Is SEO dead or are people mixing up the definition? Is SEO a process or result?
If SEO is the result of getting content like video and website higher in search results than SEO is still alive. But if it is defined by how we get that content to the top than SEO is dead. So when people say SEO is dead are we mixing up what Search Engine Optimization really is? SEO is evolving and changing but does that mean its gone?
The "SEO is Dead" headline is used as click bait, period. If it were true, companies would stop hiring SEOs and that hasn't been the case. Tactics that used to work may be dead, but that doesn't mean they haven't been replaced by new ones.
For larger brands that have a significant, longstanding reliance upon traffic from search engines, the game has changed, but it hasn't gone away. Rich snippets, authoritative, truly editorial links, link bait content, schema mark up, in-depth content, technical optimization, etc. all still works and is worth pursuing.
For people that operate many sites in profitable niches, the old stuff still works, just for a shorter period of time. Go to Google.com and search for [buy viagra]. What you'll find is basically a snapshot of SEO as it "used to be": sites with thousands upon thousands of exact match, keyword rich anchor text, links parts of obvious Russian link networks, links in hacked sites that are hidden off page by CSS, etc. You'll also see a lot of cloaking.
So is SEO dead? No, not even close. Here are the main differences:
- Riskier tactics are caught more quickly by search engines, but, done well, they still work for short to medium periods of times (~.5-6 months)
- Older tactics have been replaced by high quality content writing, link earning via editorial inclusion, link bait (that hasn't been algorithmically devalued by Google yet), and creating a more appealing SERP entry with rich snippets (authorship, reviews, etc.).
- Having technical SEO issues within your site can still screw your site's organic traffic.
Every time I hear "SEO" from someone, it is used to describe the process, not the result. The usual toolset is
1) Site content optimization - pretty alive, and even works better, as the "put all keywords you can in bold on your page" way doesn't work now
2) Using context ads for getting in the paid sections of search engine results - still effective
3) Search engine-specific hacks and buying many links to create sort of fake popularity - more or less dead
So I'll say that SEO as "bunch of magic hacks that get me in the top" is dead. SEO as part of marketing strategy for the website is alive.
The Simple Answer to your Very Simple Question is - "NO"
"NO SEO IS NOT DEAD"
While SEO is NOT dead, the way that you're doing it might be. Does the following describe your approach? You've optimized your H1s and meta tags and you've built a few (hopefully white hat) links. Now you just sit back and watch your site rise to the top of Google, right? WRONG
SEO is the thing/Logic/Process Which Separates the Two Brands with the Same Name dealing in the Different Niche Separated to Each other.
I hope you got my Explanation, If not? GIve a re-read...
SEO is no longer a set of tips and tricks to get your site noticed. Google and others have made content consumption into a science, understanding not only the relationship between concepts, but also the meaning. As a result, the best practices for SEO and for your readers are now one and the same, since people looking for your content and Google essentially want the same thing.
This relates to site structure (following proper weighting of H tags) as well as things like sitemaps and Robot.txt files. It also relates to things like backlinks which can provide validity to your site, especially if you have links on partner or trusted sites (.gov is very trusted, for example).
So I agree, SEO is evolving and changing, but I suspect people are using search engines more and more every day, a clear sign that SEO is alive and kicking.
Here is my take on on the Very Misunderstood and very alive SEO.
For us to clearly understand this, I want to take us back to the fundamentals of Google.
Aside from being an advertising platform, Google was mainly built as a Search Engine. It's main role is and always will be is to connect the Best Information(websites/resources) to the Information seeker(people searching).
This explains 2 things regarding SEO and also explains the numerous changes that happen to the Search algorithm changes.
Google changes their algorithm to continually optimize and improve the quality of information that the Searcher is trying to find. This is why Google is the best search engine, because they strive to deliver the best and most reputable information you are searching for.
It is like a librarian that will always try to give you the best possible book to answer the questions you have. In this analogy let us breakdown the concept of SEO. When you ask(keyword search) the librarian(Google) about the best weight loss solution(Most reputable sources), she will try to get you the best resource you will need(results on the first page) and not just give you the newest of shiniest book(new sites or sites that have had "blackhat" SEO applied to them) You see how SEO and the change algorithm ties into all of this?
So to answer your question, Like what Maria said, SEO will never die and Google is providing us a service by making sure that people are getting the information they want.
I can go on and explain more of what happens in the backend of rankong websites, backlinks, pings, on page, off page optimization but this might not be the most appropriate thread for it. However, if you want to know more, I'd be happy to go over more details on a private thread with you. And if you found value in this comment, I would like to invite you to shoot me a quick review on my profile and also please feel free to ask me any other questions you have on SEO, I'd be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge!
Good luck with your own SEO endeavors!
