SEO is Dead – Long Live Apps!

by Jessica Ramesh FSE Online Ltd

Some of the best quality information on the internet is hidden behind paywalls, login pages and deep inside apps and other software. In August 2015 Google announced that it was developing new ways to index those deep app pages. Danielle Haley at FSE Online Ltd looks at how this could change the search landscape

The SEO industry seems to thrive on sensationalist headlines, especially when SEO as we know it is declared defunct. Every year Google makes a major change to its search engine, and SEOs all over the world claim that “SEO is dead!” However, the latest trend in internet technology, combined with Google’s latest algorithmic updates, may finally mean that the scaremongers are correct. Apps may kill off SEO.

Google started indexing the world’s public web pages in 1998, and it quickly became the most reliable and thorough search engine. It indexed pages that other search engines would fail to retrieve and managed to deliver the most relevant and useful websites to users. However, SEOs learned how to game the search engine and Google responded with a series of major updates over a period of four years, which effectively destroyed the way many SEOs worked. This led to the first claim that SEO was dead.

However, many SEOs are still achieving excellent results for their clients by combining quality content with marketing and outreach. This is helping websites to rank better in Google and is proof that it’s not yet time for businesses to turn their backs on SEO – at least, not yet.

The rise of mobiles

Few people in the digital marketing world foresaw the momentous rise of mobile devices. Today, more searches are conducted on a mobile phone than on a desktop computer, and Google has changed the mobile search landscape so that businesses with mobile-friendly websites rank better in mobile search.

The latest development is the increase in use of apps. Apps are pieces of software that run on a mobile device. Because they run on the phone, an app can store information that can be retrieved when offline, which is vital when travelling out of range of mobile networks.

However, the downside of apps, in Google’s eyes at least, is that the information is often hidden from search. Some of the best quality information on the internet is hidden behind paywalls, login pages and deep inside apps and other software. In August 2015, Google announced that it was developing new ways to index deep app pages, and this is going to really start to change the search landscape.

Apps in mobile search

As already mentioned, most searches are on mobile devices, and soon Google will display content from within apps in its mobile search results pages. It is thought that initially Google will display only content from an app that a user has installed. However, in the future, Google may start to rank app content in search in a similar way to how it ranks website content.

Google’s ultimate goal is to always provide its users with the best quality search results, and this means displaying content from sources other than websites.

For a business to be successful online over the next five years, they should consider developing a cross-platform app that can be indexed by Google search.