SEO is Not Dead, It’s Evolving

I came across a LinkedIn discussion today about SEO and if it is dying. Oddly enough I actually just had a discussion about this earlier today.

I’ve paraphrased my comment below, but you view the full discussion over on LinkedIn.

The thing is People have been predicting that SEO is dead for years, but just as before, good SEO’s will continue to follow SEO best practices and adapt to the new changes.

The recent changes are part of an evolution not the death of SEO. As the way people use the internet changes, the search engines need to adapt too. Google’s Panda and Penguin updates are an extension of an ongoing process to provide the most relevant search results.

Some of the major things they are fighting are the tactics that people use in order to “game” the search engines; Such as the link farms or creating fake posts on a hundred sites to point to one piece of real content, as well as copying from a reputable site and pasting it into another with the hopes to gain a better ranking.

As search and social are becoming more and more intertwined, neither can live in a vacuum. For example: Your social strategy should include your keywords, your search strategy should include social indicators and so on..

A good SEO professional will study the following:

  • Keyword research (how people are really searching to find products or services like yours)
  • Historical data (website analytics – how people arrived at your site and what they did there)
  • Social indicators (how people are engaging with your site)

Then combine  great content and SEO best practices (i.e. site structure, unique tags, etc.) using the data from the above areas and create a strategy that produces great content in a the best format as well as encourages engagement.

The bottom line though is content is, was and most likely always will be king. If you don’t have great unique content that is properly implemented, you will struggle to have success with search and social.

Those that look for ways around this or a quick fix by using questionable tactics are the ones that are dying, not SEO.

 

SEO or Search Engine Optimization – Are Consumers Becoming More Savy?

I was doing some SEO research today when I started thinking about the state of the SEO Industry. With social media becoming more popular and the merging of social media and SEO, what were people searching on when they want to bring more traffic to their site. Using Google Insights for Search I did a quick test. I compared three terms: SEO , search engine optimization, social media.

I wasn’t surprised by the climb in interest for social media. Mid 2008 is when it really started to explode. What I did find interesting is the trend between SEO and search engine optimization. Back in 2004 both terms were searched on about the same amount. However, in the end of 2004 and 2005 search engine optimization dropped off and SEO continued to climb.

The question is does this mean that more people understand that SEO means search engine optimization and therefor search for SEO or is it just that SEO is a buzz word that has really hit the mainstream. What do you think?