So what’s the deal? Well, you’ve probably heard somewhere (probably from Google Ads consultants) that SEO is dead. Well, people saying this simply have no clue about SEO in 2019. So, no, this isn’t true. But, it’s a sad truth that we’ve lost a lot of SEO consultants recently. They are no more.
Fortunately they are still with us (as in, they’re not dead) but no longer as useful advisors who get the results clients are looking for. With the changes Google has been pushing out, the search giant has killed off a group of consultants who only focused on monotone, forced methods to get their clients’ sites to the top of SERPs. Because this is no longer a viable tactic.
So SEO IS dead, right? No. It has simply become more refined, more advanced. It’s new. Google still has an algorithm you have to consider, and this algorithm is made up of several parts. It really is harder to meet the new expectations, and constantly repeating the same old tricks just won’t cut it. But there are relevant tricks – or methods, I should say – to get on Google’s ‘Good’ list.
This is something that I experience regularly on my blog, which has been seeing 31% increased organic traffic from Google compared to last year’s corresponding period. If you are using Google in Hungary, then just search for the keywords “marketing”, “online marketing”, “marketing tanácsadó” or “keresőoptimalizálás” – you’ll see what I mean.
Who did Google kill?
Link-stuffing SEO consultants.
There’s no point in placing the 116th link on Startlap (a Hungarian website which also has its own diverse link directory), or on a microsite. Classic link marketing – which consisted of stuffing webpages with links pointing to your own website – is over.
So links aren’t important anymore? Of course they are, but not in the same way they used to be. With classic link marketing, you’re lucky if you don’t cause harm to you site, but you will definitely not make things any better with it.
So how did some SEO consultants survive? How is it that they’re still among us, and – thanks to them – our websites are still attracting traffic and driving conversions (generating sales, quotations, etc.)? Well, they have a secret list of websites where they can place diverse, quality content relevant to the field or topic their client is associated with.
Completely avoiding even the slightest signs of artificial link building, they place exciting, valuable content on these sites, in which they mention the targeted webpage. These SEO consultants are alive thanks to this invaluable list. Some of the higher players have their own portals as well, which are not to be confused with link farms, or microsites created for the sole purpose of shallow link placements. No. These are individually maintained websites, updated constantly with fresh, quality content. A network of contacts, or even one’s own interconnected group of portals, which is a rare thing to have. They are the survivors.
Google has killed off SEOs that created content with a quantity-over-quality mindset
There’s also no point in publishing boring, unhelpful content on your website that no one will ever read. Before we go any further, let me say that this doesn’t mean that content is no longer king. It’s more of a king than ever before (if that makes any sense). A King with a capital K. Without content you can’t have a good website, visitors, and you can’t do search engine optimization.
You have to create content that’s good quality, reader-friendly, but also adheres to all of the technical SEO factors, and that people would want to read even if they saw it posted on Facebook as a link.
What’s so difficult about that? SEOs surviving the “massacre” have to create content that’s readable, interesting, but also has the correct keywords in the correct places to meet Google’s expectations.
The late SEOs of yesterday had it easy: they would stuff the pages’ meta keyword and meta description fields with keywords, and they would have that page ranking on the top in no time. Creating a good landing page nowadays is a much bigger challenge, but it’s likely the most important part of making a good website.
Google is after those who are not fast enough
Google is like a lion: if someone drops behind the herd, they become its prey. You can’t stop. You need up-to-date knowledge. Constant research, analysis, and testing. Never before has the algorithm been updated at such a pace as it is being updated nowadays. It seems that every month, we get updates that make even the most battle-hardened SEOs’ hearts skip a beat.
Google imposes expectations on websites which even the search giant itself can’t fully meet. Case in point: here’s the PageSpeed Insights test result of google.hu, Google’s Hungarian variant. It scored 95 out of 100, improving by only 4 points compared to former results. Keep in mind that PageSpeed Insights is Google’s very own tool for testing page speeds.
Marketers who don’t keep up with the changes on a daily basis, don’t test their websites based on these changes, don’t analyze the results, and don’t adjust their strategies accordingly also get left behind. Technical SEO is very much alive, and it’s more important than ever before. A good website can become your most valuable treasure, while a bad web developer and an incompetent marketer can be your worst enemy.
In the past, if you made a deal with a bad marketer, then the worst that could happen is you losing some money. Nowadays however, unprofessional marketers managing your website are ticking time bombs. If you lose Google, you lose everything. Paid ads are getting more expensive, reach on Facebook is declining, and the only thing you can trust is Google’s organic engine.
Who’s left alive? Are there still SEO consultants around?
Marketing has always demanded strategic thinking. Online marketing is no longer a one-man show. I’ve been doing online marketing for 20 years, but I couldn’t be here without my colleagues, the Marketing Professzorok (the “Marketing Professors”).
Everyone is good at something and plays a crucial role that enables us to work efficiently. Ádám and Zsanett are the masters of social media, and know how to present a landing page to people on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest in a way that drives visitors to that certain page. Nelli and Szabina write landing pages like no other, Csabi is our research engine, while Márk makes sure that our websites are technically polished. Flóri is a young prodigy, tackling the challenges of content marketing with his masterful videos and images. This is all kept together and perfected by three smart women, Zsófi, Niki, and Beatrix.
These things make up a whole, and propel us forward. Strategically. Because however effective it may be, SEO by itself only a tool. It won’t work without all the other marketing techniques, as they wouldn’t work without it either. We develop a strategy for our clients, and drive conversions (sales, quotations, etc.) for them.
This wouldn’t be possible alone. If someone was to offer me a job – Come, do this for us, just with us, only for us! – I couldn’t deliver the same quality service as a well put-together company can, where everyone is responsible for a different task. SEO, but more importantly online marketing is a complex task, which requires teamwork. I’m not an SEO consultant, but I know a company, an online marketing consultant company, if you want real results.
So things are pretty sad. SEO consultants are dead, almost all of them. They are no more, no matter what anyone says about themselves. Online marketing consultants, with complex online marketing and a strong focus on search engine optimization however are stronger than ever. If you are smart enough, measure conversions, and that’s all that matters to you, then you too will come to this conclusion. If you contact us, we’ll help you with it.