Google updates its search algorithm several thousand times per year. Most of these updates are too small to notice, although there are always a couple of big ones as well. So the rules of search change all the time, which makes search optimization a bit of a moving target.
Except, not really. If you are familiar with the history of Google updates, then you probably know that they follow a fairly predictable pattern. Bit by bit, Google is getting better at finding truly relevant content. This means it’s getting harder to manipulate Google with black-hat and gray-hat SEO tactics. This means that content is now actually king.
As usual, this trend makes people wonder whether SEO still matters, and this year we’ve seen a fair share of articles claiming that SEO may finally be dead. I wouldn’t go quite that far. True, some parts of SEO are being reabsorbed by other divisions of digital marketing and other parts of SEO are becoming obsolete altogether. At the same time, entirely new areas of SEO emerge, things like structured data, and entities, and increasingly complex local search optimization. Far from dead, SEO is getting more competitive, technical, and nuanced.