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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

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. :)



 3:03 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's dead. Rather, SEOs need to focus their attention on other areas of increased importance. I still think that general optimization and guidelines are worth it, especially for smaller sites.

Receptional Andy

 3:31 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's true. I strongly advise all my competitors to delete all of their title elements, nofollow all incoming links and and head straight over to twitter ;)


 3:44 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

How about this. If you can make your site semantically correct, you will have a hard time ALSO making it poorly structured.

Thus, teaching people that antiquated SEO stuff means they are FORCED to make a crawlable site thtas well structured.

And of course, that "semantic web" stuff I keep hearing about is all pie-in-the-sky, and will never happen. Indeed, the concept of links-as-votes is unimpeachable and immune from manipulation of any type, thus will remain ever-unchanging. After all, we work in such a slow paced environment where change is never just around the corner and innovation cannot take anyone by surprise.


 3:47 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Then I'm going to start a Blog and write one/two paragraph entries each day in hopes of it becoming popular. :)

You're already popular; look what happens every time you poke your head through on twitter.

It's only February though; I thought it was a month or two later when the annual "SEO is dead" bells start to toll.


 4:21 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

A nice provocative thread starter with an arresting title.

I will go one further and say that everything useful that the term "SEO" covers comes under the generic heading of "making a website properly".

For example, paying attention to Title, Description, H tags, keywords and semantic markup is what any student webmaster should be learning in chapter one of the instruction manual - but the vast majority of "webmasters" probably don't fully understand such things.

In addition there are server configuration issues such as canonical fixes - probably not chapter one stuff, but something that should be understood before you are granted your "webmaster licence".

Other "SEO techniques" tend to be exploitative and only work short term (e.g. keyword stuffing) until the search engines detect them and deal with them.

The reason that "SEO" became an occupation in itself is that most websites are badly made by people who understand little about how they work, many of whom simply rely on site-authoring software and assume that it does everything properly - they had to pay for it, the reasoning goes, so it must be better than using Notepad to write HTML (assuming they even know that they have a free text editor on their computer).

While it is a perfectly legitimate occupation to improve badly made websites in exchange for money, the distinction between an "SEO practitioner" and a "webmaster" has always seemed spurious to me.

I never use the term "SEO' with clients, and avoid taking on clients who do.

But I suspect that SEO is far from dead - there is enough ignorance around to support it for many years yet, and there is one born every minute.



 4:31 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

To me, link building and using social media are just 2 more components of a well-rounded SEO strategy.

PPC is a separate beast and does not turn a positive ROI for everyone. But I still consider it an optional tool in an overall marketing strategy (of which SEO is one component).


 5:47 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

>It's true. I strongly advise all my competitors to delete all of their title elements, nofollow all incoming links and and head straight over to twitter

Hehe! And give me their domains.


 6:10 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEO will never die, I still end up helping people with poorly targeted advertising, and bad search engine rankings.

Badly designed sites will always be with us.


 7:14 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEO will never die.

According to various "experts" in the industry SEO is DEAD in the general sense of things. They've proven time and time again that it is all about Links. You can SEO all you want, if someone else gets the right links you may have to opt for second best. So, what happens when you combine both?


"Edward, what is it that you do?"
"Well, I do Visitor Engagement Optimization."
"What the heck is that?"
"It's a combination of the various disciplines under the Search Engine Marketing umbrella."

Ya, that's what I do these day, engage the visitor in some form. And who is that visitor? Could be organic, could be a machine. Both are going to interpret my page at face value. One is going to take the face value and add other things to the equation. I'm sure you can figure out which of the two that might be. :)


Yup, time to close up all those SEO Sweatshops. < That message won't be heard until sometime around 2012-12-21.


 7:47 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's all about semantics here. Most would say that links strategy IS part of SEO, since acquiring links for the purposes of promoting positions, is, well in a nutshell, optimization of sorts.

I would definitely agree that SEO as it relates to old school factors like measuring key density and prominence etc is quite likely dead or dying fast.

I see in my sectors that organized websites, well linked, and especially aged, are taking the cake.


 11:46 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's not dead, it's just no longer black-magic - there is a much wider understanding of how to rank than there was a few years ago.

That wider understanding encompasses the marketing angle so the lines between SEO and SEM are forever blurring and converging. As CainIV mentioned above, this is now down to semantics. Some people will look at issuing online Press Releases as SEO. I look at it as online marketing, but the objective outcome is the same.


