SevenCubed - 3:07 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
Also, SEO will never die as long as search engines are algorithms. It is a computer. It runs on rules. You figure out the rules, you optimise for the rules, you rank. Just because the rules are no longer 'GET PR8 BACKLINKS! META KEYWORDS!' doesn't mean SEO is dead, it just means we're probably crap at it at the moment.
+100 Very well said.
Those who think SEO is dead are viewing it from the point of offsite popularity rather than onsite mechanics. If you only optimize for offsite popularity you are constantly at the whim of not only Google, but also every site that your link appears on. When Google changes their algorithm you get affected not only by those changes but also by the cascading effect of how Google's algorithm changes also affected those sites. It gets compounded.
But the problem right now is that Google is pushing organic to page 2 slowly but surely. I can still get first place in some instances but first place is going to evolve into position #11 for non-paid results.
As for Panda commercializing the Internet -- it's still too early to know for sure. I think most of us would agree that the search results these days are horrible. That in itself is going to turn the general public off to Google sooner or later. Ultimately Google (or any other search engine) has no choice but to give some front page real estate to organic results or they will sink. If they don't people will soon get into a habit of performing their search then immediately clicking through to page 2 to begin reading results. It will become an unconscious reaction just like Google is now an unconscious choice for search.
They had a very nice balance when they had their ads to the side (or even few spots on top) and devoted space to non-paid websites from which they scraped content to make them into the large advertising agency that they now are. But hundreds of millions in profit wasn't good enough, they want it all. They will never regain my respect that I once had for them -- never, regardless of what they do going forward.
If you want to get friends, family, and associates to change search engines all you have to do is help them understand that Google is no longer a search engine, they are a push engine with self-serving interests. Most people do not like to be taken advantage of and when they truly understand that they are being exploited they lash-back quite quickly. Recently I was patiently working on trying to get a friend to switch to something else other than Google. It was like pulling teeth. If she was the type to have tattoos she probably would have had one of Google. I persisted for MANY months, without becoming a nag.
Today she is a Bing fan! I told her she may still need to return to Google once in a while for long-tail searches (just like I do) so that she doesn't have to quit cold-turkey. What was the turning point? When I explained that Google is trying to put small business web developers like me out of business [gybo.ca...] she immediately revolted seeing the injustice and greed there.
We as a collective community of webmasters, developers, writers, etc, built the Internet. It's our house and Google is only a party crasher. We can take it back and demand an equal opportunity. It will also serve notice to future search engines of where the line is drawn in the sand.
Don't fret about these changes. We can collectively haul Google back in line. Reclaim your dignity. Tell 7 friends and they will tell 7 friends and so on and so on...
I now realize that it's simply a matter of finding a point that really pinches a moral nerve in a friend and then point to the Google practice that pinches that nerve -- because Google has a violation for nearly every situation.