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Doing SEO in 2018 will be brutal



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Doing SEO in 2018 will be brutal

Over the years I always had a moment when I had doubts about the industry I'm currently activating, Search Engine Optimization. It changed so much over the years it is barely responsible compared with the SEO I was doing ten years ago.

Structure data, schema.org, AMP, PWA, search snippets, local SEO, Google My Business, Search Console, Instant Answers, Voice Search, Mobile First Index, and so on.
Things had changed A LOT! Sometimes we don't realize how much SEO actually changed. Keywords had fallen into secondary tasks as content optimisation has taken its place with 100 more ranking factors.
I'm not even going to touch the backlinks subject. Sure, backlinks are still important but I believe Google will make the importance of backlinks a think of the past in maximum three years and this has all to do with Rank Brain and the development of AI in search engines. 

Bottom line is that Google, as well as the other search engines, had made it brutal for us SEOs. It has become a very hard job that requires a huge backpack of knowledge as well as a constant improvement of the things you know and do, not to mention the fact that whole strategies can change overnight because Google decided to "test" something.

I'm not crying here; it is only fair what Google is doing at the moment. It picks only the best pages with the best stats, speed, content, and user experience to be on the first results. It has evolved, and the algorithm is complex enough you can't really beat it anymore. Black Hat SEO may soon be a thing of the past, and I'm wondering how much we, the White-Grey Hat SEO specialists will last before things because of a way to hard on everybody before SEO finally becomes too much of a burden even to try doing it full time.

A day may come when the actual results of doing SEO as a full-time job become so insignificant that clients decide to put their money into ads.

I personally try to evolve and move past SEO; I'm developing my content building skills as well as my general online marketing techniques. I need and must be able to offer much more than just plain old SEO. I need to offer the full package of online marketing, including the skills to manage PPC campaigns.

That being said I believe 2018 will be brutal for some old school SEOs who are still implementing old techniques. They won't see any results and a lot of clients will be lost over this.
So, my advice is the following: start learning new skills that are related to SEO, because just doing plain old SEO isn't enough and won't be enough in 2018!

What do you think? Are the SEO specialists here of losing their job in 2018? WIll you stick to SEO or are you planning to diversify and move to something else in the future?

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vhinz

I think changes in SEO in the coming years will just make experienced SEO specialist earn more income because they have already knowledge on how to deal with search engines . On the other hand, it would be more confusing to newbies in this industry.



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Cristian

I agree. Newcomers in the industry will have a hard time adapting. I'm constantly seeing newbies using years old SEO techniques, very outdated overall. This is because a lot of SEO information out there is itself outdated.

People that write SEO articles and tutorials rarely come back to what they've written 5 years ago. This is why we are still seeing SEO specialists offering old and underperforming services as well as clients looking for Page Rank services or meta keyword tag optimisations.



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Corzhens

That is also my take about SEO methods that the longer we are doing SEO work, the more knowledge that we get. Like the blackhat method that was popular last year, now SEO workers know that it is not good in the long run for it can cause the site to be sanctioned by Google. There’s also the gray hat that we should be careful in doing. Maybe in the years to come there will be some new SEO methods that we could do for the growth of the SEO industry.



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potentialwriter

There's no particular year that will make SEO brutal. What makes people say this sometimes is the kind of experience they have in the course of running a website. For instance, there's no way you will create a WordPress website with versions 4.8.3 or 4.9.2 without giving thanks to WordPress technology as far as SEO is concerned. Once your website is completely set up using those themes, you just need to be consistent in performing the normal SEO tasks in order to earn tons of traffic.



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DarthHazard

SEO techniques, as they are called, are not that complicated anymore and I don't think sites need to hire SEO experts anymore really. If you can focus on quality content for your site whilst having mobile responsive sites and good titles then you will more or less be ready. Is there really a need to pay an expert to give you that information? The fact that there are so many articles now as well telling you what you need to do means you really don't need to pay someone for that info.



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wiseagent

Yes, the competition will be very brutal (perhaps heavier than we can imagine) and I think the trend is getting worse every time. However, the good part about it all is that the quality will also tend to be getting better (which is a good idea).

It's like a path of separating the good from the bad in a more "natural" way.



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DenisP

In some ways I feel that SEO experts are going to be slowly phased out, because I think the need for professionals in this field will begin to (and is already) dwindle. The fact is that most people who are fairly tech savvy and willing to learn, can quite easily get a grasp on SEO techniques. So if they have the time to invest, why would they hire someone?

I'm not saying that the need for SEO professionals will completely vanish. But the fact that less people are going to be needing them implies that competition is going to be pretty harsh. I don't think 2018 specifically is going to be extra brutal, just that things are going to get harder over time.



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Baburra

I don't think it will ever be phased out as a profession but maybe it will just eventually evolve into something else or maybe it will just change a little. As long as people need to build their sites and want it seen by the public in searches, I think there will always be a place for experts in that field to help along the site and business owners and most of them definitely don't have much knowledge of search engines so I think an expert will always come in handy no matter what.



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limberg

I do my own SEO. I just get the SEO by Yoast plugin for my WordPress sites and follow its instructions. I have seen good results on some of my posts with several reaching the front page. I have never tried availing of the services of an SEO expert. I do believe though that your profession won't die immediately. I'm sure that you would be able to adopt to the changes that Google would be making.

I do believe that black hat techniques might be a thing of the past. Google would be cracking down on those who use these techniques and penalize them. Are you using some black hat techniques?