 12:21 am on Feb 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

The nearer to semantically correct coding, the better the seo is (hence that spiders/se-algorithms strive after correct 'spidering' by given and concluded metadata which is all a result of semantics). Therefore, as a logical conclusion, semantics = seo.

And, semantics is far from dead.


 3:25 pm on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Indeed, the link building schemes (link exchanging, forum spamming, blog spamming, social network spamming, dumpster directory listing etc.) have hijacked the SERP show, for now.

Black Hat SEO has taken a few leaps forward in the last couple of years and it may look like optimizing the important on-site web page components and the web content is no longer needed. But this doesn't have to be the case. Web sites can still perform very well without resorting to the trendy search engine manipulation tactics (which includes most link building strategies).

As long as there are search engines, SEO is here to stay.


 10:41 am on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Black hat techniques - can work well in (very) short term, but tricking Google will always be a battle lost eventually. A good way for Black Hats to make money, not always so great for their customers, sadly. Low-value links are ocntantly being weeded out by Google. You can now report link-buying on the part of large sites to Google, and get a response. As this picks up, more will fall.

White hat techniques - 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?

brotherhood of LAN

 10:47 am on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

is "SEO is dead" synonymous with "everything has its place"


 1:19 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not sure if I would say SEO is dead but I would say that those who are selling SEO as snake oil is dead.

Obviously, the skillful use of SEO techniques are essential to maximizing good search engine return positions.

The problem is that there are so many people who call themselves SEO consultants but are simply selling "seo services" to make a fast buck. They are big on promise and guarantees, short on results. They have have created a negative image about the industry by making deceitful promises (I'll get you in Google's top ten) and ludicrous threats (If you don't immediately replace your links page with some of my smoke-and-mirrored snake oil you'll be delisted.)

The end result of these pretenders has been the development of a skepticism about the industry that is often hard for legitimate practitioners to overcome.


 1:20 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Please let me know when you have the fire sale now that SEO IS DEAD :)


 1:21 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think it depends on your market, if you are selling to those under 25, all those social sites might mean something. If you are not geared to that crowd it's a waste.......


 1:21 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

sites written / directed / starring the same person... *heh* yeah. ok. I have a few of those as well, sure.


SEO should never have been a one-person business operation
as webdesign or coding alone didn't take you anywhere either

these sites are out of fashion already


SEO is...
it's being integrated that's all.

there's way too much free traffic to be taken. and businesses know this more than ever. ( at least I have more work than I had before )

serious companies are opening towards real, sustainable SEO... working with a production team where even stuff that make you go 'duh' will be news to them ( cool URIs don't change, navigation, TITLE Tags, etc. ). When there's real knowledge behind your actions all this will turn into great results, and keep you occupied.



 1:25 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

The bit I like most about these PPC guru's is when they start talking about having "good quality landing pages", well written content and a solid Return on Investment. I mean talk about going to baby school and never graduating. And I'm supposed to sit there and nod my head like the're onto something new? That this where proper professional online marketers are at! And that old skool SEO is now over? Speak to your nurse and ask for double the dose before bedtime!

PPC only provides business with a transparent (open to serious question - see clickfraud) way to monitor and monetize their channels. Before that it was all pie in the sky question , "ums and arrs" and some very creative pricing models. PPC met this gap in the market. But we're moving along now and you now have things that quite frankly if they were introduced at the time of the first PPC model would have been kicked out the door.. Take "quality score"..excuse me while I write you a blank cheque and then give you the approval to do whatever you want with it based on "other factors" as to serving it up...And don't worry about telling me how you balanced my books, I'm just looking at my bottom line.

Studies show that people Trust organic results over the PPC ones (fact!) so when, after more than 10 years doing this, I put a site in position 1 of Google, I'm fairly convinced that all those using the pay for model are getting less from the deal. They're also getting conversion rates of 2-4% if lucky. Still PPC is a numbers game and those that play the spreadsheets can do very well out of it. Good luck and happy hunting, but worker drones managing campaigns is not my idea of fun.

The problem with SEO is that it's not easy...and herein lies the problem. Do you think I'm going to share how I get position 1? Nope. Nor are any of the others. Got a secret. Don't share it.

