SEO Expert Insights

by Ann Smarty

What trends have you been seeing of late in the organic search marketing (SEO) space?

Google is consistently moving from being a search engine to being a publisher and a tool. Their knowledge graph, quick-answer boxes and price-and-service comparison tools are slowly removing the need to ever click the publisher's (service provider's) link.

Search engine ranking algorithms change all the time. How are these platforms keeping up?

The truth is, the core of the algorithm has remained the same: It still heavily relies on backlinks. The minor things have changed: The algorithm is harder to manipulate; it has become smarter at recognizing authority and it tries to learn to read quality as a human being would. But the backlinks are still its core. So I cannot really say, it's hard to keep up, since the major part of it has remained the same. Thus, if you were doing it right 5 years ago, you are most likely to be just fine today!

How do these trends affect companies looking to purchase an SEO product?

I wouldn't purchase a purely SEO product these days. SEO is heavily integrated into usability, content, PR. It should be purchased together with a higher-level service. You can no longer rely on pure rankings: You should pursue other channels including social media marketing, outreach, building strong content assets: These all improve the overall authority (and hence rankings) of your site. Don't invest into SEO alone (it wasn't a good strategy earlier and it has become pointless these days).

About the Expert
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Ann Smarty
Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at as well as the founder of Ann has been into Internet Marketing for 7 years, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of regular Twitter chats #vcbuzz and #myblogu.