Is SEO dead in 2019? No, it’s evolving


Is SEO definitely dead in 2019?

Of course not…

Search engine optimization (long word…) is still a valuable strategy that is determinative in order to become successful with your website.

If you use the right tactics, you will (still) be rewarded generously.

And you have a chance that there will be hundreds, if not thousands of extra visitors to your website.

Often, just a single article can lead to KA-CHING!

That’s how I wrote the article 8 tools to make a top online video yourself. Google appreciated this so much, that it became number 1 in the search engine on the popular keywords ‘create video’.

The count is already at 37.000+ views.

Investing in search engine optimization is worth it, that’s what I have learned by now in the past 3 years of creating websites.

But you have to understand what does and what doesn’t work.

Do you know what the secret is?

The secret to good search engine optimization is that you shouldn’t be taking the search engines into account too much.

Search engines cannot be fooled any longer with tips and tricks.

No, SEO in 2018 is all about added value to your reader or visitor.

Unique content

The only way to get into Google’s good books, is by creating unique content, content that your visitors love, what they search for.

One of the most successful articles ever about the ranking factors of Google was by Brian Dean, who gave an overview of the 200 most important ranking factors on Google.

The article is not outdated yet, definitely not, but the factors are no longer a determining factor for a high score.

Google itself has announced which factors are determinative for a high quote.

There are only three

  1. Good, valuable content on your website
  2. The amount of backlinks. Which are links from other websites that link to your own website.
  3. Rankbrain – Very interesting! A new development. We will get into this shortly.


What are the SEO tactics that you should take into account in 2018? I will elaborate on them below.

1. Write for your visitors, not search engines

It still happens a lot; Articles that are written specifically for search engines. Full of the same keywords. In the header, the first line, a subheader and a few more times in the text.

I have done that myself. But I do it less and less.

No, write good articles that your visitors will find useful. The content they need to solve their problem. That will move them.

The search engines notice what is good content much better as time goes by. Their algorithms are so refined, that they can separate the good content from the bad content perfectly.

You cannot deceive Google any longer.

Write something about what people are looking for. You may be able to write beautiful articles, but if nobody reads them, than that doesn’t give much satisfaction.

Columns for example. As sharp and quirky as they may be, people often don’t look for them specifically.

Besides that, they are also hard to trace for search engines. Because what is a column really about, in which category should the search engine place this text?

This is still quite hard for a search engine.

So it is not always useful to write columns.

Tutorials, however, score really high. The majority of people is looking to get to know something, or to solve their problem. Like:

How can i maintain a bike myself.

How do i make a leek pie.

Tell me more about the power of Habsburg in the seventeenth century.

If you write an article about something that is asked about a lot, and which not much is written on yet, you will score on Google.

I have written a few tutorials/manuals myself. Some are very successful, like a short tutorial about This is the secret of the Avada WordPress template.

But how do you find topics that are sought after a lot?

That’s not so difficult. You can first look at the Google keywords planner. This gives an overview of how often a specific word or a combination of words is sought after.

At Buzzsumo, you can see which articles are often shared. This is a good inspiration source to get good topics for your blog.

2. Write a better article than your competitors

Hundreds of articles have been written about the same topic. The competition on the internet is killing.

How do you make sure your article will be read?

By distinguishing yourself and write a better article than others.

Really, readers will appreciate it a lot if you write a top article about something which you have put your heart and soul into.

They will think: Hey, this is a good article. This is probably a good website or blog I should come back to.

It builds trust.

Write about things that amaze people, write about things people don’t know about yet.

It is good to do research on your topic first and use your experience and expertise.

Usually these are solid articles, and a lot of effort was put into them. I have written a Top 60 myself about the most popular WordPress plugins. And it took me a few weeks to write it.

But it pays of. The article is read a lot and you will benefit from it for years.

It is good to update the article regularly, though.

TIP: If you are about to write about a topic, first look at which is the very best article. And then write an even better article.

3. Write long articles

Longreads (long articles) are currently doing very well. These are articles of 1500, 2000 or even 3000 words.

These articles usually have added value for the reader. They highlight the topic from all perspectives, give a total view about the topic.

This is also good for SEO, as these long articles usually have higher results in the search engines.

The statistic below confirms that:


So, the longer the article, the better the search results in Google.

Articles of almost 2500 words score the highest.

Google also confirms that longreads get ahead of other articles. In one of the blogs, a tech employee says the following:

“Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”

Often, longreads are also shared more often, and it gives them more backlinks.

4. Write about a niche topic

A niche topic? This is a topic for a very specific target audience.

But, in that case I won’t have a big audience, you might say. But don’t be worried, there are about 13 million people living in the Netherlands, and for every niche there is an audience.

