Is SEO dead?

by Matthew Burns

As the Internet becomes more and more prominent in the eyes of the consumer, and more business people think of ways to grow, one question always seems to come up after the slightest modicum of research. Is SEO dead?

SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the process of attempting to achieve higher rankings of the organic results generated by a query in a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo). In April 2012, with the release of the Penguin and then Panda updates from Google, this question was asked constantly by both SEO and business professionals.

Getting the top rankings for a particular search query can bring an absolute flood of potential customers to your website, so it’s natural for people to wonder just how this process is achieved. Before April of2012 there was a fairly well known set of formulas for achieving these rankings. However, Google’s business depends entirely on the quality of their service – otherwise no one would use their search engine to find what they are looking for (and more importantly advertisers would not spend their dollars with Google). This was not their first update, but this one certainly garnished people’s attention.

After the dust settled slightly, one of the most well-known Forbes articles was published on July 20, titled “The Death Of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, And Real Content.” (http://forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2012/07/20/the-death-of-seo-the-rise-of-social-pr-and-real-content/) This article stayed on the top of Forbes for nearly a week due to its intense popularity. This was because the professionals (and sometimes not so professionals) of the community took a huge interest in these theories. The ultimate question was whether or not the author was correct: Is SEO dead? Will it ever be dead?

The answer is most certainly no. While Google exists, its entire business model is hinged on the results a consumer gets when searching. Businesses want those top rankings and will do whatever they can to get there. The fact is that SEO will never die, but it has changed. Old methods are irrelevant and if you were a studied SEO professional before 2011, this post Penguin/Panda world is an entirely fairmarketing game. Google is placing value on what is extremely difficult to fake – content, relevance, and making it easy for your visitors to share things they find valuable. One of the constant theories being thrown out there is that links are no longer going to be valuable for SEO and this is simply not true.

Studies have shown that nearly 80% of all search traffic on Google goes to the organic results, most of which stop because they find what they are looking for in the top 3 listings. Part of getting there is having a quality link building process in your formula. Matt Cutts himself (Google’s Head of Webspam) says very clearly that social is not the end all be all and links are still important, which you can view here. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=mXJylyR2Lc0) I hope the end result of our conversation here today shows you that while SEO is not dead, it is undergoing changes. If you do not keep up with the constant flurry of fairmarketing updates, you could get left behind. At Fair Marketing, the reason we’re going strong year over year is due to our extensive research so nothing takes us by surprise. Next time someone tells you SEO is dead, perhaps you can ask a few key questions to understand where they are coming from. If they are still reeling from the updates Google made and having trouble, here are some great resources to help them get back on their feet and on the right path.

http://seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo - This extensive guide is long, but the detail is helpful for people fairmarketing to the world of SEO.

http://searchenginejournal.com/important-seo-habits-to-adopt-for-post-panda-penguin-era-survival/59415/ - This article is not only great, but the comments are almost all constructive and helpful in their mindset. Some talk about the importance of underlying code and others how critical relevant content is. All values we adhere to strictly at Fair Marketing.

Thanks for your time reading!