tedster - 4:53 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
I have long disliked the name "SEO" because it means too many different things to different people. If we look at it purely from what the initials stand for it is Search Engine Optimization - those activities that help search engines rank a website for appropriate keyword searches.
So now that search engines include metrics that look at the audience's actions, reactions and opinions - online marketing is a critical component of true, full-blown SEO. This doesn't mean that the technical steps taken on a website don't matter any more. However, they often matter a lot less than they used to, as search engines learn to accommodate the most common "errors".
After all, if you ran a search engine, would you want to rank websites according to their technical precision alone? Of course not - you would try to rank according to the content's perceived value in the marketplace. After all, this was the foundation insight that lead to the original PageRank algorithm.
So SEO still means what it always has - but the details of how you achieve those goals are shifting, as they long have been.