Why SEO is Now All About UI & Marketing Rather Than Black Magic in 2017

Feb 15, 2017

At Pixo, we've been doing search engine optimization (SEO) since the very earliest days of search. If you remember when their wasn't a site named Google and Yahoo was a manually done search index then you would know how long we've been doing SEO. Oh, how times have changed.

About 7 years ago search, in my opinion SEO started to get dark. Google wasn't "smart" enough in those days to figure out what sites were about from the content so they asked site users to do a lot of things to explain what the site was about and any kind of a backlink from any site was a "good" backlink. I remember thinking how strange it was to try to get a link from another website in order to get your website to rank we'll instead of to drive traffic. But that was how the system worked. Google didn't want for it to work that way, but they had created that environment and as a result a lot of sites ranked that frankly weren't always great sites. I remember 10 years ago being frustrated because a nudist website outranked my wedding website for a while for the search phrase "wedding website service."

Then came along Google Penguin. Stirke up the theme music to The Empire Strikes back. Google was mad that so called SEO types were buying backlinks by the thousands to get their site to rank and as a result they were braking the rules. The end result was thousands of sites got penalized (and a lot of business owners got hurt).

In 2017, SEO is close to how it probably should have been a long time ago. It is about great user interface design, content, marketing and popularity. In some cases Google has made it a little too favorable towards brands and without big marketing budgets it is almost too difficult to rank for the most competitive keywords these days, but that is a different discussion. Good SEO is about making people like your site and helping people find the usefulness of it. It is about keeping users on your site as long as you can and "terminating the search" or in other words, getting users to participate with your site or buy your products. It isn't about the black magic (i.e. black hat SEO) of a few years ago where it was about tricking Google, but almost forgetting about the user. For the most part, those days are long gone and it is for the better.

Google understands sites now in ways that they could only dream about five years ago. Did you know that Google watches very closely when you go to a site how long it takes you to come back to the search result page? They actually do a lot more than that to figure out how good a particular website is for different search phrases and how users use sites. In that way they can determine which sites are best and refine their search results. Great user interface design, understanding your audience and communicating to them in a powerful way is the best SEO of 2017.

There are a lot of different SEO strategies you can take to design a site that will help it rank well and more importantly drive conversions. Each industry has its own little nuances. We've done SEO for everything from airlines and ski resorts to local mom and pop cafes. We've seen it all. Talk with one of our SEO professionals to find out what things we can do for you to get better results and drive more traffic for your website. Whether you are in Utah, Colorado, New York, California, Florida or anywhere in the world we have a local, national and international SEO strategy that will work for your business.

Here is Google's take on SEO in 2017. Sound familiar? Enjoy!