We were recently asked by the Guardian to provide comment about search engine optimisation (SEO) and the impact that search engine algorithm changes were having on industry practice. The full article by Natasha Clark can be found here. The clear conclusion from all contributors was that the old SEO practices of link building were dead, and that the future lay in content marketing, digital PR and social distribution.
Google is on a mission to help people get straight to the content they asked for when searching. It doesn’t want people to search and then have to navigate through a forest of links and internal searches to find what they’ve after. It wants the top ten results to be to be to sites that provide answers with the minimum of fuss.
By reducing the number of ways that people can game the system, search engines are forcing companies to regularly create high quality, engaging content marketing materials.
This is something most companies have struggled to do without help, and therefore, an increasing number are turning to agencies for help. To create truly engaging content, agencies need to empathise with their clients’ audiences and create compelling narratives that drive brand awareness and engagement. This plays into the hands of those agencies (like Pinnacle) that focus on creating high quality, informative content.
SEO is dead, long live integrated digital marketing
Some of the more underhand SEO practices (often termed ‘black hat’ in the industry) would lead people to poor quality, or unrelated content – and this could actually damage the brands involved.
After all, in the strictest sense, SEO is simply the case of ensuring that Google, Bing and Yahoo can find your content and that when people are looking for the answer to a question you are expert about– they find your answer.
The lines between digital PR, content marketing, social and SEO have always been relatively false silos. They were created by organisations that needed to quickly add capability, and didn’t necessarily take an integrated view of the ultimate end goal – communicating effectively and helpfully with the customer.
And now there is a strong argument for not talking about SEO as a discipline in its own right at all, but something that automatically falls out of well thought out, high-quality, integrated communications campaigns encompassing everything from website content to PR, advertising to e-mail marketing, and ongoing customer engagement through social media.
To find out more how the landscape is evolving, why not read our free guide to how Google has changed?
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