Sunday, September 23, 2012

SEO is Dead

Okay, I'll admit that headline is a bit sensationalist.  People have been claiming that the art of search-engine optimization is dead/dying for a (very) long time.  Do a quick search on the topic and you'll find articles written years ago in response to this.

Some say that SEO is still very much alive, it's just changing.  That's undoubtedly true.  The glorious thing about the age of the internet is that everything is changing all the time.

But how much change must there be before SEO is no longer SEO?

Now, there are some basics that will likely never go away.  You will probably always want things like clean code in your website, a healthy amount of backlinks, and a few relevant keywords in your content.

Until recently, these have been very set rules.  Use those keywords X number of times, place those keywords here, here, and here, make the article between Y and Z words long, etc.  It was a great business for people who were good at following checklists.

Now, with every update, Google is making their algorithms more and more organic.  Many experts are already telling people to target the consumer, not the search engine.

With Google+ and the +1 button, Google is even adding a social element to the mix.  Some are already predicting that the future of SEO will revolve around social searching.

With so much emphasis on people and what they actually find useful or entertaining, the SEO landscape has already changed to something completely different from what it was only a few years ago.  It's gone from the realm of checklists and formulas to something much more intuitive.

It has become the domain of the artists.

The name search-engine optimization doesn't really apply anymore.  You are not optimizing for the search engines, you are optimizing for the consumers.

SEO is dead.  Now is the time of consumer optimization.

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