5. Use keywords anyway in your article

Okay, filling your article with keywords is an outdated SEO tactic.

Still, it is good to give at least some attention to keywords in your article.

Google does need at least a few recognition points in order to understand what the article is about.

So there are a few things you need to process in your article:

  • Put your keywords in the header.
  • Put it in the first and last paragraph.
  • Put it in a subheader.
  • Use it in the first image in an alt-tag.

It is no longer necessary to use the same order of keywords.

Yoast SEO still focuses on that. If you don’t keep on using the same combination of keywords, the plugin will give less green checkmarks.

But this is a shortcoming of the plugin, because Google doesn’t see the difference between ‘optimization searching string Netherlands’ and ‘searching string Netherlands optimization’.

So the order is no longer important.

Also, Google is capable of recognizing related words much better over time.

6. Write a header which lures readers into your article

A good header is important for your article.

Think about it for a while and take your time. I myself for example, take lots of inspiration from 101 best email subject lines of 2015.

On Buzzsumo you can also see which headers are successful.

But there is another reason why you should make good headers.

On social media, you will draw attention faster with a remarkable header. One that stays in your mind.

Even on twitter, you must try to draw attention in one or two lines. A stimulating header draws attention quicker.

And after the header, it is important to write a catchy intro.

An intro with which you will drag your readers into the article.

Furthermore, a good structure of your article is important too.

What is a good structure?

  • Use lots of blank lines to make it easier to read the text.
  • Switch between short and long sentences.
  • Add fragmented lists.
  • Use a subheading regularly, don’t make a paragraph longer than 200 words.
  • Add enough images to your article. Or videos, infographics, statistics.
  • Add a couple of links from external sites.
  • But also refer to other articles with links within your own site.
  • Try to attempt your readers at the end of the article to leave a comment.

In short: Share your article and shout it from the rooftops!

Because when you have written and published an article, you are not there yet.

You also have to introduce your article to the world. By sharing it on social media. And not once, but 10 times. Because the average tweeter only sees 3 percent of that which passes by on his account.

Actually, you should put just as much attention to writing your article as to making your article known worldwide.

But you can also contact other blogs or websites to add a link of your article.

7. SEO in 2019: take Google Rankbrain into account

You can’t get around Google, it is still by far the most popular search engine in the world.

Google has launched a new development and uses Machine Learning in the search algorithms, called Rankbrain. It does not look at the hundreds of factors, such as how often the keyword appears in your article.

It works like this: Google has determined ‘Training data’, that consists of the most popular and best websites and search results.

Rankbrain analyses these websites and creates its own algorithm based on those website using Machine Learning.

This is unknown terrain even for the software engineers who work at Google, they don’t know how these algorithms are formed and what the idea behind Rankbrain is.

Of course there could be factors in this algorithm which have been defined before, like website’s age, amount of keywords etc. But this is not certain.

The big difference is that Rankbrain looks at your website as a whole, instead of looking at the hundreds of factors that are connected with each other.

The whole site (and whatever happens around it, like the amount of times mentioned on social media), is fully processed by Rankbrain’s algorithm.

This then determines the spot your website receives within the search results.

Rankbrain’s rating is already the third most important factor in Google’s algorithm.

We still have to get used to it, automation is getting a bigger role over time.

Or actually artificial intelligence, as Google is putting that to use a lot more. There is a reason why lately Google has bought some companies which research artificial intelligence.

What does rankbrain mean for your website?

The SEO experts still are not quite sure, but the following factors can have an influence:

  • The quality of the content in your articles.
  • The amount of backlinks on your website.
  • The speed and security of your website.
  • Do you bring solutions to the questions in your content.
  • The click behaviour of visitors.
  • Is there a lot of positivity or negativity about your website?
  • The amount of time people spend on your website.
  • How often are your articles being shared on social media?

So rankbrain looks at the whole of these factors. Is your content relevant enough for others and does it have added value?

Your rank in google is based on that.


It’s quite clear, good SEO takes time and energy, and you have to put thought into it.

I don’t take the SEO rules and techniques into account so much anymore on WPJournalist and I try to develop the website intuitively and by intuition.

And I think this is going quite well!

Of course, I try listening to what my visitors want as much as possible.

By replying to the comments on my site the best I can and by converting questions that I receive into new articles.

That’s how I noticed that there is a lot of demand for information about online tools. And I regularly received questions about it.

Therefore, I introduced a knowledge base to my website last summer, containing over 50 articles about online tools.

What turns out? The amount of visitors is growing exponentially. It brought me more than 50 unique visitors. Every day.

Visitors rule!


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