Is Technical SEO Dead?

Last week Google made some updates in its documentation connected to technical SEO.

And the interpretation of these updates has caused so much panic and overreaction. 

Some people even claimed that “technical SEO is dead”.


Some felt fear and insecurity around their career. 

If you’ve been caught up in this panic wave, pause right now.

Breath in.

Breath out.

Let’s switch gears and use our analytical skills.

What happened 

Google removed the following things from the list of its ranking systems:

  • Page experience system
  • Mobile-friendly ranking system
  • Page speed system
  • Secure sites system

Moreover, Google said that they’re retiring the mobile usability report from Google Search Console later this year and also transform the Page Experience report. 

Pro tip:

Once the Mobily-Friendly test tool is gone, you will still be able to check rendered HTML of any page even if you don’t have GSC access for it. Just use the Rich Results testing tool for that. 

How it was interpreted (wrongly)

Some people would speculate that technical SEO is not important anymore. 

These claims cannot be further from the truth.

Here’s my take on it:

technical SEO is not dead

What really happened

Google removed the page experience, secure URLs, mobile-friendliness and page speed from the list of ranking systems… because they’ve never been systems. They are signals that other Google’s systems use.


Source: Twitter reply

To me, that’s like removing salt, paper, seasoning and souces from a list of the main dishes because they don’t act as separate dishes but rather support them.

Does it make salt, paper, seasoning and souces irrelevant for cooks and people who eat food? Of course not.

The same way like removing the signals from a list of ranking systems doesn’t make the signals unimportant.

What it means for technical SEOs

Not a lot if you think about it.

Will fixing page experience parts guarantee you #1 rankings?

Of course not. There are many more things that play a big part.

Does page speed, secure website, and overall user experience become “irrelevant” and “useless” just because Google updated the documentation?

Heck no!

Just don’t stress about the numbers in the speed reports. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the overall usable website people love.

So how dead is technical SEO now?

Let me tell you:

I’ve been invited to their funerals since the first days I started in the industry over a decade ago. The funerals never happened.

I really love John Mueller’s take on the technical SEO survival chances:

What is technical SEO anyway?

Technical SEO helps you control how search engines, including Google, crawl and index your website pages so that they can store it in its systems and serve as a search result for users’ search queries.

Which means that page experience is just one (tiny) part of the whole technical SEO landscape.

I divide technical SEO into 3 pillars:


You can watch the whole video here (opt-in needed).

And as you can see, technical SEO is much richer than most people thing. And of course removing some parts from documentation (not from the actual page evaluation even!) does not make an endangered species.

Generative AI and Technical SEO

What’s the future of technical SEO in the era of generative AI?

To answer this question, let’s first remember one important thing:

The main goal of technical SEO is to get the right pages crawled and indexed by the search bots so that these pages can rank in the search results.

What do we know so far about the new generative search experience?

The new result will highlight:

  • A quick answer
  • Links to the sources
  • Links to more results
Generative AI experience from Google
Source: Google’s documentation (I highly recommend checking it out)

So Google WILL link to other websites from the search results. 

In order to link to a page in the search results (=rank a page), Google needs to crawl and index it.

That’s exactly what you as a technical SEO will help websites with.

So the importance of technical SEO in the era of generative AI is still high (if not higher).

Here’s the thing:

SEO is evolving all the time. And SGE is the next curve of this evolution, a pretty significant one.

So for now we can do what we do best:

Be curious. Observe. Test and evolve.

P.S. This is a shorter version of my thoughts on the future of SEO I’m sending to my 6000+ email subscribers tomorrow. Join my email list to get the full version, link in the comments below.

And remember: 

Panic never leads to good decisions.

Not in SEO. 

Not in business.

Not in life.