“SEO IS DEAD” – A MISTAKE OR CLICHÉ?

  • AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Marketing

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    There are a couple of ways in which writers and marketers try to phrase the “SEO is dead” statement.  Normally, this is merely a tactic employed to talk about SEO’s recent best practices.  Others have actually tried to suggest that SEO is dead.

    As we confront these attempts, one thing is clear – it is both a mistake and a (bad) cliché.

    The Roundabout Cliché

    SEO stands for search engine optimization.  In short, SEO refers to the techniques/processes used to improve a website’s visibility in the search rankings.  These organic search results (as opposed to paid search marketing) can drastically help a website get more traffic.

    To suggest that SEO is dead is to suggest that these methods do not exist or work.  We know that this is not true, barring a complete change in the way that search engines function.

    Why would anyone say that SEO is dead?  A few reasons emerge:

    • There Are New Methods: This is the most popular angle.  The writer will talk about how the SEO landscape has evolved greatly, so much that there is a “new SEO” of sorts.  Yet, SEO has merely changed – just like web development, social media, and anything else in technology.
    • It Draws Eyes:  It is daring and thought-provoking to suggest that SEO is dead.
    • SEO Value: It is ironic – talking about whether SEO is dead or not actually provides SEO value.  There are 320 average monthly searches for the phrase, according to Google AdWords.

    The above combination often forms a tandem that can easily fill 500 words of content.  After asking the question, running through the Google Panda developments, and drawing on recent techniques like social media, content marketing, and more – the writer will focus on how SEO has changed.

    For the majority of articles that discuss this topic, they don’t legitimately suggest that SEO is dead.  It is merely a roundabout ploy to generate intrigue, or at best to answer this question for beginners that do not know the basics of SEO.

    A Serious Mistake

    In a recent post, Tim Anderson did a rare thing: He suggested that SEO is actually dead.

    His initial thrust is easily met: “A striking post by Dan Graziano reveals that a Google search may only display 13% organic results.” However, what this statistic reveals is that organic search results account for 13 percent of screen real estate above the fold on a 13-inch laptop.

    There are a lot of ads in your average search.  Yet, this is not relevant to the effectiveness of SEO.  To quote a meaningful statistic, organic search results receive a click 94 percent of the time versus paid search results.

    The next portion from Anderson focuses on how local searches are gaining in steam – along with social media.  There is truth to both, as social media is becoming much more popular, especially for local searches.

    Once again, though, we don’t get the full story – Google searches have grown year after year.  Also, local SEO is still SEO.  And social media optimization can help SEO, since a strong social media presence is known to greatly impact a website’s SEO value.

    SEO is Not Dead

    SEO is alive and kicking.  It has certainly changed, notably from the recent and ongoing developments from Google.

    It may rely heavily on quality content marketing, social media, and other elements that were not seen in past years.  It may keep changing, changing to the point to where some businesses may be out of luck from relying on outdated strategies.

    However, SEO is quite active and relevant.  Take a hard look at any alleged evidence before you believe the contrary.

  • Christy Wilson

    Amen! SEO is alive, well, and healthier with Google’s new algorithms. Thanks, Brian!

    • BrianNeese

      Indeed, Christy! Thanks for the comment!