Why is SEO so Difficult

Why is SEO so difficult?

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential component of digital marketing, but it is often perceived as one of the most challenging aspects. 

Despite SEO’s undeniable significance, many businesses and marketers still struggle with its nuances and complexities. 

This struggle is understandable since SEO is a multifaceted field requiring a combination of technical expertise, strategic thinking and adaptability.

From the complexity of algorithm updates to the intense competition for top rankings, understanding Why is SEO so difficult is crucial for anyone looking to navigate the digital world effectively. 

In this article, let’s explore the key reasons Why is SEO so difficult and what makes it a constantly evolving challenge.

Difficulties and Complexities that make SEO difficult

1.High Level of Competition

  • There are millions of websites competing for user’s attention on the crowded internet.
  • Due to this high level of competition and an enormous volume of content being published everyday, it’s challenging to stand out for any single website in the crowded digital space.
  • Smaller businesses find it difficult to rank well in search results because larger companies with more resources frequently dominate the results.


  • A new e-commerce store selling athletic wear competes with established brands like Nike and Adidas. 
  • Since these well-known brands have strong domain authority and extensive backlink profiles, ranking for keywords like “running shoes” is very challenging.
  • The new store needs to identify niche keywords or long-tail keywords to target initially, such as “best running shoes for flat feet,” to gradually build authority. 

2.Difficulty in Keyword Research

  • The complexities of keyword optimization are a major factor that makes SEO so challenging. 
  • Identifying the right keywords to target requires understanding what terms the potential audience is searching, evaluating the search volume and determining the competition for each keyword.
  • Understanding the intent behind a user’s search query is essential as misaligning the content with the user’s intent can lead to poor performance even if the content rank for the keywords.
  • It demands a delicate balance to integrate keywords into the content without overstuffing it. Keyword stuffing can lead to penalties, while insufficient keyword usage can make it difficult for search engines to understand the content’s relevance.
  • Keyword cannibalization occurs when several pages on a website target the same keyword and compete with one another. This may lessen the SEO value and complicate the process of achieving any one page to rank highly.


  • A startup selling eco-friendly cleaning products struggles to identify keywords that potential customers search for.
  • Very specific terms may have low search volume compared to general terms like “cleaning products” which are too broad and competitive.
  • They need to find a balance by targeting keywords like “best eco-friendly cleaning products” or “natural cleaning solutions,” which are more specific but still have a decent search volume.

3.Issues with Technical SEO

  • Technical SEO involves optimizing the backend of the website to improve its visibility and performance.
  • This includes tasks such as improving site speed, ensuring mobile-friendliness, creating an XML sitemap and fixing broken links. 
  • The technical aspects of SEO demand meticulous attention to detail that even a minor oversight can have a significant impact on search rankings.
  • So, technical SEO is a challenging aspect for many since it requires specialized knowledge and expertise.


  • An online bookstore experiences high bounce rates and poor search rankings as a result of page load times.
  • Through image optimization, utilizing browser caching and enhancing server response times, the bookstore greatly increased its loading speed, which in turn led to higher rankings and increased user engagement.

4.Difficulties in Creating High-Quality Content

  • The creation of relevant and high-quality content is essential for SEO success. But creating such content on a regular basis is a significant challenge. 
  • It requires a deep understanding of the target audience, industry knowledge, creativity, keyword research and content optimization techniques.
  • Also the content must be optimized for search engines without compromising readability and user experience.
  • But with the rise of content saturation, standing out from the crowd has become increasingly challenging and crafting compelling content that not only attracts but also engages users is challenging.


  • A travel blog targeting “best places to visit in Europe” needs to provide unique insights and detailed guides to get recognized. 
  • Shallow or generic content is not enough. 
  • The blog may increase traffic and raise its search engine rankings by incorporating personal travel experiences, high quality images and practical tips.

5.Algorithms that are Constantly Evolving

  • To enhance the quality of search results, search engines like Google regularly update their algorithms.
  • Algorithms are intricate and include hundreds of factors such as  keyword relevance, page load speed, mobile-friendliness and user experience metrics.
  • These changes are usually carried out with little notice and can have a significant impact on the website’s ranking. 
  • In order to stay up to date with these changes, marketers and SEO experts need to constantly modify their strategies.


  • Following the Medic Update, a well-known health blog that ranked highly for “natural remedies for headaches” saw a 50% drop in organic traffic.
  • To regain its rankings, the website had to change the way it approached content, focusing on utilizing reliable sources and creating higher-quality content.

6.Problems with Link Building

  • Creating backlinks of high quality is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO.
  • But obtaining these links ethically and organically requires time, effort, strategic outreach and a deep understanding of the niche.
  • Backlinks are a strong indicator of a website’s authority and relevance to search engines.
  • Though Link building is a significant SEO factor, but earning links from credible websites is challenging since it requires relationship building and outreach


  • A software startup desired to improve its domain authority. 
  • The team contacted industry influencers and proposed guest posts on reputable tech blogs. 
  • These efforts resulted in high-quality backlinks that enhanced the startup’s search rankings for competitive keywords like “project management software.”

7.Local SEO Challenges

  • In any specific geographical location, established businesses often dominate search results due to their long-standing presence, numerous reviews and extensive backlink profiles. 
  • Newer or smaller businesses may find it challenging to compete with these well-established entities.
  • Identifying and Targeting the right local keywords requires deep understanding of local search behavior and intent.
  • Generic keyword strategies don’t perform well to local SEO, requiring a more detailed approach.
  • It can be challenging to create content that is both optimized for local search terms and resonates with the local audience. 


  • A new cafe opening in downtown Los Angeles experiences a fierce competition from numerous established cafes in that specific geographical location. 
  • To achieve a good ranking in local search results for queries like “best coffee shop in Los Angeles,” the cafe must optimize its GMB listing with accurate information, high-quality images and consistent content.
  • Also they need to encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to build a strong online reputation.

8.Difficulties in complying with Search Engine Guidelines and Recovering from Penalties

  • Search engine guidelines compilation and penalties are significant factors that contribute to the complexity of SEO. 
  • The search engine guidelines are designed to ensure a fair and high-quality user experience. However, adhering to these guidelines and avoiding penalties requires constant vigilance and adaptability
  • SEO is a continuous process that requires regular maintenance in order to remain in compliance with these search engine guidelines. 
  • This includes regularly updating content, monitoring site performance, and ensuring continuous adherence to technical and quality standards.
  • Websites that break search engine guidelines may face algorithmic penalties or manual actions from the search engines. 
  • Algorithmic penalties are applied automatically by search algorithms, whereas manual actions are enforced by human reviewers.


  • An e-commerce website uses outdated SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing and low-quality backlinks, that were once effective but are now penalized. 
  • In order to comply with current search engine guidelines, the website needs to update its SEO strategy with a focus on obtaining high-quality backlinks and integrating keywords naturally.


SEO is difficult because it involves a multifaceted approach.

It requires keeping up with algorithm changes and battling high competition to create quality content and mastering technical SEO. 

Despite its challenges, effective SEO is very sustainable, providing significant advantages in terms of visibility, traffic and ultimately business success.

By addressing these challenges and understanding Why is SEO so difficult, businesses can more effectively manage the complexities of SEO and accomplish their digital marketing objectives.

Picture of Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

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