Is SEO dead?

From “SEO is Dead” by Stoney deGeyter at Search Engine Guide.

Many have been claiming the death of SEO for years, something that I have never bought into and time has proven that belief correct. I do, however, believe SEO-only providers will be dead within the next four years… if not substantially sooner. The reality is that while SEO will remain an integral part online marketing, those that focus exclusively on achieving top search engine rankings will fail. Not only will they fail to deliver any kind of valuable service to their clients, but the bottom line is that without incorporating marketing aspects into an SEO campaign, achieving top placement for competitive keywords will become increasingly difficult if not impossible.

Do you feel sometimes, you are losing focus as you maintain your website? Do you feel you would be better off optimizing for a specific audience rather than trying to appeal on a broader scale? It’s difficult to compete with the Amazon.coms and Yahoos of the world, who have the resources to spread themselves thin. By balancing content and SEO to your target, you may find you will achieve certain success.

I have previously defined SEO as being only about achieving top rankings. This is a narrow interpretation, but I used this to point out that many so-called SEO companies are still providing SEO as a stand-alone service without any thought to other more marketing oriented services such as usability, conversions, etc. These marketing issues are now, more than ever, necessary for any “optimization” campaign to succeed. Those seeking optimization services that fail to understand this will ultimately choose a firm that will be ineffective in meeting their needs.

Many SEO companies already integrate usability into their optimization services. While these companies may still operate under the “SEO” banner, their services truly are not SEO-only services. Any proposal received for optimization services should spell out the marketing aspects as well as the optimization aspects. Those that don’t often rely on useless guarantees as a means to sell you their service.

While helpful, SEO isn’t the be-all and end-all of making a website work. How well is your content written? How easy is your website to navigate? Does design compromise usability. These are just some things to consider when choosing a website company. Whatever decision is made, be sure to get all the facts.

Is SEO dead? Certain tactics are definitely obsolete, but we shouldn’t bury SEO just yet. As the search industry has changed over the years, SEO will more than likely change to suit new needs and wants in search. We may not submit regularly to search engines anymore, but surely a new technique will come along for everybody to try in order to achieve high search rankings.

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