The traditional wisdom during years of internet business growth has been that SEO can work wonders for your online visibility, as long as you’re patient about building up your presence. But by 2022, in the age of social media saturation, social media walled garden web platforms and Google rankings being increasingly gamed by borderline black hat SEO techniques, it might be easy to doubt old wisdom.
The reality however is that SEO still matters, possibly more than ever, even if you need to adapt just like anybody does when faced with new trends and technologies. People still need great content, they still seek great content and search engines continue to have an interest in making sure that decent content can be found on their search results.
Now, let’s cover just how SEO works in this brave New Year.
First, what is SEO?
Before we get down to the reasons why, here’s a brief overview of What.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is basically the process of enhancing the readability of your website content and layout so that it’s easier for search engines, and especially Google –the king of search engines- to index it and rank it higher in relation to its relevance with people’s search terms.
Another part of SEO, the human element, so to speak, is about how much other people in your niche link back to your content because it supports their content. This too enhances ranking and helps your site gain traction.
For example, the enormous website Wikipedia, with millions of pages of highly targets, specific and relevant content across many different niches and topics, is highly ranked partly because it delivers the content goods, but also partly because so many other websites, large and small, link back to Wikipedia articles for their relevance to all sorts of related subjects. This is noted by Google’s algorithms, and this is why when you look up even marginally recognized names for people, places, things and etc, a Wikipedia link is almost universally one of the first results you see.
SEO is also about many other things than just the above, but they’re key elements that will help any site rank better on organic search results, even if it doesn’t have the sheer content mass and multi-subject relevance of something like Wikipedia.
How SEO works in 2022
Much of SEO in 2022 works similarly to how it did in 2010 or 2015. The main elements of optimization mentioned above are still crucial, even if the space has become ever more competitive for any niche with more than a limited number of interested searchers. So, for you as a content creator today, creating lots of good content and getting it linked to is still no less important than it was before.
Other key elements of SEO that apply today more than ever specifically because of keyword and content competition are the following, which have been relevant for years:
- Mastering keyword research and careful use in content
- Using high quality, properly worded title tags
- Keeping abreast of your competition and their content/keyword quality
- Mapping keywords carefully for interconnectedness and using them accordingly
- Overall site optimization for Google ranking
- Producing regular, in-depth content that’s easy to read
- Boosting link quality and backlinks from other quality sites
- Optimizing for social media sharing
Two things that have majorly changed by 2022 are your external content platform options and social media presence.
Third Party Content Platforms
In the case of the first, sites like Medium, Substack and others with a large, established online presence and many readers now let you post content to their platform and link back to your own with it. This can enhance your backlink profile as well as funnel more readers to your own personal website, which is crucial for keeping you from having too much dependence on these platforms for your content promotion.
As for social media, it presents a curious situation. On the one hand, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok are partly competitors to search engines like Google, and largely block their content off behind a so called walled garden of each social media platforms own user ecosystem. Because of this, Google barely indexes a lot of social network content simply because it can’t even quantify or index it. According to some estimates, as little as 5% is even indexed by the search giant or its rival search engines.
However, social media is still vital, because you’re still dealing with millions of users inside these social platforms, and if you use them to link back to your own content, it will indirectly boost your digital presence, your readership and the chances of other people linking back to you as well after finding you on social networks.
Ultimately, SEO in 2022 absolutely matters, it’s just more competitive than ever. This applies for a greater number of content niches than before, and means that you will have to be more on the ball with quality content creation, use other key optimization principles such as content localization, and possibly even seek external help for your own SEO needs.