If you handle any aspect of your websites SEO strategy in-house, it cannot have escaped your attention that climbing the ranks is getting harder all the time.
For the most part, this is primarily down to the near-insurmountable competition in every online space. Irrespective of what it is you do, there will inevitably be hundreds of other businesses doing exactly the same thing.
You may have existed within a relatively confined niche some time ago – chances are this is not the case today.
That along with unprecedented competition making it difficult to get by, the SEO landscape itself has also changed almost beyond recognition. These days, climbing the SERP rankings is extremely difficult.
Most SEOs Are Having a Tough Time Making Things Work
Seeking to quantify the whole thing, Aleyda Solis recently hosted a Twitter poll to find out how digital marketers feel about the whole thing.
Specifically, the poll asked the question as to whether search engine optimization is “easier, more difficult or as difficult as 5 years ago to achieve results/goals in the SEO processes you work on?”
Directed at SEO professionals, more than a thousand people added their votes to the poll; the result leaned firmly in the expected direction, with most respondents stating that SEO is more difficult than it used to be.
59.5% said that SEO is harder, 24.8% said SEO is the same as it was five years ago, and 15.8% said it is easier than before.
This would suggest that approximately two-thirds of digital marketers involved in SEO are finding it more difficult to climb the ranks and boost visibility than they were five years ago. Not that this is particularly surprising given how Google is constantly moving the SEO goalposts.
Minor and major SEO algorithm updates are being rolled out on a near-continuous basis, meaning those looking to reach the more prestigious positions have their work cut out like never before.
Differences of Opinion
As you would expect, the whole thing has divided those involved in SEO (and running online businesses in general) right down the middle. You have those who are all in favour of tougher SEO to weed out low-quality sites, and you have those who see the whole thing as highly uncompetitive.
There is even a third (though slightly smaller) bracket populated by those who think Google is out to get them personally.
“SEO is dead. Google killed it. Trying to play their games is like playing Russian Roulette, being the first trigger pull and having 6/6 bullets in the chambers. Google does not play nice. They do not care if your site is listed in SERPs. They actually do whatever they can to make your life a living hell. Search results are a joke now. You get the same 10 sites all day long.” – read one response to the debate.
At the opposite end of the scale, another respondent stated that what is happening now is no different than has happened on countless occasions before.
“Work harder! SEO is far from dead you just have to keep learning and get better. I have been in SEO over 20 years and there has been the death of SEO many times and none of them were true,” the respondent proclaimed.