The mainstream answer is write good content and build good websites. WOW what a complete and utter revalation! And search engines are happy to push this out as their corporate message because the indexes get cleaner in the process..or do they?

There are millions upon millions of blogs saying that's what we should all be doing, which in itself has created a different kind of Spam, I call it the "saying the same thing spam". But because this is legit and follows the guidelines it can't be dropped.

So please everyone I urge you to Write Good content, play PPC and eat up those Blog posts from the Search Engines, so my clients can stand out even more from the crowd.



 1:35 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

It probably depends on the definition of SEO. If SEO means creating a website with good content and arranging that content in the proper manner, using the proper tags - in this sense SEO might be dead in the sense that it has become self-evident. Most people use out of the box solutions that do that for them.

If SEO for you means buying 200 domains, stuffing them with garbage and hope they rank well - that funeral has been some time ago already.


 1:41 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've never optimized a search engine before. Guess SEO's been dead all along.


 1:43 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you are not geared to that crowd it's a waste

As with other things, it's not the size / nature of the tool, but the way you use it that matters. Twitter allows me to connect in a 1 to 1 way with people who are both respected in their fields -and- eager to leverage my message.

I call it the "saying the same thing spam

Your saying this tells me that you've found your own unique way to bypass the herd of drones by thinking of ways to make your message more enticing and engage your intended audience...



 1:47 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

i agree with jecasc, for me Links and Social Media etc etc is a part of SEO stratergy and faster you lern/adapt the longer you shall live...


 2:16 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? Or are you just saying these are links to your website that will get your traffic because a site like facebook is so highly visited these days. Appreciate the clarification. And what about Craigslist? I see more and more people posting "questionable" job postings to acquire links to their homepage. Thoughts on this link value welcomed.


 3:49 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Would someone mind elaborating on social media and how it pertains to Google rankings?

There is a long standing notion that quality factors are playing a role in the algos and that they will only get bigger.

One pretty obvious quality item that a search engine could follow, (well, that G can follow) is how much traffic you are recieving from sources beyond the SERPs... any easy one to target for this is social media sites.

Also, there are many people who now believe that social media sites ARE search engines, so therefore fall under the umbrella of SEO.

[edited by: hannamyluv at 3:53 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2009]


 3:53 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

can someone point me to a thread (if there is one) which explains how in links/ reciprocal links work and isn't making use of social media like putting videos on youtube considered viral marketing?

the thread title scared me as i was thinking of hiring a seo firm lol


 3:59 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)


(my 2 cents)
unfortunately social media (twitter, corporate facebook groups, youtube...etc.) have become over used and seem to not be doing any good in regards to having a direct effect on rankings.

Craigslist is worthless, again, in having an effect on rankings...for selling my BowFlex...it was great.

Whats to stop me from dropping a link in the community forums, or posting something for sale with direct links to our site... nothing, and thats the problem.

SEO is DEAD?...more like on life support from getting ran over by the bandwagon ..uhh..wagon.

its becoming a popular item to develop a CMS that is SEO friendly.

so what happens when every blog, or self managed site is SEO friendly?

what happens when everyone has a unique title tag, h1 on every page, good anchor text, alt tags on every image... everyone will then be optimized and the battle will begin to wind down...

soldiers sitting by the fire, eating beans from a can, wounds are starting to heal.. horses asleep tied to their trees....a few crackles of gunfire off in the distance.

i agree that it is changing...but we see that everyday. i think now its making a more dramatic turn. its foundation will still be there, but the facade is changing.

i do think SEO needs a new name, becuase if you are ONLY optimizing your site for SE's then you are missing the big picture. Obviously, sure it gets you visible, but when it comes time to dance, do you users actually get what they are looking for or do the search engines take priority?

if you cant successfully combine proper code and relevant optimization techniques, along with user experience techniques you will slow trickle down.

Study your analytics, do some usability studies. We are in the process of conducting a large scale usability study. Getting somewhere in the range of 20+ users, 2 groups, into a lab and having they analyze and study our site. Give feedback, have them complete tasks...etc..etc...

having a successfuly web marketing strategy is more than just getting users to your site...its what kind of experience the have when they get there, and what they do from then on....

ok, that was about 25 cents.


 4:13 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

People have been saying SEO is dead for years. Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. You can call it something else (a rose by any other name...) but you still have to make a page that the search engines can understand.

(What I really wanted to say is that SEO isn't dead, it's pining for the fjords)

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