Are keywords relevant for SEOs in 2015?

SEO 2015 - The magic formula for better rankings

The self-proclaimed “Wizard of Moz”, Rand Fishkin, gave an outlook on search engine optimization in 2015 with his presentation “Cracking the SEO Code for 2015: Tactics to Love vs. Leave”.

Review: The evolution of SEO over the past five years

The algorithms with which search engines try to deliver the best result for a search query are becoming more and more complex. More and more factors play a role in the evaluation of websites. Especially in the perception of user signals and the evaluation of links, Google & Co. have developed terrifyingly well.

The personalization of search results based on previous search queries, the device used to search and the current location of the person searching have contributed to rethinking search engine optimization.

SEO has also become a standard craft that has found its way into the entire web business. Fishkin illustrates this with an analysis of job titles and descriptions on the social network LinkedIn. It is clear to see that SEO alone is no longer a job, but a skill that is in demand in all online professions.

Furthermore, the detection of webspam has clearly improved in the last few years, which however has become a challenge for all webmasters due to the keyword “negative SEO”.

Further changes in recent years have resulted primarily from the Google Knowledge Graph and the lack of keyword data (“not provided”) with which users can find a website on Google.

Less SEO is more SEO - There is no longer “The Solution”

One thing becomes clear when you look at the changes in the industry: SEO has changed. SEO has become more than just putting keywords in the title and H1 tags and then “hard” linking them to the landing page.

In his outlook for 2015, Rand Fishkin goes into individual SEO disciplines and shows that rethinking is the order of the day.

Keyword research

The data from Google AdWords is simply no longer sufficient for proper keyword research. Google Suggest, for example, is an excellent addition. Topically relevant forums and social media platforms should also be searched. What is the user really looking for, what content can I offer him to really help him? These questions are in the foreground in Keyword Research 2.0.


It is no longer enough to put clumsy keywords on a page in order to rank in the top ten - content must be added value for the user. Requirements for modern website content:

  • Unique content that is not available on every corner of the web in a format that search engines can read.
  • Use of related terms to help search engines identify the subject of the website.
  • Content that solves the user's search query in an efficient way.
  • Valuable content that users would otherwise find difficult to find.
  • Content that can be consumed easily and on all end devices.

Link building

Google does not want to evaluate links that a webmaster can create himself. Fishkin names the examples of link buying, guest articles or the distribution of infographics on various portals. Backlinks should be real recommendations! Search engines can now recognize "real" links better and better, which will soon make the controlled link building impossible.

Social media

There is a correlation between positive social media signals and good search engine rankings. However, it is very likely that these have nothing to do with each other. Good content is recognized by search engines and users like to share it.

Rather, one should see social media as a kind of link building strategy. Because this means that this content also reaches other webmasters, who then become aware of it and can "genuinely" link it.

Content marketing

Much is not always good. Publishing content should be thoughtful and with a goal. Who can the content help and why should they share it?

Is SEO Still SEO?

Phrases like “SEO is dead” or “content is king” trigger aggression in many search engine optimizers. But if you look directly at the development in recent years, you realize that it is more and more important not just to publish content, but to build a unique “brand” with your content.

In the end, SEO is almost reduced when implementing a proper online marketing strategy. Which also explains why SEO is no longer a job title, but a skill in the entire online business.

What do you think? Does SEO still exist or is it ultimately the result of a good online marketing strategy?

Source: Slideshare / Rand Fishkin