3:08 PM July 18, 2014
For the last few years, a handful of authors and experts have been practically shouting that search engine optimization is dying, if not dead already. It no longer works, they say, isn’t relevant anymore, and actually, poses a threat to your business. Even Mashable – a popular news blog – recently joined in with this article suggesting SEO is coming to the end of its long run.
All of these writers make some wonderful points and observations. The only problem? Their conclusion is all wrong. SEO is not dead, it’s alive and well. In fact, it might be getting even stronger.
To understand why we first have to look at the reasons people are giving for the demise of search engine optimization. In some cases, it’s fair to say that the people who want to throw dirt on SEO’s grave simply aren’t very good at it. It is getting harder, and more competitive, to climb the search rankings. If you aren’t a skilled marketer, and a patient one, it won’t take long for you to conclude that optimization techniques “don’t work.”
Once you look past that crowd, however, there are some very intelligent people involved in the debate. What they usually point to are some indisputable pieces of evidence: that over-optimizing websites for search have made it more difficult for actual users to find useful information, and that Google and the other search engines have started looking for ways to punish (or at least de-emphasize) those websites as a result. In fact, through the magic of semantic search, Google can now match pages to context, meaning exact keyword and link matches aren’t as important as they used to be. Instead, factors like author credibility and social following are being prioritized.
Those are good arguments, but they still don’t suggest that you shouldn’t optimize your site, just that you shouldn’t over-optimize it. There’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, especially when there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. Continue Reading…