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Time and again the marketing community suggests that SEO is dead. Ironically, when you put into Google the search term: ‘Is SEO dead?’, most of the top results that come back are reason’s why it isn’t.
Well, it is true to say that the ‘old methods’ have little or no effect anymore. Google is wise, for example, to the age-old practice of keyword stuffing. Any value gained, say, five years ago has been squashed to level the online landscape and improve the opportunity for relevancy over spammy low-quality content.
Similarly, creating multiple pages and targeting specific key terms does not work anymore. Why? Google understands that this practice 'using doorway pages' does not always provide the quality resource for the user. Thin content evaluated by Google's AI and the recent Fred update will see these low-value pages drop, but furthermore, it can also affect the overall relevancy score for your site leaving you very exposed.
Adding keywords to your metadata; keywords are also no longer used by Google to rank pages.
First, take a look at your marketplace and see who's at the top of the search engines. Most likely these businesses are using 'best practice SEO', following Google's recommendations. SEO has changed and evolved with Google; their users and leaps forward in technology.
Google rewards excellence and quality; it will help you if your content is best suited for the user and their resulting experience is a positive one. That is where our old friend SEO comes in again.
Google will reward certain technical factors that will be evaluated, at lightning quick speeds.
And let’s start with speed. The faster the delivery of your site, the mobile compatibility, quality of the code and how you are managing resource loads are just some of the most rewarded experience-lead SEO factors.
My field, the online casino industry, is a fascinating example of modern SEO in action.
Notorious for a making a quick buck, using dodgy ‘Black Hat’ techniques many of the affiliate sites are losing presence fast, using low-quality thin content and non-responsive sites. Some of these less-than-honourable methods include; Blog spamming, cloaking, stolen or duplicated content.
When you think of SEO, we now have to think of a ‘search engine optimised user experience’ or, a SEO’UX, a phrase coined by author Robert Glazer in 2014.
Modern SEO focuses on being honest and relevant; you should aim to provide the best experience possible and deliver content fast and efficiently. That sounds obvious, but it isn’t easy.
The big casino brands understand that user experience and customer retention are more important than ever before. In a competitive market a player can quickly move on to another operator and potentially their lifetime value (LTV) leaves with them.
Operators like LeoVegas and bgo Casino have invested heavily, on improving the games, user experience and speed. At Casinopedia.org we recently reviewed their sites with a first-time user review and found both sites and this user experience helped push it above some of its competitors.
With SEO, it is fair to surmise that the old practices are defunct, but the concept of optimising a website should still be at the heart of any online business, maximising opportunity and user experience, customer retention and returning visitors.
Optimisation is therefore very much alive and kicking, it just changed its shoes, to move with the times. We should thank Google for its ongoing efforts to clean up and nurture quality.
These more human-led criteria only enhance the user journey to get us the truly relevant information we need faster.
This leads us onto the next milestone in the technology race, ‘voice activated search’ (VAS).
For many digital specialists like myself, the nothing that VAS is growing faster than the mobile is more than a little daunting.
Mobile search is currently more than half of a typical site’s visitors during a normal month depending on industry and of that Google suggests around a third of those mobile visitors used VAS to google a product or service.
Clearly mobile is dominating, and that serves up its own set of challenges for SEO specialists. The key challenges here are site speed, optimising content to suit a mobile user, integrating technologies, platforms and browser compatibility issues.
More important than before and ensuring that you are served up for mobile results is more important than ever.
Larger casino sites will need to ensure that their slots are mobile ready and that their platforms are loading content quickly ideally using the AMP (accelerated mobile pages)