It wasn’t too long ago that SEO was the hot topic in the industry. Businesses and internet marketers alike were praising SEO as one of the most effective online marketing strategies for building a business. This all started coming to an end a few months ago. After Google made updates to their search engine algorithm, a large number of internet marketing agencies saw their search engine traffic halt to a complete stop. It was then that SEO was no longer how everyone knew it to be.

What the Panda and Penguin Updates Were and How They Affected the Industry

Google rolled out two updates – Panda and Penguin. The Panda update targeted the content aspect of SEO. It penalized thin and poor quality content sites such as content farms that usually hosted a large number of keyword-stuffed articles. This meant that marketers could no longer get value from article directories, spun articles and mass produced “me too” content that held little to no value to readers.

The Penguin update targeted the off page aspect of SEO, namely links. Google started penalizing sites that were very aggressive with anchor text links, had a link profile that came from spammy sites such as low-quality directories and article farm sites, and engaged in keyword stuffing. This is the update that hit many online marketers hard as most of them acquired links from mass spamming blog comments, forum links, article directories, and web directories.


Is SEO Still a Viable Marketing Strategy?

Despite the updates, SEO is still a viable marketing strategy. People are still talking about SEO, but not in the traditional sense. Professional SEO’s are now talking about inbound marketing, content marketing, and growth hacking. These strategies are about focusing on web presence, communities, traffic, and relationships, rather than focusing solely on developing content and links to rank their sites higher in the search engines.


How SEO Has Changed And Where the Focus Has Shifted

Previously, the focus of SEO was to focus on quantity. The shift has now changed to quality. SEO experts are creating high-quality content that is valuable to their target audience and marketing it to the right channels. They’re focusing on acquiring links from quality sites that are in related topics.

That’s why you are seeing more people talking about the importance of content marketing and inbound marketing. Many people have developed the philosophy that betting everything on getting results from search engine traffic is too narrow-minded. While getting traffic from SEO is still a goal, it is seen as only a part of the overall strategy.

In conclusion, SEO is still a viable marketing strategy, but people are no longer talking about it in the traditional sense. Many businesses are finding that building a solid inbound marketing strategy is far more effective than focusing on just SEO because it can produce traffic, authority, relationships, and links. That’s why the focus has shifted more towards content marketing and inbound marketing and less about SEO.

Michael Wood has written many blogs on the topic of SEO consultancy and regularly contributes to sites such as Web Design Dudes and Web Blogger.