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Old 21-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Is SEO Dead?

Yesterday I moderated a panel on SEO and Social Media Marketing at the Thin Air Summit in Denver. Panel went great, the folks on the panel were fantastic. Jeremiah Oywang has a great run down of the panel and the advice given, so I wont rehash it here.
A hour or so after the panel was over, and we were all at a post-conference mixer, I sent out this tweet:

“If you do SEO for a living, you will be out of business or irrelevant in 3 years.” - @micah

Which got a lot more response that I figured, and I was asked to expand on that thought.

Almost as soon as the graphical browser was introduced, people have been trying to make money online. Over the years, online marketing has evolved, with some tactics continuing to have value, and many others falling by the wayside.

Banners - Still work, but the average click through rate on a banner is 0.4%, and there is research to indicate that its possible that 6% of internet users account for 50% of banner clicks. Banners have morphed a bit into rich media advertising, but really are only effective for brand plays (to get marketing touches).

Email - Noise/Signal ratio has destroyed what was once a great communication medium. Does email still work? Sure. Do people spend large parts of their marketing budgets on email? nope. Like banners, email has become relatively ineffective for lead generation or customer acquisition without an extremely targeted (read expensive) list, or a massive (read spam) list.

Which brings us to SEO. To be clear, I am not speaking about

Pay-Per-Click marketing, which will probably be an effective medium for marketing for a long time. Its easy, specific, and makes sense. The market sets the price, so as people are priced out of the market, it should self-correct, and settle on pricing that works.
But the act of SEO - adjusting the code and content of a website with the primary purpose to be ranked highly in search results, is on its way out.

So my question to you is, Is SEO dead or dying?
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Old 21-03-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

No SEO is not dying or dead. Like everything else SEO is changing. And we must change with it
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Old 22-03-2009, 02:05 PM   #3
Brian Turner
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

SEO is simply evolving - a key part of the change is that short-cuts and low-hanging fruit are gone, so SEO's need to be more involved in general marketing which involves SEO as a strategy, rather than just modifying tags, etc.
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Old 23-03-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

SEO is leaping and advancing forward, stand still or insist on remaining static and you can wave it Goodbye...

I only need to think back 6-12 months ago to realise that those same strategies would not be working so well in today's climate, as Brian says "SEO is simple evolving..." but at such a fast pace you need to be able tp keep up!
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Old 23-03-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

This threaad is confusing me slightly.

Are you telling us SEo is dead or asking us if it is?

If you're asking, then the obvious answer would be NO WAY! If optimisation ever died; what would determine rankings?

If you're telling us it is dead, then please eloborate & explain why, because the statements in your post about banner ads, PPC, etc don't explain why SEO is dead.
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Old 14-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

For as long as there are Organic results in search-engines, there'll be a need for SEO.
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Old 25-09-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?


I agree SEO (like almost everything on the Internet) is in a perpetual state of flux. However, I wouldn't discount the possibility that something will happen to make it redundant. History is littered with commercial certainty dashed on the rocks of progress; LPs, typewriters, VCR, photographic film - it's always risky to say some part of an industry (or indeed the industry itself) will always remain in perpetuity.

Thanks, Jed.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

As long as people use search engines and search engines use algorithms to rate webpages (and paid adverts) there will be a need for SEO.

It's not impossible to fix your own car, decorate your own home and even cook your own food - but people all over the world get others to do it for them.

SEO is dead - absolute nonsense. Chinese takeaways are on every street corner even though we can all go to the Wing Yip and buy recipe books - and you can buy the ingredients and learn how to cook a delicious meal from scratch in a few hours.

If anything, as the internet continues to grow at such a rate, the demand for SEO will rise for some years to come.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

Quick(ish) thoughts:

As I see it, what search engines are working towards is a system where the rating a page has is not able to be influenced by the owners or their promoters. The difficulty lies in establishing a system that can assess and rate a page's usefulness without user input - as soon as a person's input is required, the system is open to manipulation (an example would be the use of backlinks to rate a site - now we have forum spam and similar problems because of that).

I don't personally think that such a system is possible, at least not as a quick fix that can be applied by say, a new search algorithm. Search engines don't have the intelligence needed to quantify something like usefulness. I think you'd probably have to have some sort of AI solution for the judging a page's relevancy to a particular search.. the results may even take into account previous searches and other available information (IM profile info, for example) and not just the words typed in.

Having said that, there would still be a need for SEO. Any new method would still be acting on a site's content (although probably not on backlinks), and someone would still need to optimise the site for the new ratings method. Typical SEO things like deciding to optimise for niche/mainstream keywords and so on would still need to be done. The main difference would be that SEO efforts would concentrate on the page/site itself and not so much on things like inbound and outbound links.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is SEO Dead?

SEO is not dead at the basic level. I just got a client where a total amatuer had made the site and there were no tags or anything.

However, advanced SEO isnt up to much in my opinion. I think that Google has a deal with a secret internet taskforce that controls everything. This involves controlling the amount of traffic sites get. I think they look at each site individually and set a limit on traffic volume. So a small company with 2 employees will not get a million hits a day. There are exceptions, but im talking from the experience of having several hundred clients for whom all of them i have an immediate handle on traffic levels, and theres something very wrong with Google.

I can watch hits come in, just minutes before, follow them, and theres nothing there. Google is split across hundreds of web servers and as such they can divert you to any one. So, people overseas using google.co.uk see a different world to us. Plus, I think they have applied Google analytics principles to the search engine results. ie, when you have had 5 hits, it stops showing you. Its hard to proove because you can sit there and constantly get your site up, but my argument is that they have done something. I dont knowe what. And that makes SEO almost irrelevent.

There are hundreads of clues. i think they allocate key words to sites like in Adwords so your site might good results for 'business services' but nothing for 'business intelligence'. But if you the optimised your site for 'business intelligence' then your traffic for 'business services' would go down and that for 'business intelligence' would go up, but the sum total would be the same.

I also think that they have a master control system that lets them know if sites breach certain traffic volumes in regards to search engine traffic. I had a site thatgot crappy traffic levels and then i modified it and the rankings shot up and I thought oooohhh, thats odd, and 6 months later they went back to what they were. It looks like I had been 'goverened' as I call it, like a mechanical governer that shuts off at a certain speed or throttles a fuel line. They reset my limits to bring me back down to a stupid level of traffic. However, what it told me was that there were more people doing stuff than appears. For example. My site might have been targeting 'escorts edinbourgh' and was getting 200 hits a month. I made some changes and it shot up to 3000 month. Same key word, there was no difference, just suddenly, a slip on their side and i was exposed to the full and true volume of the market. Then about 4-6 months later, no changes, the volume went back down to 200 month even though my key word ranking was the same. What im saying is that there is somthing suspicoius with google and the whole internet. and that makes seo a waste of time.

i have a lot of high performance sites, but i also ave loads that are well optimised, but the number 1 sites are not. They are not optimised, no links, and nothing to indicate why they are at the top.

All be it, SEO still has a purpose, but only at the basic level, ie, if your page does not mention your keyword then you will not appear for it. So its still possible to SEO non SEO'd sites, but to take a mature well written site and SEO it, your fighting the gods, not the front line staff.
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