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This 71 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 71 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
SEO is Dead

 2:50 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, the general consensus is that SEO IS DEAD and/or about ready to become extinct.

I've spent the last two months getting caught up on the latest trends in the industry and it appears that SEO is on its way out. The current focus is on...

  • Links
  • Social Media
  • Pay Per Click

You can tell too. The sheer volume of tag soup being generated with today's latest Web 2.0 platforms is a clear sign that SEO IS DEAD.

The writing has been on the wall for some time. Have you prepared for the transition? What are you doing now that SEO IS DEAD?

SEO is now "depreciated".

Me? I'm probably going to have a fire sale on the 200+ SEO Domains that I own, that will be the first thing. Then I'm going to start a Blog and write one/two paragraph entries each day in hopes of it becoming popular. :)



 4:13 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've never considered link building and SEO exclusive of each other. But if they were, then, yes, I might agree that SEO is, if not dead, laying on the road and about to get hit by that second car coming around the bend.

I think everything we're seeing--now and in the last couple of years--is due to the "democratizing" effect of this new internet media pardigm that lets everyone shoot content onto the web with very little investment, aside from personal time. With so much stuff in every single niche coming online everyday, the bar is continually set higher and higher to pull traffic from a given serps niche.

The result, IMO, is that quality content is becoming evermore important and will continue to become so. Tons of crap domains will be a waste of time. And entering crowded niches without really good content and/or really good networking will become a waste of time.

However, and I'd like to hear others' opinion on this, the current sheep-stampede toward all things social media will be a good thing for link builders. Why?

1. Social media consumes your competitors time, inordinately so.
2. Social medial doesn't result in link rewards commensurate to the amount of time consumed.
3. The majority of those engaged in social media (average joe) don't have websites of any kind and can't give you a link. And even if they have a site, they're less likely to give you a link because they're too busy "twittering" all over the place.
4. Social media links seem to do little to confer reputation because they're social not authoritative.
5. When something becomes harder to get (links) it becomes more valuable and more effective.

I watch my competitors and see many of them slowing down their content production considerably in favor of twittering and facebooking and building profiles here and there and I LMAO. They get relatively nothing out of it and leave the field wide open. I do all the same social medial stuff too, of course, but I don't abandon the real stuff: original content creation and link outreach.

I think the interest in social media is a boon to people who stick to the nuts and bolts and are willing to work hard.


 4:43 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

What are you talking about. SEO is not dead nor is it going anywhere. A lot of people are going into the other things because SEO is too hard for them. And what do you mean by Links. SEO is all about links. How can it be replaced by itself. I mean I love to here that people are getting out of it that just makes it easier for those who don't. PPC is a downgrade to SEO. I have sites that rank number one in both and the SEO traffic beats the PPC traffic by a lot. Specially when the PPC costs $75 a click.

Without SEO's web developers will put up horrible websites that can't be spidered. I have seen tons of high profile websites that just a little bit of work would increase traffic by a very large amount.


 5:09 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)


I would not expect to see something so sensationalistic from you.

SEO has evolved, and will continue to do so, but dead? Hardly! The term was a misnomer from its inception. It was always about 'website optimization' and the work had nothing to do with optimizing a search engine. And 'optimizing' websites for better crawlability and usability, will not go away as long as there are websites. There will always be lazy webmasters who will create awful sites which then will need a revamping or 'fixing'.

This thread sounds like a 'iPhone Killer' or 'Google Killer' article.

It is without question the case that 'SEO' is not what it used to be. With the advent of social media the game has changed radically, just as it always has. First there is one thing, then there is another, but the first thing hardly ever goes away completely; if that was the case, email spam would have stopped a long time ago, since the spammers can now spam the engines, and the social media sites.

So I'll have to respectfully disagree with the notion that 'SEO is DEAD'.


 5:48 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Um, unless I miss my mark, the OP was posting in a tongue-in-cheek way, against others making a statement that seems palpably false. At least I hope so, otherwise in combination with the other great thread "SEO for 2009", it seems P1R is suffering from a split personality.

That so many people give credence to "SEO is dead", even in an apologetic "not if you look at it like this" way, genuinely scares me.

Come on people, get a grip


 6:16 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEO is a sine qua non. Funny how some think it's an either or proposition. SEO is more than 3.1472 kw density or a properly worded PR9 inbound link.

It all begins to make sense (hopefully) once you start looking at your site from a user, a task-oriented point of view - and that's when you plan the steps to take with respect to Visitor Engagement Optimization. The details in -your- approach to this second, advanced stage make all the difference. As to social media taking more resources and being less effective than "traditional" methods: patent nonsense - it should be ALL part of the mix.


 6:28 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

The easy SEO money is what's dead therefore those that used to do very little and earn a bundle are now faced with actual hard work so it's easier to declare that SEO is dead than actually roll up your sleeves and do an actual days work.


 6:50 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

For me personally, SEO has been dead since 2005.