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Judas2018

SEO is still important but yes its value is waning. Mostly because there are just so many ways to promote now if you have a blog or website. You can draw traffic from so many other sources that SEO almost feels like a dinosaur thing to do at this point. Gone are the days where people are obsessed with making it to page 1 on google or other search engines. Not when social media, and videos sites such as snapchat for example - are far quicker ways of drawing viewers to your brand.



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Baburra

I agree with your statement. I think social media is what competes best with SEO the most because even the least knowledgeable people are able to gain great traction just by marketing well in social media. Back then you either had to rank and get top result on Google or else you'd be invisible but these days a lot of people are searching their social media sites rather than Google.



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jaymish2

I don't think you should worry. The only certainty in life is change. Everything in life must change and evolve. Google loves their updates, just stay ahead of the curve and learn new skills. I think this is the reality when you are working online, this is not a 9 to 5 job where you do the same thing for 30 years. I think this is also the advantage of working online, the versatility.As you have anticipated the change just be ready for it, I think it is inevitable how SEO is done will change. This is a good thing, especially for research purposes.There is nothing more annoying than searching for a topic only to find that the first ten search results on Google are bogus articles, designed to get the page ranked and not to give useful information.



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cmoneyspinner

There's always a need for "specialists". An SEO specialist may have to add some extra tools and acquire some skills but I'm sure they'll survive. There will always be a lot of non-geek types out there who need their help.



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Judas2018

True. But social media and many different tech tools have put the power of online success into the hands of the site owners, forum runners, podcast hosts, etc. It truly puts you in a position to control your own destiny. Not be beholden to any one search engine or search results. At this point - ranking high in google is a big bonus - instead of the larger goal. I know podcast hosts who are doing very well just by social media and online word of mouth. Once people within your niche decide they like a product - they'll pass the word to others. Next thing you know - your traffic blows up quick.



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cmoneyspinner

Yeah. I hear you. But there are still some folks who are just lazy. It's a job they don't want to do and if they have the money they'll pay somebody else to do it.

Doing SEO in 2018 will be brutal Doing SEO in 2018 will be brutal
You can't teach people to be lazy - either they have it, or they don't.
~ Dagwood Bumstead



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Judas2018

Which is unfortunate. If you truly love your creation you should take pleasure and pride in promoting it yourself as much as you can - in as many different ways and methods as possible. It also helps you know and connect with those who are coming to your site. Some people pay others for promotion without even being in the loop. Then they receive site visitors they either don't want or don't jive too well with. Er go - it's their own fault for not knowing where their resources are going.



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Judas2018

I don't find social media marketing all that difficult. I think the important thing is to engage with your followers. If you do that often enough - you'll be fine.



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vinaya

Every year, online publishing, online marketing, and online businesses are becoming difficult. The competition is not only becoming tough but the search engines like Google introduces new algorithm and downgrades out websites and contents. Even the social media marketing is becoming difficult. We, of course, have more social media sites then we used to have a few years ago. however, with so many social media sites, it is increasingly becoming difficult to remain active with social media promotion. When I was learning SEO, there were few things, such as keywords and backlinks, however, today we also have to focus on social signals, site design and site speed.



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webexperts4all

Am sure i will make more money in the coming years nomatter the changes in seo i have more experience now and blogging is becoming more interesting to me everyday.

I bless God for that.



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overcast

I think change is the only constant. And now that search engines are making use of the voice and video. I think soon that would be something we have to see as things change. As of now text searches are going to be reduced in near future. I think that is one change we all have to adjust with. Because in future things are going to be lot different. And how people search would be something we have to check as well.



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Soulwatcher

Google is ever evolving and the various method of SEO work for a short time and then google changes everything. And honestly, I feel like that ads are the better option today if you have the money. Because ads are guaranteed results and SEO results are not guaranteed and guaranteed results may be better depending on the nature of your business.



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Cristian

Yes! Problem is that most clients are starting to understand this more often!
They can see immediate results once they start running ads. Why would the pay for 12 months SEO services that bring slow results if any results (because SEO often is a gamble in some niches).



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Everett

I would probably buy an ad before doing extensive SEO work. Just seems smarter, especially if you were to use a widely used application such as facebook. Sometimes I often create an ad on social media websites (facebook, twitter) just to see how much it will cost. Thing is, sometimes it is very costly so i never follow through.. Doing SEO in 2018 will be brutal



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potentialwriter

Doing SEO in the coming year is not going to be brutal as the title predicts. There is nothing brutal about SEO activities. It's full of online activities to make your website or blog get seen or found easily by people in any part of the world and, therefore, makes you lots of cash as traffic flow will be guaranteed.



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Everett

I believe doing SEO anytime is brutal. I simply just do not have the patience required to sit down and actually focus on my SEO. This probably sounds a little silly to most of you SEO experts but let's face it, there is not enough time in the day! Whenever I feel that I want to actually do seo, when I am finished I feel as if I wasted the entire day doing SEO. So what I do instead is focus on product creation. This way I can offer more products to sell, get the page listed in the search engines, and the buyers or potential buyers will help with that SEO thing.



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jpyy

To be honest, I don't like SEO. It limits your freedom to where a website isn't your website. Anyway, I'm not advocating slob websites and poor writing, but let's face it, things are so tight on SEO that you can't breathe. In that case, it's so much cooler to use social media and/or PPC.



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Corzhens

I understand that SEO is a big thing this year. In fact, I had seen the interview on the evening news of 2 SEO experts. They explained that SEO specialist is a new job that website owners are looking for. Yeah, website owners have the desire to be on the first page of the search engine result. And only the SEO expert can make it happen for you. But an SEO expert is not cheap and the positive results to your SEO ranking don’t come easy so you need to have a lot of patience aside from having a lot of budget for that.



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