SEO has been one of the most effective means to improve the online presence of a business or brand. The progression of SEO constantly evolves with new and innovative ways to boost visibility and traffic, helping all types of businesses amass a greater audience and exploit untapped markets.
In the greater search marketing community, there seems to be a divide among the experts regarding the viability of SEO in today’s ever-expanding world of digital platforms. While some contend that SEO is still well alive and thriving, others support the notion of SEO being long dead and a thing of past.
The arguments behind the latter group are vast, ranging from points made about traditional SEO techniques losing their efficacy to social media platforms now paving the way. While these points do hold some validity, they don’t tell the complete story behind the “SEO is Dead” debate.
Redefining the Role of SEO
The acronym SEO seems to have played a major rule in obfuscating the true meaning and purpose of the term SEO and associated SEO activities. SEO, at its honest, core is comprised of “white hat” techniques employed to make a website more visible and accessible to specific individuals seeking relevant information (data, reviews, products, services, etc.) associated with the website.
Over time, people have started thinking of SE0 as manipulative, using black hat techniques to remain atop search results for specific keywords. Unfortunately not uncommon, some SEOs narrow-mindedly reach of higher rankings at the expense of quality content. And many of them are successful to seeing top rankings, whether or not they site itself actually serves any value.
Tyler Tafelsky, Senior SEO Specialist of Captivate Search Marketing in Atlanta, states that:
“SEO has dramatically changed over the years from achieving easy yet sketchy wins with simple keyword optimization to now more user-centric strategies that put quality content and superior usability on the forefront. Many still consider SEO the former techniques that have gone by the wayside, yet our definition remains consistent and our best practices continue to evolve.”
As an advocate of content marketing-driven SEO strategies, Tafelsky and the team at Captivate continue to evolve the industry standard in search marketing.
SEO Degrading Reputation
As Sam Mc Roberts, CEO at VUDU Marketing puts it in his interview with Jayson Demers of Forbes:
“Google relies upon having excellent search results to ensure that people will continue using them when they make searches. SEOs were muddying the search results with crappy sites resulting in a degradation of the overall search result quality And this is where all the “SEO is dead” talk stems from Google has made so many changes that directly impact SEO tactics that the message is crystal clear: ‘SE0s: Stop messing with our search results.'”
It is evident from Sam’s insight on this subject that Google is actively combating the black hat SEO techniques and has made no secret of that fact. Google is meting out harsh punishments to the exploiters and manipulators of its algorithm.
The War Between Good & Bad SEO
So, the notion that SEO is Dead is true to the extent that it is dead or a dying art for the con-artists of the SEO world but for the experts who are relentlessly working hard to make their websites more authentic and relevant, SEO is alive and thriving. In fact, they have google standing by them and rewarding them for their efforts and when a tech giant such as the Google itself stands by you in something, you know it isn’t going to fade away so quick.
Andrew Girdwood, Head of Media Technologies at Signal and a guest blogger for Econsultancy puts it, SEO is D.E.A.D. It is all about: D: Data E: Engaging the A: Audience D: Matching intent with discovery.
Conversely, Andrew makes the point that actually supports the all alive and well idea behind a more modern SEO approach.
“That’s why D.E.A.D. is a pretty good way to remember modern SEO. If you’re always thinking about data, engagement, audiences and discovery as you plan your campaigns you’ll have a far greater success.
So all in all, SEO isn’t dead but it is evolving by every passing second and it is evolving for the betterment of the SEO community by rewarding the smart and hard workers while penalizing the manipulators.