SEO is Dead… Long Live SEO!

Some really smart folks in the SEO (search engine optimization) industry have recently been thinking about the future of SEO. It seems there has been an increase in the frequency ...
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Travis McAshan
Published Mar 2010
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SEO is Dead

Some really smart folks in the SEO (search engine optimization) industry have recently been thinking about the future of SEO. It seems there has been an increase in the frequency and volume of the feedback relating to the future SEO plays in how people find things online. While this might seem like an apocalyptic sentiment, there are quite a few people chiming in with compelling evidence.

One Foot In The Grave…

Online search is a HUGE multi-billion dollar industry and it all revolves around the magic word RELEVANCE. Relevance simply relates to how accurate or meaningful a result is to a potential searcher. Search engines are constantly evolving in their effort to bring relevant results to their users. This means less junk results and more quality results. It’s spells bad news for old school SEO scammers who are link building their way to #1 in Google.

Nails in the Proverbial Coffin

  • Search engines are smart. Search engine algorithms are improving, and ranks are becoming harder to manipulate, so the job of the SEO experts is becoming less and less
  • Site crawlers are better. Barriers to robot crawling by are falling away, and once search engines can read flash and javascript, there is even less for a SEO folks to do
  • Blended results lessen rank importance. Typical search results are blending many medias. With so many different types of search results, it’s getting increasingly difficult to rank well for even moderately competitive keywords
  • The playing field is more fair. Search engines are handing out site map submittal tools and even offering insider information that negates the need for some expert SEO experts
  • Black-hat methods don’t pay. Many of the “old-school” techniques used by SEO experts are slowly but surely becoming devalued by Google to eliminate “gaming or scheming” by the cheaters.
  • SEO is easier to accomplish. Most websites have built-in tools for search engine optimization. Sometimes there are plugins that do a full site’s optimization automatically. This eliminates many of the on-page optimization recommendations made by experts right off the bat.
  • Who really needs a website anyway? It’s seems like the world is evolving away from static web pages to becoming a mix match of facebook profiles, twitter sites, embedded videos and widgets installed from other sites.

Long Live SEO!

The difference in the death of SEO, as some people see it, and how we approach SEO is quite different. The ideas presented above are indications of the slow death of the “old-school” SEO techniques. However, what we’re talking about is more than just jockeying for a rank in Google. It’s NOT just about scheming some programmatic algorithm. It’s more about a holistic approach that starts with understanding your goals for your target audience, then matching your website’s content to those goals. The approach continues with site monitoring, constant improvements and content updates that last the lifetime of the website. This type of site optimization, whether you call it SEO or not, will never die.

Looking to the Future

It’s our belief that search engines like Google are going to be investing billions of dollars on their technology to provide the best possible results to their customers. Someday, search engine robots might be fully sentient beings capable of sifting through endless mountains of content to give you just what you’re looking for in milliseconds. But not yet. Right now, the most important thing you can do is present the best possible content to your target audience. That content should also be well formatted and reachable by search engines. And as of now, a well-executed SEO campaign will bring significant and substantial benefits for your website and business. All in all, until there is a perfect search engine, there will always be a need for SEO.

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