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Why SEO is Not Going to Die or Fade Away


Posted by on December 3, 2008

If you are among the people who believe that SEO is going to die or fade away then I respectfully and lovingly say that you are out of your little mind and should be admitted for psychiatric care immediately.  However, I will say that a lot of SEOs out there will disappear, I’m talking about the SEOs who read SEO Book and SEOmoz and then report that information to clients.  I’m talking about the SEOs who believe thanks links are the end all be all SEO strategy.  Pretty much, I’m talking about the guys who really have no idea what SEO is to begin with.

First, a disclaimer, I run a team of technical SEOs and I believe that a lot of the SEO out there is garbage.  That, and I also strongly believe that my team of SEOs is by the far the best on the planet :)

SEO is about understanding how a search engine works and it’s about presenting the highest quality and most relevant content; both to search engines and to humans.  What I find irritating is that most SEOs work based off of observational data, free/public tools, and the “gospel” of other SEOs.  If this is the kind of SEO you do, and you are among the many who rely on OTHER people to craft and create your strategies, then yes, SEO will surely die for you.  SEOs die but SEO doesn’t.

I’ve always believed that in order to understand how SEO works you need data, you need analysis, and you need tools.  I started off as an independent SEO consultant a while ago and have worked for an interactive marketing agency.  I was constantly frustrated by the lack of data, there was no testing network, there was nothing I could lean on to answer the question of “why” when it came to SEO.  This is why I now run a team of Technical SEOs and this is why I think SEO is not going to die or fade away, it’s just going to change. those with the information, the data, and unique proprietary tools will win, everyone else will…well…you know.

Here is why I think SEO as as whole will not die or fade away (add your 2 cents in the comments!):

  • more and more people flock to the internet for information, products, ideas.  That means more content which means more competition.  As your competition increase SEO will become more of a priority.
  • SEO goes beyond title tags and links.  You need SEO to make sure that your content is clean and that search engines can easily crawl your site.  If you have a great site that search engines don’t see, then you don’t exist.
  • SEO can take the shape of PR (ranking for a term), product development (understanding what your users are searching for and what they want), brand awareness (ranking for your company name and keyterms), reputation management (understanding how to push forward positive content above negative content), etc.
  • spammers continue to hack and spam websites, part of a proper SEO campaign included preventative measures against hackers or spying competitors.
  • as Lee Odden said in his reply to me, “if it can be searched on, it can be optimized.”  SEO goes beyond websites, it includes videos/images/press releases/etc.  anything that can be searched on can be improved with SEO.
  • SEO is also more than just a plugin for wordpress and more than just a “website grader.”  SEO is about crafting and executing strategies and there is no way to automate that.
  • I don’t know any other SEOs that do this but analyzing content for relevancy (as seen by search engines, we have built a tool to do this) is also something that is a must.  If you are trying to target a particular keyword or pharse then you want to make sure that search engines see that page as being relevant for your target phrase.  This is crucial for SEO and cannot be done without experts.

I think there is a huge difference between traditional SEO and technical SEO but that’s probably a topic for another post.

What do you think about SEO?  Is it going to Die/Fade away, or grow?

thanks for reading!

  • http://www.refugedesign.org Joshua of Refuge Design

    SEO will die. Or be mostly replaced by computers. I think it farming is a good example. Industrial revolution made things easier…replaced people (hint hint) and then technology added to that replacement.

    I think too many people in the SEO sphere think technology won’t replace them, it will, faster than I might even project (30-60 years).

    SEO is mainly thinking about of text and links but what about technology that can get into the MIND of the users and discern that. I’m not talking browserrank (MSN’s), I’m talking nano-technology. It’s on the rise and with free Wifi world wide….we’d all be on one network, that’s a lot of data to play around with.

    I don’t think when my future kids become adults, they will even know what an SEO is. If they do, they will be few and far inbetween just like farmers.

    I don’t think technology is something to fear but to embrace because it free’s up time to allow human-kind become more productive to betterment.

    Joshua Sciarrino

    http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/killing-your-competition-martial-arts-amp-seo-what-i-learned-in-judokarate

    (This link is to a post about this entire belief and some backing logic behind all of it; by me :D)

  • http://www.thorntonwealth.com Russ

    I agree that SEO will be around for a long time. As long as Google and others have spiders crawling and indexing the web, there will be SEO. Great post, Jacob.

    Check out Russ’s last blog post..THE AMAZING DISAPPEARING OIL CRISIS: An Object Lesson

  • http://PearlyWrites.com Lisa Weinberger

    Jacob, You ROCK! If you have never spoken to Jacob, take the time to. He knows what he is talking about and his team of technical SEO’s are at the forefront of what it takes to rank a site. Serious data and analysis will blow you away after speaking with Jacob.

    @PearlyWrites

    Check out Lisa Weinberger’s last blog post..Photo Shoot Celebration

  • http://global3sms.com Free Footy

    Well do you know that SEO is an important part of Google here and if you want it to die you needed Google to vanish away.So I agree that it will last for a very long long time.

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  • chris5895

    I agree 100% with your thoughts on SEO.

    I believe that SEO and how search engines rank a site is constantly changing, I think that things will be different in a year form now and i can not even think of how things will be in 3 or 10 years from now.

    I see more and more jobs going over seas and I can tell that SEO and Web design or even programing is going to be worth next to nothing in a few years. so I say study and build as many links as you can for SEO and make your money while you can if you can.

    -BIG C-

  • xihongsi

    pretty funny..i wish too that SEO is gone so no more PR lol…nice info..

  • xihongsi

    pretty funny..i wish too that SEO is gone so no more PR lol…nice info..

  • http://www.justm109r.com/ boulevard m109r

    Seo is a useful technique for building web sites is part of seo.Both marketing.Link important on page SEO techniques can improve the page rank of a keyword of the site and also helps increase traffic SEO site.By in fact, link popularity and visibility of the site increases site search engine.