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Google’s John Mueller does not see SEO becoming obsolete

Google's John Mueller does not see SEO becoming obsolete

Google’s John Mueller shares his thoughts on the future of SEO and whether he sees it becoming obsolete one day.

During the Google Search Central SEO Hangout, recorded on July 2, a question was posted that simply asks, “What is your vision for the future of SEO?”

This put Mueller on the spot as he admits he does not have the perfect elevator talk about the future of SEO.

He addresses a common concern shared by those in the SEO industry, which is that machine learning is becoming so advanced that Google will understand websites without further optimization.

If Google’s machine learning algorithms could understand everything about websites alone, there would be no need for SEO.


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However, Mueller does not see the future of search heading in that direction. Here is his full answer.

Google’s John Mueller on the future of SEO

When asked about his vision for the future of SEO, Mueller replies:

“I do not know. Good question. I do not have that five minute answer about the future of SEO. I think one of the things that people always worry about is all about machine learning and that Google’s algorithms will get so far that they automatically understand every site and SEO will be outdated, no one needs to do it. I do not think it will happen.


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He goes on to compare the web design industry and notes how today’s CMS has not made website development obsolete despite how advanced they are.

As CMS becomes more advanced, the web design industry adapts and evolves, looking for new issues to tackle.

β€œ… with all these new technologies, you have new tools and new ways of looking at your site, and maybe it’s easier for you to create really good content, to create clear structures for your site.

Similar to how things have developed over the last 10-20 years, where in the beginning you had to write your own PHP code and create your own HTML, and it was a lot of work, and over time all these CMSs developed, where pretty much anyone can go off and create a website without really having to understand any of these HTML and similar servers basics. ”

Why make this comparison?

Mueller sees SEO heading in the same direction. He suggests that some of the things we do manually, such as typing H1 and H2 tags, may be handled by the site’s CMS.

The future of SEO, as Mueller describes, sounds like it will be largely automated by various tools.

He gives an example of uploading the main content of a web page and letting the CMS automatically optimize headline tags.

β€œAnd I think the development will continue and there will be more and more tools available and you will be able to do more and more things in a way that works pretty well for search engines and that is not that the SEO work will go away, but rather it will evolve.

So maybe instead of customizing H2 tags and H1 tags, you delegate it to a CMS that makes sure the most important content is already included as a headline on the page. ”


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Marketers believe that Google will make SEO obsolete through advances in machine learning.

Mueller seems to suggest that CMSs will ultimately optimize more things for search engines alone.

So where does that leave SEOs? Time will tell what an SEO role will look like in the future. Mueller does not see the profession going anywhere soon.

Hear Mueller’s full answer in the video below:

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