Whelp, here we go again.
With Google encrypting more search data, more keywords are being reported as “not provided” in Analytics. Cue the familiar chant of “SEO is dead!” from bloggers across the internet.
If it does, it’s because we heard the exact same sentiment after Google’s last Panda update. A slew of articles came out announcing the end of SEO. In reality, at worst Panda marked the end of an era of SEO– that era being shady, Black Hat SEO practices. It ensured that sites would be rewarded more on the merit and quality of their content. I would even argue that the impact was negligible on SEO companies that were already practicing good SEO like *cough* a certain company that I work for. The blogosphere seemed eager the kill off SEO but the truth was that SEO was just as important for businesses, if not more important.
See, that’s what commonly gets overlooked every time Google makes an update or change: it’s simply that; a change. SEO is not dying or dead, it is evolving. We’ve already seen it come to encompass a much broader marketing plan that includes social media, local SEO and blogging. It’s a chameleonic industry. In fact, it’s no secret that marketing in general is constantly changing. As technology and the way it is utilized changes, so does marketing. In SEO, we have learned to embrace these changes and adapt to an ever-shifting industry.
We have to remind ourselves, too, that Google is a massive publicly traded company. I do not doubt Google when they say they want to improve user experiences or that they want to increase privacy to thwart the NSA. But they are still a huge multinational corporation. I don’t think they are trying to deep-six SEO but at the same time, their interests are first and foremost. Unfortunately, they don’t cater to the whims of SEO but they are conscious of the impact their changes have and they like to keep us on our toes.
That said, organic search is not going anywhere anytime soon and although the tools in tracking this traffic may have changed, the value of gaining traffic from organic searches has not in the least. It can be easy to get caught up on the minutiae of keywords, rankings, etc. but it all comes down to traffic and more importantly, conversions. More traffic can mean more conversions, more user activity or more sales. SEO still remains a vital and affordable avenue to increase your website’s presence and visibility, which in turn drives more traffic and business.