Ahhhh the perennial “SEO is Dead” myth. This is something which comes up all the time and is based around the constant changes to the Google Algorithm and the shift in what is considered important by the search engines and what is considered spam or not.
As the internet evolves and as the search engines become more intelligent the criteria used by the search engines changes. Some of these changes have been quite big and as a result of these the old “SEO is Dead” myth is rolled out.
I’m not sure if this is being done by people who don’t like SEO or if it’s more that people genuinely think that the latest change means that there is no way SEO can be done.
However, this is one myth which is definitely not true. As long as there are search engines there will need to be search engine optimisation.
It’s true that the optimisation of a website has changed substantially over the years as things which once worked go out of fashion and are cracked down on by the search engines. There are lots of examples of this that I’ve come across in the years I’ve been working on the internet such as white text on a white background. This used to work really well – just put your keywords in the white space at the bottom of your page in a white font and hey presto, your site looks as you want it to but ranks really well too! – This stopped working years ago when Google got wise to how spammy this was. This was one of the things which lead to the rules about “Hidden Content” on the Google guidelines When this rule was introduced it was a big change to how websites were optimised and was one of the times where the online world changed so much that a cry of “SEO is dead” was heard.
In the last year there have been lots of these BIG changes to how Google responds to websites such as Panda which targeted “low quality” websites. This targeted some o the site which were historically great for link building such as article directories and more recently blog networks. Oh no SEO is dead. No it’s not, link building has just moved on.
Panda also targets sites with “thin” content, meaning you can’t just have a website with no content on it, link to it lots and hey presto Rankings. Again this doesn’t mean that optimisation has died it just means that Content Driven search marketing becomes key to the performance of websites on the internet. If you have something good to say, that’s interesting, engaging and unique then you can perform well in the search engines and you have something which can be the basis of a content-driven SEO campaign.
“Over-Optimisation” is another new thing which is being reported and causing people to utter the death knell for search engine optimisation. “Over-Optimisation” again doesn’t mean the end of all things optimised. Quite the opposite. Over optimisation is not the same as “this site has been optimised so we’re going to ban it” optimisation is not bad at all it’s just the over use of some techniques which could cause issues. Again if you have something valuable to say about your products and services, you update your site regularly and you aren’t trying to manipulate things and you are designing your website to rank, rather than to talk to your target market. You still need to optimise your site, what’s the use of that really good content if no one can find it?
So is SEO dead? No. Will SEO be dead later? No. As long as there are search engines then there will be search engine optimisation. HOW we do SEO will change and evolve as it has already done, but it won’t die.