Search engine optimization, referred to as SEO, may be a thing of the past. A widely used buzz word amongst digital marketing gurus, SEO is the process of gaming search engine algorithms in order to achieve superior search results. Companies do this by exploiting the buzz word seeking nature of search engines. For instance, a produce store selling local organic food might jam pack the front and back end of a website with highly searched words like fresh, produce, food, local, organic, natural, etc. The hope is that when a potential customer searches the web for local organic food, their store will appear near the top of the list because their website contains these SEO words and phrases. There is what many digital marketing consultants claim to be a “science” behind this, and peppering websites with buzzwords is one of the simpler ways they advise clients to improve online visibility.
Search engine behemoth Google has caught on to the shenanigans, and isn’t particularly pleased. If their algorithms can be exploited, their search results may see a reduction in quality. This reduction could threaten the prices charged for advertising, and anything threatening Google’s revenue is not likely to continue. In a first defensive measure, Google has ceased releasing keyword popularity data. Previously, this data served as a main ingredient in the recipe for concocting new methods of exploiting the system. Additionally, Google is constantly changing their algorithms in an effort to remain in front of the latest exploitative methods. Although this hasn’t extinguished the SEO business, more maneuvers are likely to follow. As SEO transitions from a buzzword to a curse word, it’s important to remember the key to making a great website is just that – making a great website with high-quality content.