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December 21, 2012

A New Approach to SEO

In this post, Tyler reviews how the definition (and practice) of SEO has changed in recent years-

Tyler Experience MattersSearch Engine Optimization (SEO), although still [relatively] young, already has a lengthy and thorough history. At one time, SEO primarily consisted of getting your website ‘on the list’, much like getting listed in the phone book. There have been many different methods for improving listings over the years, some more acceptable than others.  These processes have helped SEO blossom into an integral part of the overall marketing industry.

At the heart of SEO is the world’s most popular search engine, Google®. Over the last decade or so, Google has continuously tweaked its search algorithm to discourage the use of ‘black hat’ methods (using deceptive techniques to improve search ranking), and close the loopholes that allow for such practices. The focus of Google is and always has been to deliver relevant search results to its users, following their mission statement to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. In the past couple years, they’ve made some fairly large strides towards this end by focusing on rewarding quality content.  These are the ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ updates you may have heard about.

Finally, search engines are mirroring what user feedback has told us for years-namely, that quality is important. High-quality content creates a sense of value, grabs our attention, and keeps us loyal to a brand. 

Personally, when a company spends its time and energy creating great content for me, it makes me feel as though I am valuable to them, that they care about me-not just my money. Price becomes less important to me as a consumer when I have confidence in, and feel engaged with, whosoever I’m purchasing from.

Equally important to SEO is the evolution of social networks. The relevancy of search results is now heavily impacted by the input of our peers. These changes highlight how important it is to produce engaging, quality content for your website and social outlets, and to have a good strategy for marketing both. In the end, it all goes to show your clients you care.

This shift in thinking about SEO has led many to claim that it is a dying industry. I (and others) would argue the death of SEO has been greatly exaggerated. SEO practices have merely adapted to the ever-changing demands of users. Most would admit that it’s much easier to conduct web searches and find what you’re looking for now than it was even a few years ago.

In the coming months you’ll hear more on SEO and content strategy from myself and others here at Blue Door Consulting. I’m excited for these changes and look forward to exploring future trends in more detail. What about you?  What do you think about the recent changes to SEO?