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September 13, 2008

SEOs Future: Not Dead

by Anthony Verre

SEO and the Future:

Here’s the precursor to this post: ShoeMoney and Marketing Pilgrim both posted articles today stating their reasons why SEO is dead. In essence they believe that the search engines are going to phase out SEO because they’re getting smarter about Gray-Hat and Black-Hat Techniques. They’re not wrong. But they’re also missing the point of SEO. It’s about making sites better as a whole; it’s about the SUM not the parts. That is, if you really subscribe to what SEO’s core belief is. Ian Lurie wrote a great rebuttal on his site Conversation Marketing. Check it out. Greg Howlett said:

They do not want to reward crummy companies that play SEO games–they want to give the top listings to the best companies. And they are quickly gaining access to the information they need to do exactly that. They will use traffic and buying stats to figure out who the top companies are.

Absolutely. And SEO is the best way to be that “best company”. Black-Hat and Gray-Hat SEOs will be phased out; it’s inevitable. And Here’s why: they cut corners, they view a website as the “Parts” of its “Sum”. They don’t take into consideration the overall health of the website. And, that’s not what SEO is about; it’s scientific wizardry. It takes psychology, sociology, mathematics, and a bit of voodoo. (Everything has a bit of String Theory worked into it folks.) SEO isn’t just on-site and off-site optimization. It isn’t just title tags, meta-data, and anchor text. It isn’t just backlinks, social marketing, and ad text. Those are just parts of the equation. The full equation cons iders usability, considers page layout and goal presentation, and considers on-site / off-site content optimization. That’s how you build a “best company”. That’s how you please both humans and engines. It’s not rocket science, but it is a science. And just for the stat-heads out there, here’s one that proves SEO will be around for a long time:

Yes, I know it’s from 2004. But search engine optimization, search marketing, and usability are still in the back seat of everyone’s mind. Not that much changes in 3 years a world really resistant to change. Instead, the way companies attempt to proliferate and augment their web presence is through Banner Ads. Doesn’t do you much good if your site is mess, does it? SEO is going to be around for a long time.

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