Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is Search Engine Optimization dying?

I have been hearing a lot about SEO going to die soon and have been involved in a few conversations myself.

“With google countering the black hat techniques, it would anyday come out with an algorithm that would lay much more importance on indicators like avg. time on site, number of page views and bounce rate than keywords, placement, formatting etc.”

Which means, if you are up there, you just go higher and if you are somewhere low, lower you go. Rich become richer and poor become poorer.


I have my doubts. Would Google actually come up with something like this? Won't this be against their endeavor to provide 'relevant' information to the audience? A new but extremely 'relevant' website would not get featured as it would not have as many page views or as much time on site. But that does'nt make it irrelevant.

Search engines are an important contributor to a new website's traffic but since it would not feature on google, it would not get that traffic which means it would always remain traffic poor and not feature on google.

Like a chicken and egg situation!

However, I do agree that the rules of the game would definitely change but the playfield remains the same.

While, page views, time on site etc. could gain importance, it would be basis the recency of the website i.e. Specifically for websites who have been around for sometime. In case the website is fairly recent, the emphasis on other factors would increase. These could include:

  • Presence of keyword synonyms in the content

  • Presence of related terms and concepts

  • Proper selection of the words to be used

  • How well are the keywords, synonyms and related terms placed and tied up in the content

As I see it, Content Writing would gain a lot of importance. Google has already come up with concepts like Latent Semantic Indexing – helps pick up more relevant websites. The overall content and how well its written would become extremely important.

A more relevant content and shrewd placement of keywords and their synonyms along with content that ties up well would be able to get a high ranking. So, making a site popular on search would still be in our hands. But not by stuffing it with keywords or hidden pages but by a sharper content writing.

So, this way or that, SEO stays and is here to stay! Its just that the focus would shift from one aspect to another.

What other things you feel would gain importance in the future? Please do share...

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