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The Death of SEO?

Andy Williams

by Andy Williams on 27th February 2014

27-02-2014 10-21-11Or, if you say something enough times you start to believe it.

If you are in the Digital Marketing industry then you will have read more than your fair share of “SEO Is Dead” articles and blog posts.

Guess what – this isn’t one of them.

In fact it’s the opposite. Not because I am looking to argue the point of SEO or breath life back into it. More because SEO feels like it is starting to get forgotten – which is online suicide!

This is a bit of a wakeup call to site owners who maybe aren’t signed up with an agency and carry out their own online marketing. For those who base a lot of what they carry out on articles from the industry.

The message is simple – no matter how much you have read it, SEO isn’t Dead and never will be. Ignore it or move on from it at your peril.

With every Google update someone somewhere will write that SEO is dead. It’s standard.

There are a collection of people who are desperate for it to be true and they love nothing more than jumping in with one of these articles. Why? I don’t actually know. It may be based on those fly-by-nights who give SEO a bad name. They may have had a bad experience with an agency or an individual. I don’t know.

But these articles have been going on for years and years. Ever since I have been in the industry (10 years now) people have been writing on the subject.

To start with it was Web Developers who would claim and write that SEO was a myth, it didn’t work and all you needed was a snazzy site (some still believe this is the be all and end all), “you don’t need to rank you need to look good – they will come”.

This was followed by a band of SEO haters who resented the industry in the days when Google made is seriously easy to rank. Maybe they had a point, spam results were everywhere, but if anything the easy success indicated anything but the death of SEO. But write they would in the hope that people wouldn’t get involved.

Then it would be those who could see that the landscape was starting to change. They would jump in to try and be the first to announce SEO’s death.

Social and content then came to the table and boom, SEO is dead again.

Add to that continued Google updates, Google’s continued campaign to provide more and more PPC and sponsored results in place of the organic ones and you have more than enough ammo to write your SEO obituary.

Now, while these types of posts are, to an extent, harmless enough within the industry, there is an element of “if you say something enough times, people will start to believe it”. And these people are those who are largely outside of the industry.

This can be seriously damaging to these people.

To an “outsider” reading these posts, there is no indication as to who is right or wrong, what’s an opinion and what is fact. So those individuals who look after their own online marketing kind have to take everything at face value.

Now the reason for this post is because my general feeling is that these days more and more of the basic SEO elements are being forgotten or ignored by site owners.

And this is a dangerous path to go down.

SEO is dead, so I don’t need to bother making sure all may pages are search engine friendly. It doesn’t matter if I have a generic Title tag across all my pages. Content? Well I update my blog if that is what you mean? It’s all about content these days. Meta Descriptions – huh what are those? Keywords, why bother, that’s SEO right.. and so it goes on.

It’s depressing.

The basics are being ignored because of this underlying thought that none of it is needed anymore. Yes you will have read how it’s all about content marketing, it’s all about social but it’s still all about SEO too.

These people can only go on what they are reading, right?

Well guys – SEO isn’t dead and all those “old hat” techniques are still needed.

If you want a successful online campaign in organic rankings you need to start at the beginning and work your way through, just like you always did.

Social is great and seriously important, but as part of an overall online campaign. Content is essential these days but that DOES include your on page content and not just your site blog.

You need to carry out keyword research – you need to know what will drive relevant traffic to your site. You need to optimise for those terms on the relevant pages.

Nothing has changed.

Yes, Google does appear to be putting more weight onto paid search, but organic still pays the bills. SEO evolves with every search engine update but it doesn’t die.

But this is the same with any element of online marketing. Things evolve, they don’t die.

New buzz words and services will appear and will become important, but never at the expense of an existing service or avenue.

Google will continue to update and release sound bites, but it is important that people understand these sound bites. More often than not they are no different to what Google have been saying for years;

  • Don’t spam
  • Don’t build bad links
  • Have great content on your site
  • Build your brand
  • …and so on

The only difference is that Google are now starting to enforce these rules. None of this is ground breaking, none of this is new and none of it kills SEO.

Below you will find a link to our “Getting Started With SEO” whitepaper. It’s totally free to download. If you are a site owner, get downloading and see for yourself exactly what is still needed from an SEO point of view.

Get implementing.

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Andy Williams

Andy Williams

Andy Williams, our DADI award winning Digital Marketing Manager will be giving you useful insights into local search and the overall SEO landscape. Andy has over 9 years experience in the SEO industry including 2 years as the in-house SEO consultant with a leading Web Design company.

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6 Comments

  • Gillon Hunter 27th February 2014

    Hi Andy, thanks for posting. I couldn’t agree more with all of your points. SEO will never die, it will just constantly adapt little by little. I agree it is a big issue that people outside the industry read ‘SEO is Dead’ blogs and believe them (or don’t know what to believe). I guess the key is monitoring data and having amazing case studies with proven ROI. No one can argue with the numbers. Cheers.

    Reply to this comment

  • Pingback: SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 27, 2014

  • Partha Sarathi Dutta 4th March 2014

    Well, well, well! What a relief. At the very beginning I thought – this is bad as I just started to learn SEO and shortly realized – it’s only about evolving the process, i.e., not the end of the path – just the beginning of a new road with reconstructed paradigm.

    People just need to realize the importance of SEO.

    Good read! \m/

    Reply to this comment

  • Laura | Ricemedia 12th March 2014

    Couldn’t agree more with your post!

    The importance of SEO will never fade, it just continues to evolve and adapt over time.

    Reply to this comment

  • Charise 23rd March 2014

    SEO will always have a place in the online world. But it will evolve and develop along with the algorithms etc

    Great article! :-)

    Reply to this comment

  • Ovais Mirza 19th June 2014

    I dont think that seo is dead as still if you are doing quality link building, creating content for users and not for search engines, creating genuine and researched content and socially engaged with other people.. you still can do wonders in SEO and can drive lots of traffic and visitors to your website for sure.

    Reply to this comment

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