If you’re just now thinking that it might be a good time to invest in SEO, you should proceed with caution. SEO developed slowly over time, but as an “industry,” it’s now in decline.
In the early nineties, Search Engine Optimization or SEO had a slow start, typical for new technology. When I first started working on SEO in 1998, there were a dozen or more search engines – it was a fragmented industry. Along came Google, consolidation began to happen, and a growing industry was born.
But today the SEO industry is in decline. If you are part of the late majority or laggards (those who drag their feet at technology adoption), don’t buy SEO services that are no longer working. There are still some SEO companies that are selling the old way of doing SEO.
After years of “gaming the system,” SEO companies don’t have many games to play, because Google won’t let them. Google changed its algorithm in the past couple of years to de-list sites that had less relevant links and other spammy SEO practices. Google now emphasizes a good user experience (fast-loading and ease of navigation across devices) and quality, in-depth content. It also recognizes the buzz your site pages get on social media.
So before you unknowingly buy the SEO snake oil from a less-than reputable provider, do some research. Find out how to build a great-performing site. Research what information your audiences want and need and create and provide content around that. Yes, you should know what keywords they use to find your products and services and use those in your site, especially in page titles and headlines on the pages. Yes, you should work to get highly respected websites and social media users to link to your site with high relevancy.
But beware the SEO company that is still selling links and keyword stuffing. They are counting on the late majority and laggards NOT understanding the technology and buying services that are no longer relevant.