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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...
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
SEO is DEAD
Yup, time to close up all those SEO Sweatshops. < That message won't be heard until sometime around 2012-12-21.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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]
(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.
(What I really wanted to say is that SEO isn't dead, it's pining for the fjords)