LiamMcGee encapsulated my techniques perfectly here:

work well in long term, giving Google what Google's users want. Good structure, good server set-up, no duplication, no confusing of bots, clear lang-loc info, great content, a clear idea of user demand and vocabulary in which the demand is expressed, naturally occurring strong relevant in-links. What's not to like?


 7:05 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Without SEO's web developers will put up horrible websites that can't be spidered. I have seen tons of high profile websites that just a little bit of work would increase traffic by a very large amount.

So you are actually doing a website design or I.A. and calling it SEO? At least for the most of your effort is actually design and information architecture and design in that case.


 7:20 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't think SEO is dead. But much of it is folklore not facts. Much of what SEO evengelists do is actually website design and IA/ID.

In fact I am seeing more and more sites by so called SEO experts with little or no links in their content. Some of them do not even link to articles or pages they are actually talking about.

I think they only sell SEO kool-aid but don't consume it themselves.


 8:19 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

there is nothing wrong will selling kool-aid and not sipping on it...

for small businesses, self managed, LLC's...etc... performing SEO all day for clients, projects, and such...when you get done with the day, its the last thing you want to do for your own site...

its a sad fact, but my site could use some serious work, but nevertheless i know what im doing and talking about...

just becuase an artist doesnt display their work, doesnt mean they cant paint.


 8:45 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEO is far from dead, but I wish the term would go away, or just get rolled into "Good Web design".


 8:45 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I understand that one of the reasons for not using SEO on your own website is lack of time and motivation. This is very reasonable.

But in my post I was only referring to SEO experts not actually believing what they sell. I suspect some of the ideas are actually much ado about nothing.


 8:57 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Would someone mind elaborating on social media and how it pertains to Google rankings? Are you saying a well optimized company facebook page? Or YouTube videos with link to your website? Are these types of links really helping with Google rankings?

these diy links that you can post yourself are essentially 'dead.' the value of generating links through use of social media is the planting of link bait - if link bait is promoted to the popular section of the social media platform that you are engaging:

1. digg front page
2. retweeted on twitter
3. reddit front page
4. youtube front page or links to video

in digg's case, for instance, i think the last stat i read was that 70% of its user-base maintained a blog; thus the last study i read reported that you could get up to 700 links to a story if it makes the front page of digg; but not from digg, from the bloggers and webmasters that comprise its user base. @ times you wont get that much - e.g. 20, 100, 200 links. it depends on the category in which you submitted your content and how good it is and the day of the week.


 9:04 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

From my experience, everytime someone declares something "dead", it never really is.


 9:08 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

i seo dead? i believe seo has become a supplementary traffic source for those who use it in their branding campaigns. for some sites i have seen seo roughly comprise 50% of their traffic. for sites with repetitive viral exposure, i have seen their seo traffic consist of less than 25% where they receive over 100k visits monthly.

there is just so much traffic available from blogs and web 2.0 platforms that some sites don't have to rely on search engines for referrals. you could make a living with some direct advertising and routine use of these tools and outreach.

creative craig

 9:56 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nice "thread" bait ;)


 11:01 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEO is DEAD..... What does that even mean though?

It can't be suggested that optimizing a site for searching is dead because that is silly.

If you site can't be searched then what good is it?

To me it is more like SEO is dead as a stand alone industry because anyone building and designing websites for a living had better be doing SEO by default.

Many clients have come to me and said.. "We want to do some SEO on our site"

I always tell them, your site is fully optimized for searching because that is how I build them. Then I get on about link building techniques and they are amazed it is something they can do themselves after a 1 hour consult.

My statement,

SEO isn't dead, it is just default now where before it needed to be defined.


 1:49 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

You state that "SEO is dead", while then mentioning "Links" as a current topic?!?

Since when is link-building *not* SEO?!?

Currently, the classic SEO techniques continue to work well.


 4:45 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can't see people using search engines at all in 10 years. I see it as a social internet based upon personal recommendation and who you know. Many upcoming successful sites have this social aspect.

New frontiers are opening up which are more exciting. The algorithms change to reflect where the traffic is going, or die. Nobody wants to see a page of dead links anymore. They want to be engaged with blogs, real people, what their friends and neighbors are saying and rich media.

Google's results page is the link farm of the future. Just one big selling and buying links page with more Adwords. Ironically, the very thing they are so against now when it comes to small websites.


 5:08 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)


Well I just learned to install a few CMS programs and left SEO to the software iself.
Insert Title: ok
Insert Meta Tag: ok as well
Insert Description of Image: Done!
There you have it.

creative craig

 8:54 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can't see people using search engines at all in 10 years. I see it as a social internet based upon personal recommendation and who you know.

Humans are explorers, searching the web looking for information is a very basic form of exploration - I don't think we will ever really loose that.


 11:45 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well I just learned to install a few CMS programs and left SEO to the software iself.


A lot of CMS don't do a great job at SEO but I agree that some do, especially with tweaking and with a good template there should be little to do but add content.

Fortunately that is not true in the wild. I'm working with a client (medium size airline) who have just woken up to 2009 - credit crunch, corporate website which doesn't do much except serve as a cost center.

