Objection! I want order to our courtroom, I mean to these articles how search engine optimization is dead. When did these articles began to emerge? Was it like few years ago and now the phase is accelerating like never before. It’s all about content (marketing). Oh, really? Sounds like a great word, but did you now what we SEO consultants preached already five years ago? Well, we said content is king. There you have it. Case closed. You didn’t get my point of view? Ok, let me just take a deep breath and I’ll try to explain a bit more.
What is search engine optimization? At least for me, it is a (honest/white) way to influence search engines and get better rankings/visibility to my sites on the search results. That’s why I have always thought if there is a way to influence search results then it must be search engine optimization. Yes, all possibilities to influence search results are SEO and for me SEO is the “top term” for influencing search results. It’s fine if you want to talk only about content marketing without SEO, but if we start to discuss how to influence search result then we should start from SEO. Yes, there is a difference. If Google says that they start to rank pages by the number of times nude webmasters shout Google’s name then the best SEO advice would be to do that. Lets get nude and praise Google. Getting nude and shouting would be SEO and not content or inbound marketing, I guess? LOL, what an example, but now you start getting my point of view, right?
Don’t get me wrong. SEO is continually changing and if SEO people aren’t all the time learning new things then it would mean death to SEO people but not for the SEO industry. Yes, SEO strategies change all the time, but SEO itself is not dying. Long live the SEO! There are something like over 100 billion Google searches per month and as long as there are search engines there is also search engine optimization.
The only threat to SEO is when search engines become so smart that those can automatically give answers to search queries without the need to show links on the search results. We have already seen how Google shows, someone could say steals, information from webpages and shows this information to the user already on the search results and that way the user has no need to move away from the search results. Of course we all would want that Google has shown the information from our own webpages and that way we can get the credit too and then I would preach that this is SEO too. 😉 …and if that would happen then I’m sure that there would arise other (maybe social?) search engines that would operate in many other ways and I’m sure you can do SEO on other types of search engines too.
Now you agree that SEO is the top term for search engine visibility, but probably I haven’t convinced you thoroughly and you say “whatever, but inbound & content marketing is so big thing and if I should hire people to do good content to our sites then I would hire a content marketing specialist and not some nerdy SEO consultant who wants to rewrite our titles and do some hi-tech 301 redirects”. Ok, that’s a good point and would also hire some copywriters and social media specialists etc if I would have the budget. I just want to make clear that if you could hire only one person to do the job for better search visibility then I would suggest to hire good SEO consultant, who should know all the possible things at least in a decent way. I want to remind SEO includes also the technical part of the search engine visibility. It’s possible to make supergreat content without even access to search results, why? Because you didn’t do the technical SEO.
Let’s look at the SEO history more specifically.
What was SEO ten years ago? We optimized meta keywords. When search engines made changes to disable the SEO effect of meta keywords what happened? No, SEO didn’t die, it evolved. We had to optimize new things.
What was SEO five years ago? It was all about link building. When search engines made big changes to disable the biggest effect of link juice what happened? No, SEO didn’t die, it evolved. Again SEO people had to learn new things and nowadays it’s all about good content and maybe social link power etc. Personally, I like this kind of direction for SEO much better than to the old (links, any links, crap links) way was.
With this blog post, did I just say that SEO specialist can become good content marketing specialist, but it doesn’t work the same in vice versa? I’m saying that it’s possible to have good search engine results and rankings even without supergreat inbound & content marketing. I’m sure we all have the same goal and in this digital world we should use all the possible means to get the maximum results of anything, but to me SEO (as a term) is not dead and will never die (as long as there are search engines).
Keep calm and love search engine optimization.