While it is hard to find concrete figures, it seems that only half of all internet users actually rely on search engines when they access the internet. If only 50% of the online population uses a search engine, should we be primarily concentrating on search engine optimization, or should we be seeking out alternative methods to secure visitors and sales online?
Statistics can be manipulated, twisted and turned inside out to suit a particular argument. My statement above suggested that only 50% of users relied on search engines. The real question should have been how many people looking for information use a search engine? The answer to that would probably see the number jump well above the 50%. However, as web 2.0 matures to 3.0, search engine optimization, rather than being the only way to attract traffic, has become just one of many different strategies.
Search does indeed continue to be the number one supplier of traffic when it comes to users who are looking for something. Because of this, it would be crazy to ignore search engine optimization in favor of other traffic streams.
The current trends are to combine a variety of strategies, all under the one umbrella of marketing, to attract visitors that are ready to buy or complete some action. These strategies are no longer confined to online activities. Social media marketing is the second most popular source of traffic; however offline media and marketing activities are now starting to bear fruit for businesses integrated with online channels.
By using a blended approach to your marketing, you can attract traffic from users with diverse internet abilities and usage habits. As long as search engines deliver traffic that is targeted towards a website’s niche, search engine optimization will be useful. If search engines become too complex in their abilities to provide links to simple questions, they will fail. Search engines are quickly coming to crossroads where they will need to determine which direction they wish to go in. Search results are becoming less relevant whilst at the same time including unnecessary information.
As web 2.0 grows, search engines will become less relevant and with it the need for search engine optimization. At present, search engines provide much of the traffic, so SEO still has its place. The future? It’s in the hands of those seeking the information and how they go about finding it.