Ground Hog Day came and went. We didn’t relive it over and over and over again like we seem to do with the weekly “Is SEO Dead?” blog posts. Yawn. Every week some SEO consultant seems to come to the realization that what they’ve been doing for the past two years no longer works. The light bulb comes on and they want to share their discovery with the rest of the world so they write a blog post about it. They must not realize that half the SEO industry has already beaten them to this conclusion.
So once again, is SEO Dead? SEO, or search engine optimization, will be dead when the Internet is dead. As long as there are search engines like the mammoth Google, a useless Yahoo and an aspiring Bing, they will always list businesses and organizations in their results. Some businesses will be listed at the top and some businesses will be listed on page 25. These search results are based on an algorithm—a data driven method to determine which listings deserve to be at the top of search. Learning this algorithm and promoting web properties within this framework is what we call SEO.
What no longer works are the insular practices of narrow-minded internet marketers. Massive backlinking campaigns, sloppy articles, incoherent blog comments and keyword abuse are no longer effective and in fact, can even hurt a website.
Content quality has never been as important as it is today. If SEO efforts are based on producing original and relevant content that is truly useful to the reader or visitor, then yes, SEO not only works, but can propel a site to the top of search results. The interesting point here is that such practices were always effective. In this way, nothing has changed. What has changed are the restrictions on manipulative behavior, but that was always fleeting anyway.
SEO, like everything else online, adapts to the changes in technology. As social media and the use of mobile devices continue to surge, business owners will have to take those factors into consideration when promoting their websites. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense.
Finally, in addition to providing unique and relevant content, there are fundamentals to SEO that will always be effective. Simple factors like optimizing title tags and meta descriptions are key to informing search bots on what a particular web page is about. Creating websites that conform to search engine quality guidelines is essential. Finding ways to share and promote your content across social media platforms and throughout the Web will help websites win the “popularity” contest, which search engines like. The more popular a platform is, the more visible it will be across the Web. This happens with real visitors, real engagement and real interaction.
These are the fundamentals of SEO. They have never changed and as long as there are search engines providing information, there will be SEO consultants whose job it is to make sure their clients follow solid search engine optimization procedure. Unfortunately, there will also be those who inevitably try to game the system and therefore, claim that SEO is dead.