They use an CMS and had a web design company do the templates. There is plenty of text on the website but a lot of the links are hidden by Javascript and probably unspiderable. There is virtually no structure to the content. All titles are boilerplate (how many CMS do this grr). No description so often Google is displaying some text sucked out of the Flash at the top of each page. URLs are dynamic.

The on page stuff is worse. The design company uses images for all the heading 1/2 text with not even any alt text. Non of the pages validate or are even close to validating.

This I find is not untypical of websites owned by SMEs.

I also do SEO for one of the biggest cos in the world. They have a huge team that works on the website and they know SEO (well SEO circa 2005) pretty well but they have trouble applying their knowledge to the site. It is maybe a problem of company politics, the website serves many divisions all of whom are competing for real estate on the PR9 pages and this leads to a lot of inaction.

SEO may no longer be rocket science, but was it ever?


 2:30 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ironically, if you do a search in Google for SEO is Dead, this thread comes in at position 6!



 3:15 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

although, i'm always browsing through metrics showing all social sites dwarfing search engine traffic, search engines appear to drive the higher percentage of targeted traffic that converts into leads. that said, old man seo's still got another prosthetic transplant left in him.


 4:22 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Woohoo, 54 replies and counting. And here I thought SEO was DEAD. Maybe I was wrong?

Do this for me, browse the web today with images off. Come back and tell me what you didn't see. Browse some of your fav SEO websites and see if they are practicing what they are preaching. I can guarantee you that at least 5 out of 10 FAIL the basic litmus test for their own properties. Remember how Target found out the hard way when it comes to the basics? Ya, to the tune of $6 million dollars and some change.

What are these people on about when talking about SEO? I can't see half their site when I browse with me images off. And, I do that quite frequently these days just because I can. :)

I kind of figured SEO was DEAD because I just don't see it being done that much anymore. Sure, a title, meta and a few headlines, done. Is that what you call SEO?

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone for sharing your passion for SEO!


 4:28 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I kind of figured SEO was DEAD because I just don't see it being done that much anymore. Sure, a title, meta and a few headlines, done. Is that what you call SEO?

I guess you are thinking of this post ;-)


I wouldn't call a title, meta and some headlines SEO no, it is a part of process and you probably wouldn't be surprised how many websites can't even do this. For some niche product/service terms it could be the difference between a top 10 ranking or not... but those terms don't generate oodles of traffic either.

IMHO SEO has to focus from the page level right up to the Internet level at 50,000 feet.


 7:07 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

As long as engines collect quality traffic, SEO will never die!


 8:21 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEO isn't dead, but the obscene prices jerk offs charge that just cram meta keywords into pages and give your content a once over is. In my opinion SEO is more of a "zen" approach to web and has grown to include:

1. Site Structure - ignoring well structured and compliant code is costly and will ultimately cost more in the long run if you have to pay for your traffic.

2. Content - if you just bend over and spew out content that isn't well put and in some semi-coherent way, then your well structured site will only make you stand out as a bigger idiot.

3. Call to Action - let's face it, ultimately your browsers to do something. If your site works and you have worked your content over and still haven't figured out what your site is trying to accomplish then just close shop and go home.

The rest is just details. Link building, Keyword stuffing, Social networking...all of those work, if you don't want to take the time to do it right, but let's be serious, without taking care of the big three then will anything help?


 9:04 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Like someone said before SEO has never been the correct term. It means a lot more than optimizing a website so that it ranks better. We really are Web Marketers. When I work on a website I look at everything. I look at the servers, source code, visable text, titles, meta descriptions, the search engines, the design, analytic's, PPC, ROI, heatmaps, bounce rates, paths through site, return visits, and many other things. Any serious website needs to have a person or team to do all that. A website should not just be something you throw up because everybody else has one. Ever day I here somebody tell me that they have moved some or all of their advertising budget to the web because it beats out every other form of marketing.


 10:59 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

p1r, excellent thread as usual!

I got a different perspective: PPC is dead

We are slashing our PPC budget as I speak. Enough with fraud and middlemen.


 12:24 am on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

aleksl - Haha got to be farmed off into a new thread.

The problem with PPC is that the more people that find out it works the thinner the margins become for all.

Mr Hard - your thinking is the only reason that I'm even considering social media as being a viable potential source of traffic.

I have been thinking about this for while and the way it seems to me is that it is great for marketers of pop acts, films things people see on recommendation or for things that people use everyday like clothes shops or supermarkets. The search engines will become the yellow pages of tomorrow - the place where you go when you want something a little unusual. (So decide where your 'product' stands and look at the best strategy for marketing that 'product')

Now taking this a little further is seems that the whole social media scene is a great place for those load mouthed egotistical bloggers who exploited link bait brilliantly to raise their profiles.

Following on from this it also appears to me that the next great affiliate explosion will be in the social media arena. Forcing your affiliate links via twitter, facebook, digg etc down everybodies throats has to be a real opportunity for those who want to really exploit the social media scene.

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