Search engine optimization or SEO refers to a set of activities aimed at optimizing websites and their content for search engines. For a good number of years, SEO has been held in high esteem by business owners around the globe. However, just recently, rumors began spreading that SEO isn’t as effective as it used to be. Some critics even say it is dead.

But is there any truth to the rumors? What has changed with SEO that warrants such gross doomsday statements? And what can business owners do to improve their chances of ranking high on search engines?

SEO isn’t dead. Most industry experts say SEO remains the most important digital marketing technique to rank on the first page of Google in 2019. However, a lot of tactics that worked in the past no longer do, which might be the reason why a few think that it is deadHere are several tactics that may be hurting your SEO ranking in 2019.

Building Lots of Links

Don’t get us wrong; link building is still incredibly important if you wish to rank high on Google. In the past, all you had to do was to acquire a lot of backlinks to your site, and your ranking position would improve. But this isn’t the case anymore. Google now pays attention to the quality of your links rather than the quantity. A few links from authority and trustworthy sites will do you more good than hundreds of links from low-quality sites.

If you’ve always focused on acquiring links from any site, you just may have been hurting your search engine ranking. The way out of it is to reach out to authority sites and strike a deal with them in the form of a guest post or link roundup.

Struggling to Own the Number One Spot

Truth be told, ranking at number one on search engines isn’t as profitable as it used to be. Search engine results today are populated with ads and featured snippets. Paid search results appear at the very top of search results, and so modern internet users have learned to scroll down a bit to get organic results. Rather than focusing on getting the number one position on Google, it’s more beneficial to focus on improving your click-through rate. Studies have shown that crafting great headlines and meta descriptions will increase your chances of being clicked.

Having Lots of Thin Posts and Pages

Once upon a time, having a large site with a vast number of posts and pages paid off, but not anymore. Google now focuses more on the quality of a web page – it is web pages that rank, not the overall website. The average Google first results page contains no less than 1,890 words. That said, businesses that create countless thin posts and pages will quickly find themselves at the bottom of search results. To get the best out of SEO, you should pay attention to creating high-quality web content that offers value to your visitors.

Keyword Stuffing

Search engine optimization used to be about having your target keyword heavily included in your content.  Doing this today would only attract a penalty from Google. Search engines have grown more sophisticated over the years and no longer need you to keyword-stuff your content. They’ve got other ways to determine what your content is about.

Googe Stuffing

That said, stop obsessing over keywords and create content that offers value to your visitors. Get a topic with a high search volume and do justice to the issue. Incorporate the right keywords into content, and you should be fine.

Update Your Tactics

SEO is still as effective as it has always been. If you’ve invested so much in SEO only to get little or nothing in return, it isn’t because SEO is deadThe problem lies in your tactics and methods of optimization. Stay away from outdated techniques, and your business should start enjoying the incredible benefits of search engine optimization.