Perhaps you had a neighbor who hoarded non-perishable food and water in anticipation of a civilization abandoned by functional computer networks and plunged into chaos. Perhaps you were that neighbor.
Although the millennium passed by us without so much as a single plane dropping out of the sky, the SEO industry experiences another miniature version of Y2K a few times a year. Google blows everyone’s minds with an update or warning, which inevitably leads to an assortment of bloggers and marketing pros scrambling to unload a dump truck full of ominous “Such-and-Such strategy is dead/dying!” claims all over our happy little internet. These warnings are designed to strike terror into the SEO world (not to mention sell another marketing method via fear-mongering).
However, any online marketing pro worth their salt is not too phased by the hype.
The most recent shock wave that sent search engine optimizers reeling (or was supposed to, anyway) was the news that Matt Cutts officially doesn’t approve of guest blogging for SEO. Although, technically, it isn’t even the guest blogging that’s the problem- it’s the automation, the off shoring, the violations of Google’s quality guidelines. The spam.
Spam has long been a thorn in the side of the search engine giant. Google’s anti-spam department has reached pretty significant acclaim for its innovative methods at addressing it, but black hatters are persistent: for every legitimate opportunity to build brand awareness, PR, and relationships with consumers, spammers will consider every possible way of mining it as quickly and cheaply as possible.
So, time and time again, Google has had to have what we in the South call a proper “‘Come-to-Jesus’ meetin’” with the entire community of digital marketers.
Hence headlines like:
So, here’s my prediction: SEO is not going to die. Not now. Not soon. Not ever, perhaps*.
(*Caveat: Unless search engines and/or the internet dies, in which case, is anyone really going to be going “Haha I told you so?”)
SEO will continue to evolve (see Rose Milan’s post about better SEO in 2014 here), but it will live on. In fact, it will thrive – not in spite of, but because of Google’s increasingly high standards. If all goes according to plan, capitalism will go on and businesses will continue to be born and to die. Companies will still strive to reach their targeted consumers. The internet will continue to be an ever growing part of daily life, on personal and professional levels. And no one can react quicker to the ever changing face of the great WWW than professionals in the search engine optimization and digital marketing field.
However, the importance of staying alive in a world that apparently wants you dead is to stay quick on your feet and be willing to rise above low value, black hat tactics while remaining adaptable to Google’s ever-changing standards. Make sure you’re working with (or for) the right people.
The moral of the story: If you’re buying into the hype that SEO is a dying industry, don’t.
To punctuate my claim, an awesome infographic dreamed up by the folks at Search Engine Land:
Every doomsday report about SEO ever.