from the Internet. At that point, would you ever return to traditional websites or search engines? Chances are slim. Apps are slowly killing off the “traditional” online experience, including search engines, though there are still opportunities for search to survive in the context of those apps (or in the process of finding them to download).
App functionality affects how people interact with businesses online – including their content consumption patterns and preferences for certain kinds of products or services – which directly impacts ranking factors like click-through rate, dwell time, user engagement levels, and more.
By understanding this correlation between mobile app performance optimization (PO) techniques to gain better visibility through page one rankings in SERP algorithms thereby driving greater organic traffic from potential customers can lead to significant growth opportunities for any business leveraging them properly.
Companies must understand that developing great regular web experiences alone cannot optimize websites when it comes to APP activities relevant information should be included as much as possible; Also, such companies could consider setting up deep linking strategies by taking advantage of URL schemes structures used within popular operating system platforms like Android & iOS devices.
Digital Assistants & AI in Digital Marketing
In a way, digital assistants are just search engines that rely on voice-based queries rather than typed keywords. But they’re growing more complicated, more diverse in functionality, and they’re being used in far different ways.
Take, for example, Siri and Cortana. Released by Apple and Microsoft, respectively, these assistants take semantic search to new heights by deciphering the intent behind a user query, studying past behaviors, and ultimately personalizing their eventual displayed results. These results may come in the form of offline files, online websites, raw information, or some blend of the three.
They’re killing the traditional search engine because they can be accessed from almost any device, without a specific web browser, and they can present all kinds of relevant information with a simple query. Once sold on this voice-activated assistant, the average user is hard-pressed to go back to the type-and-find method.
In fact, 10 years ago, voice search was supposed to be a search engine killer. Where did that go?
Other forms of digital assistants are threatening search engines due to their sheer efficiency; instant answer applications like Google’s Knowledge Graph take a user query and algorithmically find the most relevant information immediately. For example, if you run a Google search for a movie, the Knowledge Graph will instantly generate basic information on that movie such as its debut year, principle actors, and any awards it may have won. With this information, users have less reason to click through to actual websites, limiting the potential traffic a site can generate by ranking high for a given query.
In this way, Google is gradually shaping user behavior toward a new kind of search—and a new expectation of results.
With voice searches becoming increasingly popular, businesses must ensure their websites and content remain optimized for these types of queries. To do this effectively, they need to adjust their keyword research and/or overall SEO strategy in order to focus more intently on natural language keywords such as phrases instead of individual words or short tail keywords used by traditional typing methods.
Additionally, it is important to use conversational writing techniques when optimizing website content so it appears relevant during voice searches performed by users through apps like Alexa or Siri. This can include adding questions to the body text; using multiple synonyms if applicable; including areas surrounding your business’s location (such as restaurant reviews near my house); avoiding industry jargon; etc.
Finally, segmentation plays an important role – meaning you want each page targeting specific topics with concise titles highlighting those points rather than pages loaded with dense information about several distinct subjects at once.
ChatGPT as an SEO Killer
ChatGPT’s automated content generation holds the potential to produce low-quality, copied, or plagiarized material. This can severely harm the brand reputation and create a poor user experience, as diminish search engine rankings. Moreover, ChatGPT lacks creative diversity, which inhibits competitiveness in an overcrowded online marketplace, therefore, reducing prospects of success for businesses heavily relying on it.
The integration of ChatGPT technology into SEO strategies has indeed the potential to revolutionize content creation and keyword research, but caution must be taken when considering it as a viable option.
The use of chatbots can result in low-quality or irrelevant content that lacks creativity and originality which could lead to decreased user engagement. Additionally, automated keyword searches run by AI may produce keywords with limited search volumes or occurrences, leading them to become useless for optimization purposes. Furthermore, inaccuracies produced from small data sets collected from these bots have the potential to leave users feeling dissatisfied with their experience on your website sessions increasing bounce rates and significantly detracting away from organic traffic growth opportunities.
It’s essential for companies who intend to utilize ChatGPT when developing website strategy not only to recognize but address those risks by implementing effective quality control measures; human oversight being one primary example which will provide extra assurance the generated material abides enforces all applicable standards before going live on site(s). This way they ensure users receive a valuable experience while helping businesses maintain credibility & trustworthiness within their respective markets.
Overall, what makes ChatGPT as an SEO killer is its potential to produce low-quality, copied, or plagiarized material. Which severely harms the brand’s reputation and creates a poor user experience, as diminishes search engine rankings. Moreover, ChatGPT lacks creative diversity which inhibits competitiveness in an overcrowded online market, reducing the prospects of success for businesses heavily relying on it.
Search itself isn’t dying: instead, the way we use search is starting to change and the mediums where consumers access information is always in a state of flux.
The conventional form of a type-based single entry that generates pages of potential link acquisition opportunities is starting to disappear in favor of more complex algorithms, more general forms of search that blend online and offline, new types of online experiences, and new platforms that can do everything we need in one location. If you’ve invested the last few years of your life to a killer SEO campaign, you don’t necessarily have a reason to worry—just be on your toes for the changes that come, and be willing to adapt to this new environment.
That’s where our team of SEO specialists come in. We can help with both organic and paid ads. Contact us today!