SEO is dead. That’s a sentiment that I’ve read on many forums, across many blogs, and in a few magazine articles. Is SEO dead? Not in the least, but the strategies of SEO are changing, and the environment across the digital landscape is definitely evolving.
As search engines migrate to more localized content, customized searches and smarter ranking algorithms, ranking well for some keywords will become increasingly difficult. Google has become the dominant search engine and many webmasters have felt the wrath of Google when it tackles elements related to SEO. We’ve witnessed this with the advent of the “NoFollow” tag.
Google is constantly adapting and changing its algorithm to protect the integrity of its search index. What worked in SEO one month may not work the next week as adjustments to its metrics filter search results to produce the most relevant experience for the users using the Google search engine.
Developing content and link building continue to be promoted as basic SEO techniques to use in developing a well ranked website. However, the opportunities to build links are becoming more and more limited.
SEO is not dead, but it is changing. Simply tweaking on page elements and developing link building strategies is on its way out. Web 2.0 is changing the landscape of SEO, and the new buzz word being heard around online communities is “social media marketers” – driven primarily by the huge opportunity presented by social media sites such as FaceBook and Twitter.
SEO in its most simple form is marketing or more appropriately termed “search engine marketing” that adheres to sound SEO principles and a desire to succeed. SEOs with “social media expertise” and “social marketing skills” are capitalizing on the changing environment brought in by Web 2.0 and the revitalization of the Internet.
OK, if SEO isn’t dead and things are truly about marketing, why are some sites ranking better than others?
The answer is simple. Sites rank well because they are relevant, they have value and they are timely. They offer users a greater experience and that is what is being valued more in the search engines than sites designed exclusively around the latest SEO gimic. If anyone in the SEO world has not recognized the changing landscape they should close shop.
It is imperative that webmasters and “SEOs” realize that more metrics are coming to play than those traditionally emphasized as part of basic SEO principles. Embracing the changing Internet culture and adapting to meet shifting demographics will provide a great user experience, which in turn will effect ranking.
No, SEO is not dead, but it is (and has) evolved. SEO will be around as long as there are websites that continue to offer free content.