Certain SEO techniques might possibly be dying. Google is shifting towards unique content and so the emphasis is on providing that rather than keyword utilization and internal/external back links. Once these SEO techniques are no longer relevant then what is left might be deemed less SEO and more Content Management.
SEO is far from dead, and it is a process. Always changing and always interesting. An art. The fact that it is a process is what creates the economic opportunity. If it was a task, than undoubtedly it would be automated and it would become a commodity.
I believe it's a process. With Google and other search engines changing their parameters every day, for designers or webmasters to constantly manipulate content accordingly does not seem like an efficient use of time. If content is authentic and truly describes what the company does (in terms that people are likely to search for...not necessarily industry jargon), search engines should find them.
One of the misconception regarding the word SEO is that people thought it is the actual result of the marketing and not as the medium of marketing.
with the tagline "SEO is DEAD" is merely a way of some company to convert marketers attention in to a new medium. A lot of online marketers still rely upon marketing since (1) it is one of the most convinient means of advertising and (2) it also enables people to connect to their targetted market/client.
SEO is NOT DEAD, SEO is the process of making your website search engine friendly, it has drastically changed over time and got a lot more involved but dont be fooled, SEO IS FAR FROM DEAD!
First, it's a process. Second, it's not dead but it's definitely changing quickly. Gone are the days of keyword dumping and irrelevant link building. Here are the days of long tailed question-based search matches, content marketing, and credible link focus.
Spam is dead, Spammers who think they are SEOs always cry when Google smacks them with a penalty for not following the guidelines.
Optimization is a process, doesn't matter whether it is for search or for anything else.
I agree with most of the comments already made, especially Kyle when he says that the 'SEO is Dead' headline has been used as clickbait. I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked to produce such an article.
SEO is continually changing and evolving along with the web. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I still see spam sites at the top of Google results but far less than I used to.
If it were not for SEO then the web would be awash with spam sites and those who have paid to be at the top of the Google results. As it stands, although there are mistakes made, SEO still allows the sites who have grown organically and proved to be trustworthy, relevant and interesting to gain their rightful place and head the top of their keyword results.
It can be complex as the spammers use ever more devious techniques to trick their way in, but the solutions are still pretty much common sense.
So to answer your question Joseph, it is a process which is still very much alive and constantly changing.
to be on the top line of search result is still important but now social networking is playing larger role in promoting the website. If everyone start using SEO which makes every website to appear on the top!!!
Real time analytics of the customer is becoming more relevant and pushing for the information just-in-time is becoming more prominent.
SEO is not just a misunderstood term, it's missued.
I like to think of SEO the old billboard model: more billboards more eyeballs - but so what? SEO just becomes a new fangled term inside of the old concept of SALES! I have ways to SEO all sorts of internet assets but so what - will they convert? Is the message compelling enough for prospect motivation to emerge translating into action?
A peashooter and cannon are equivalent without ammo!
If SEO is dead, then search engines are also dead. SEO is just a process and strategy to help search engines find your website when someone types a search query in that little box. Reputable SEO companies invest a lot of time understanding how the search engines work and how to help a website rank higher without using black SEO trick.
Black SEO is dying. SEO is evolving because search engines are working hard to make it very difficult for web spammers who work to game the system to get crappy sites (that don’t deserve to rank better) ranking better.
No the structure of seo is ever changing. Where as optimization experts used to focus on keywords they now focus more on quality backlinks and quality content.
Hi there Joseph. SEO is not DEAD. It is just evolving and changing in terms of how a SEO ranks websites on top page of Google. There are a lot misinterpretations with SEO. It will never be gone, unless Google decides to make all results paid. Do not worry.
Old school SEO is dead. In fact, on the black hat end of the spectrum it really never lived at all but just stalked the internet like a kind of undead zombie looking to suck traffic over to marginal and questionable websites.
SEO within the context of smart Content Marketing is alive and well. This new school SEO involves social media marketing (Google listens for "social media"), and quality content with much less focus on "back links" these days. Citations by authoritative sites are still important -- but not actual links so much anymore as Google recognized the extent of the Zombie old-school SEO practitioners who were over-relying and/or exploiting the tactic.
Bottom line: Quality Content trumps most old-school, zombie-SEO tactics these days.
SEO is definitely a process, but it's not dead, in-fact it can never.
But there are lot of misconceptions about SEO.
SEO is a process of optimizing your website for search engines and humans to ensure:
1. How friendly your website it
2. How easily one can browser though your website
3. How perfectly it appears in SERPs
There are various things on which we work or we optimize while doing SEO. e.g.
Accessibility and usability
Quality of code (code optimization, junk/ unnecessary code removal)
Optimize meta data to improve the Organic CTR