The behavior of Internet users has changed, which makes the evolution of how content is searched and ultimately presented inevitable. The questions that you have been wondering are how and when this will happen. Though the answer to the first question is more difficult to explain, the answer to the second is simple – now.
To understand the need for collaboration between SEO and content marketing, you must recall why these are important tools in the first place. In his eBook, “Why Search Engine Optimization is Dying and the 21 New Rules of Content Marketing for 2013 and Beyond”, Randy Milanovic, Principle at KAYAK Online Marketing, discusses the impacts and failures of SEO. In reference to the conception of search optimization, Milanovic writes:
“Although most of us take Google and the other search engines for granted now, take a moment and consider why it is they even exist at all: because the Internet is too big, and growing too quickly, for people to always have a good idea of what it is they are searching for.”
The purpose of search optimization is to create a better user experience, which is exactly the reason that a change must occur. SEO has always taken a quantitative approach, rather than a qualitative one, which has led to content and sites with poor quality links and stuffed keywords to be ranked higher than others. For a while this was acceptable and bad SEO practices were tolerated, but as of recently this is completely changing.
With the increase in social and mobile use, the behavior of Internet users has changed from wanting as much information as possible to wanting the best information rapidly. Because of this, content marketing began to be recognized as a necessity and rose to the throne. As much as it is used, and mostly used incorrectly, I must admit – content is king. This is not to say that SEO is no longer important. The fact is that great content is only powerful if it is findable, making search optimization, in terms of the digital realm, queen.
This behavioral change in users has not only impacted the way that businesses optimize their content for search, but also the way that search is conducted itself. With importance being focused on the quality of content, rather than quantity, Google has altered their search algorithm. Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, announced that the new algorithm, Penguin 2.0, has rolled out.
This updated algorithm will do a better job of removing spam links and will lead to more sophisticated links. There will also be an update to their Panda algorithm, which will rank high quality content and sites more efficiently and will create a better overall user experience.
These changes will greatly impact the approaches and practices of SEO professionals as well as Webmasters. In an attempt to develop a more quality Internet, these algorithm updates will:
- Create a more sophisticated link analysis
- Identify hacked sites more effectively
- Give more information and feedback to Webmasters
- Detect authorities easier and rank them higher
- Lead to more high quality writing
In reference to these changes in search, Milanovic writes:
“…they are doing more to look at your site the way an actual person would, and making common-sense judgments that go far beyond a few links and meta-tags. What’s more, they are ignoring or even penalizing companies that are going too far to influence their ranking.”
Ultimately, smarter users have led to the need for smarter algorithms and marketing tools. Though it has been speculated, SEO will not ‘die’, rather it will be coupled with content marketing to enhance the overall framework. All of these changes are leading to a better user experience and will result in a more quality Internet.