When it comes to the future of SEO, think small.

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The field of SEO was created by a need to optimize websites based on reverse engineering algorithims coming from the major search engines so that a website would rank higher on a search result page and be more findable on the Internet. The process by which SEO practices were (and still are) developed depends on which search technology is reverse engineered. Best practices rely on the ability to keep up with the latest technology offered by the major search engines. And those search engines who are in the top three don’t let you peek behind the curtain to see just how their algorithims function, so most of it relies on SEO experts who share information and build their own models that are later tested to see if they work. That means SEO is an ongoing, never-ending process that relies on expertise and on-going management. But as search technology becomes smarter and smarter, things like keyword density on a website becomes less and less important. Some may argue that the days of search engine optimization are over. In an informative article titled “The End of Search Engine Optimisation” writer Fran Molloy suggests that the sophistication of how search engines index content has made keyword density less relevant and contextual content more important than ever before. In the article, Kate Gramble, search manager with Bruce Clay Global Internet Marketing Solutions says,

“we discovered last month that the US site redsox.com ranked very well for “˜baseball’ ““ despite no use of this keyword on the site”

Does this mean SEO copywriters have their days numbered? Perhaps. But if history has a way of repeating itself, I believe SEO copywriters will still have a roll.  I have seen a similar trajectory within the world of traditional advertising. It was once common to repeat sales copy in a television commercial or radio ad repeatedly to get the message across for a particular advertiser.  This is known in the advertising world as frequency. In 1959, one little print ad changed that kind of thinking.  The advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach’s 1959 “Think Small” ad for Volkswagen proved that for the first time, a major advertiser could get your attention by content rather than frequency. Today, most advertisers use a mix of both content and frequency to get our attention. But that doesn’t stop some advertisers who rely on frequency only. Sham-wow and lowermybills.com are fine examples that frequency is here to stay. But alternatives that rely on the message can be just as, if not more than,  successful and more affordable to boot. I think this is what we are seeing in the world of SEO. We are just realizing that you can get the attention of the search engines via creative content. So will keyword density (frequency) still have a roll in helping websites get ranked in the future? It all depends on how small you’re willing to think.

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