Is SEO Still Important and Relevant in 2020?

January 20, 2020
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How often do you or someone you know use Google to search for something? Chances are you stumbled upon this very article doing just that! In fact, according to this live search meter by Internet Live Stats, Google processes 75,000 search queries every second on average. If you haven’t guessed yet, yes, SEO is still important!

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of curating a website or page to cater to certain queries. For example, if someone types in “plumbers” on their phone while walking in downtown Fort Worth, TX, they will want to see the best, most qualified, trust, professional, and experienced plumbers in their area. If someone asks a question such as “how to change a tire”, we would hope that the top results are accurate, precise, and easy to follow instructions on how to do just that. Google gets smarter and smarter each day, but the end goal is always the same – to provide the user (you) with the best possible match to your query.

How Does a Business Rank on Google?

Most business have no idea how to get their business showing up on the top of search results. Imagine someone opens up Google and types in “plumber near me” – what would you expect to happen next? After given the results of their query, they will evaluate each options’ site appearance, content, reviews, overall look and feel. Most users will then contact one of the top results, with only the most curious digging deeper. In fact, only 5% of users will even click on the second page of search results, and 67% of clicks go to the first 5 results of the first page.

The truth is rankings change all the time and the top spots are in high competition. However, that is good news to those that know how to harness the power of a search engine to drive traffic. For example, if someone wanted to learn about zebras, would it makes sense for top search results to display snippets that include zebras or a website dedicated to the research and study of zebras around the world? The same logic applies to local and national businesses.

There are a lot of factors that go into ranking, far too many to discuss in one place, but it is possible to summarize the important ones.

Expertise Authoritativeness Trustworthiness EAT SEO importance

What Does it Mean to be an Expert?

These are the most important bits of SEO. A marketing campaign will not thrive without all three values clearly emitting from your domain. Google, you, me and the billions of users out there are looking for the best possible match for their query. If your business is providing valuable, insightful, interesting, and proper help, then you’ve mastered being an expert. Gone are the days of simply throwing a basic site together with a “Call Us NOW” banner. Google wants to build trust with its users, which then by the associative property, means your business has to build trust with them.

Authority, as we know it, is someone or something possessing knowledge or power. The same concept can be translated to your business by building a reliable and powerful reputation. Would you be more inclined to do business with a plumber who is viewed as an accurate, widely known, precise, fair and knowledgeable source, or someone who has no track record? This is an easy choice to make.

Lastly, trust is the glue that holds everything together. Much like most relationships we have, whether they are business or personal, nothing can stick together all that long without trust. Similarly, your online business profile needs to reflect the same trust and connections you’ve built with your customers on Google. The trick here is Google’s algorithms are the ones making the trustworthiness calculations on the fly, billions of times per day, to decide where everyone ranks and how everyone shows up on search results.

Have Google Search Algorithms Changed?

Google search algorithms are fluid, with major releases coming out every couple of years. In fact, just last year Google launched BERT to help understand us better. This update, and future updates, harness the power of big data to improve our experience. On the flip side, there are many business that are taking huge traffic losses with each major software update. This is due to poor tactics used to “cheat” their way to the top of ranks. At the end of the day, the user is Google’s client and when deceived, penalties ensue. Properly executed SEO employs robust, long-lasting tactics that are only becoming more rewarded by search engines.

Lots of SEO agencies will promise instant results, top ranks in less than a month, or something else equally comical. The truth is, there are some black-hat strategies that can get you to the top, but not for long. Once Google finds out, they will de-index you and take you off the results instantly. Once you’re in Google jail, your business visibility comes to a grinding halt, with little to no chance of seeing the light again. Stay tuned, as we will go more into black-hat and proper, white-hat strategies in the next post!

We live in a world of massive data mining and aggregation that only continues to grow every second. I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon data that is totally meaningless and irrelevant to you while searching for something. This is exactly why search algorithms used by Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and others, have evolved into what they are today, and will continue to change for many years to come.

Do other search engines matter?

Google still dominates the search engine market share worldwide with a whopping 92.71%. The numbers will vary depending on your location around the globe, however. In the Russian Federation, for example, Google only accounts for 52.24% of the market, while Yandex takes 44.38%. In China, Baidu controls most of the market share with 67.09%, with Google only searched by a meager 2.64% of users. If current trends continue, Google will continue to hold the number one spot for the foreseeable future. The power of search engines will continue evolving to become more useful, smarter, and better equipped to handle our queries.

With 75,000 queries per second on Google, can you imagine the leads a properly optimized business can capture? SEO is important today in 2020, and perhaps more important than ever. If you’re ready to get on board today, or want to learn more, drop us a line. We would love to hear from you!

 

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