Every time Google updates their ranking algorithm, an endless stream of blog posts are published declaring SEO to be dead once and for all. There have been earth shaking updates going back to at least 2002. Each time, the SEO world was turned upside down. After a couple of weeks or months, life went on.
With that said, it is fair to note that SEO has changed more in the last two years than the previous five or six combined.
The Never Ending Struggle
The real struggle when it comes to SEO is that it is reactive in nature. Before Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, an SEO’s job was comparatively easy. Proper site architecture, load speed, optimized tags and steady links was often enough to rank well.
These days, an SEO has to worry about all of the above, but also content layout, user experience (UX), overdoing anchor text, and even social outreach. The job is much more complicated than it ever was.
Now is a good time to cut to the chase and state that while there are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs declaring SEO to be dead, SEO is still very much alive.
A Good SEO Has A System
A strategy for a fast loading, easy to use, enjoyable website should be in place before off-site promotion ever happens. From there, an SEO can start finding other websites to get links from and to connect with socially.
Some of the most valuable sites to connect with are those already ranking near the top of Google for related keywords. These sites are likely to have a high amount of authority, and the ability to refer a lot of traffic when they choose to link out.
Many fret over the PageRank of the page where a link comes from, but by connecting with others in the same search verticals, that is not an issue. Getting a link from an authoritative site that can send targeted traffic is much more valuable than a link from a site with questionable relevance and low authority.
SEO Is Becoming One With Public Relations
This is a good thing. Public relations and SEO work well together since a good outreach program can develop relationships with other webmasters and potential clients alike.
The added benefit is that outreach results in quality links. The kind of links that push search engine rankings upwards, while also sending valuable traffic until rankings have a chance to improve.
This combination of duties also places a responsibility on SEOs to nurture new leads until they can be funneled to the salespeople. Taking an active role in commenting on other sites and interacting socially with other webmasters and potential customers also addresses this need fairly well.
What About Results?
A common argument made by the “SEO is dead” crowd, is that it takes too long to rank well now. The simple truth is that there are a number of factors that determine how long a page will take to rank highly, if it will rank at all.
For well optimized pages with a strong focus on the right keywords, a good SEO can have a page ranking in a few days or several months. It is the same now as it was before SEO allegedly died. The difference is that low quality SEO has lost much of its effectiveness.
As long as search engines exist, SEO will have a place in search engine marketing. The rules may change, but the industry is far from becoming a dying breed.
@JulianaPayson on Twitter is an associate at InMotion Hosting a web hosting company that hosts over 200k domains. Their customer base is proudly supported by a US based tech service and business oreinted online community for webmasters. If you feel you have something to share, tips or opportunities for collaboration that may be mutually beneficial to either of our audiences and web hosting news, then please reach out!