This is why us SEO folks don’t sweat bullets. We sweat missiles.
I’m not worried about the future of SEO.
I’m not worried that Google is becoming more of an answer engine, and less of a search engine.
I’m not worried that paid results are taking prominence in the SERPs.
I’m not worried that we have to work harder to get a #1 organic spot.
Because there’s so much more to websites than a ranking in a search engine.
And you can thank SEO for being a big driver for a more usable web.
Let me explain.
Google and SEO go together like salt and pepper.
And we’re all going along with what Google wants, because Google is too big to ignore.
So this means SEO tends to be more about optimising for Google than anything else.
Google talks about the end user experience a lot. From having a website that is fast, responsive and secure.
And the only people who truly care about this are the SEO community.
When last did anyone other than an SEO person harp on about HTTPS?
SEO folks obsess over the things no one else really cares about.
Page speed? we care.
Security? we care.
Responsiveness and looking great on any device, any screen, any internet connection? we care.
No duplicate content? we care.
Having the right keywords in the right places? we care.
Adding meaningful internal links? we care.
Canonicals? Robots.txt? URL rewrites? Redirects? we care.
And I only say this because I’d be super rich for every dirham I got every time I was included on a project where SEO was never considered. I’m talking big brands, big businesses, the sort that can’t afford any SEO mishaps at all. The sheer loss of millions upon millions can bring an SEO to their knees because we know that when the guano hits the fan, all fingers point to us.
What I’m saying is that: all of the things we care about, are all about making sure the web is usable and workable.
The fact that it helps with rankings is almost besides the point, really.
You will always need a search engine but without websites, a search engine is nothing.
And you’re always going to need websites.
Google, search engines and SEO are here to stay.
There may be some shuffling and fussing but no one is going anywhere.