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Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth! But there’s no denying that SEO is changing dramatically with some tactics finding themselves dead and buried for certain. Tactics that are in the latter group are either there because they don’t work anymore; they have never worked or are now in violation of Google’s guidelines.

Unsurprisingly, one of the key drivers changing and shaping SEO are the search engines themselves.

The likes of Google and Yahoo and other search engines are getting much better at enforcing their own rules. Most of Google’s algorithm updates are designed to reward great, relevant content and punish spam. So where cramming in all the keywords and links under the sun was once SEO’s dream approach, has now shifted in favour of making high quality content easier to find.

Good content is good, but optimised content is even better!

Although search engines are getting smarter, more efficient and better at ‘screening’ content, they still lack the ability to understand the meaning of content. Therefore it’s important to make sure that you are sending out not only the right signals but signals that are easy to decipher.

What has changed over the last few years is that search engines have gotten better at rejecting dishonest signals of quality and relevancy. The value of content boils down to relevance for the audience and one of the best ways to target customer interest is through keywords. Searches begin with the typing of keywords and finishes with the visits to sites which are listed as a result. Therefore if your site doesn’t include the keywords or even closely related phrases then the search engines aren’t being given the information they need to match your sites significance to the search query.

As a result, people are learning what it takes to be a resource that is worthy of a top listing for a particular keyword. It’s not a onetime thing. A major element of the ranking comes from consistently producing genuine content that is of notable value to users and differentiates you from your competitors who are also fighting for that same top position. This understanding has become the catalyst for businesses to go back to their marketing strategies and adjusting their activities accordingly.

Nothing is ever dead – just different

Our advice is to ignore the reports of SEO becoming irrelevant. Stop trying to cheat the system and get back to basics. Produce great content, consistently, that is relevant to your audience and that would naturally contain genuine targeted keywords. Then build links by marketing that content to the right audience, monitor your performance then react and adjust accordingly.

SEO isn’t going anywhere. If done correctly there is no reason that SEO won’t bring you excellent ROI and improve user experience.