I have read countless blog posts about the death of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and every time without fail I think that Google has come out with a new algorithm which completely voided out any on-site work. But wait, then I fall back to reality and remember that Google is trying to bring quality pages up in the search rankings. How do quality pages happen? Through strategy, usability, content, updates, links (usefulness), traffic, and a whole gambit of other factors.
Still the fear you internet marketers, save your money and don’t buy a headstone to bury SEO. Calling out that SEO is dead can be as frightening a notion as buying your headstone before your demise. Let’s not be so hasty with these assumptions.
I’ll be the first to admit that I will wake up at three in the morning if my Google alert goes off for Google algorithm changes. It’s sad, but it’s true. I want to know what is going on I want to know how my strategy for my Internet Marketing clients is going to change for the days, and how it will affect our current strategy if at all.
Yes, I have read my fair share of articles and done my own research about becoming so strong that you avoid Google in the first place. Skipping the middle man (Google) is essentially what they are trying to do. Even though theoretically this is a brilliant idea, the execution is lacking the fundamental issues of what is your other option? Will you spend billions of dollars on less precise targeting methods via billboards, television, radio, and the like? This is definitely a less efficient course of action for businesses.
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I’m not saying that the above is not possible. But, if you have to go through any form of a middle-man such as Google, Yahoo, Bing or any search engine then some form of SEO must be implemented to get to the point where the majority of your overall visitors are direct visits (users typing in your URL directly).
Why All The Talk About SEO Being Dead?
Is it purely because all of us SEO people will click on the article?
Many of the arguments such as Matt Cutts (Google) and Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz) are contemplating over the appropriateness of the terms “Search Engine Optimization” because the field has grown so much that it is no longer these small on-site tactics for a company. No, it has expanded into social media management, internal link structures, email marketing, Pay-per-click marketing, link-building, and more. Saying simply SEO doesn’t seem to encompass the truth behind the tasks. This is one reason there has been a lot of talk about SEO “being dead”.
The question is why are we feeling the need to rename SEO into terms like Internet Marketing to encompass more tasks? This is simple, because the reality is most people still don’t know what SEO is, it’s not that there is a lack of information or explanation it’s simply the disinterest. This is similar to opening a flower shop, you have tons of competition you know that coupons exist, but you really don’t want to commit. A dapper salesperson comes in and spiels you into buying a coupon to run that month. You receive more orders, more phone calls than you ever have. What do you do? You take a bit more of an interest in these coupons and how you can wield them to your advantage. This is the same logic that is applied to SEO, you don’t quite get it, someone sells you on it, it begins to show results and your clients begin to ask more questions and have more interest.
The second reason that people may be claiming SEO is dead is the fact that gone are the day of SEO two years ago or even one year ago. So in that fact, yes, old SEO tactics are dead. If you try to stuff meta-keywords into your tags they will do absolutely nothing where they used to be fundamental to how your website would rank for certain search queries. What do businesses do? They put thousands of keywords into the meta-tag inclusive of every long tail keyword under the sun.
When an old SEO tactic becomes void based on an update to a search engine algorithm it drifts to the dark side of black-hat tactics (unethical). What once was ethical, no longer remains. It was real easy to have a black background and write flower shop, flower shop, flower shop in black on top of the background.
In this case yes, OLD SEO is dead and for right reason.
One Truth: Hire Right, Maybe Fire?
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I am not out to kill the competition with bad mouthing other SEO companies, I’m out to succeed for my clients as if their businesses were my own. There’s nothing more elating than watching changes in traffic and efficiency after a solid SEO strategy has been implemented.
I am immediately deflated when I see these articles about firing your current SEO company because it is a dead tool for increasing your rankings. If your current SEO company does not value the basics like meta-titles, meta-descriptions, H1 headers, Sitemaps, and more then you are probably signed up for a poorly educated SEO service. In this case, I would do your research and find an SEO firm that knows what they are doing and is keeping up with the Google trends.
I just received a phone call from a client who had signed up for a black hat SEO service and they received a notice from Google that they had been taken out of rankings for a poor link profile, resulting from Google Penguin. Upon further research I found that their SEO company had bought a bunch of domains and created small sites with little to no value or relevancy to link to all their clients. While this strategy may have worked in the short run, SEO is a long run service. If your site has been hit by Penguin, fire your SEO service.
On, the other hand when optimization is done right, it takes time; it is a plan that is rolled out over months to achieve unless your budget is limitless. The results are not always immediate, or completely visible. But, you must remember that SEO is a zero sum game, meaning if your competition is working on that keyword and moving up someone has to move down as a result. So continually climbing and working is a necessity.
SEO is not dead. It is an industry in constant motion, in new discovery, and practice.
The author of this article is Alisa Carscaden. I am a lover of data and finding and results, I’m never scared of new SEO tactics and finding ways to push the limits. If you enjoyed this blog please follow on Twitter @custparadigm. Customer Paradigm is providing professional Colorado SEO services.