SEO is Dead

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Its been a while since I posted here on the blog, sorry about that – its been a fairly busy month with SMX Advanced, SASCON, SearchMarketingDay and QUAD SEO conferences to speak at – not to mention my new job…

Anyway – the thing that has prompted this post, bringing me fleetingly out of blogging retirement was a discussion I had on Friday night with an old friend of mine (we’ve known each other for over 20 years), Alistair Shaw.

The friend in question is a “crack ninja superstar rock hero” (or however else you should refer these days to people that are good at their job) PHP developer.  Together over the years we have worked on quite a few projects together and I am in no doubt as to his expertese.  Basically, I respect his opinion in a lot of matters – but this proved to be a bit “controversial”

AS:so, this SEO thing, its dead now right?

MM: “I hope not, Ive just started a new job as head of SEO ;) What makes you say that though?

AS: “well, I remember back in the day we used to just add a keywords, make sure the title tag and meta descriptions etc. were right, buy some links and stuff would rank.  That doesnt work anymore does it?

MM:so you’re boiling down search engine optimization into keyword stuffing and link manipulation? What you don’t realise is that SEO has developed, ranking factors are measured in the hundreds, sites have become more complex along with the algo & finally, the stakes have never been higher with increasing PPC costs and a widening long tail.”

Editors note: The conversation then wound on for some time about the finer points of SEO.  And some rather excellent Polish vodka thanks to the guys at SearchMarketingDay.

It is indicative though of one of the major problems we face as an industry. The lack of recognition across a diverse range of other disciplines.

The fact is within the advertising and marketing industries SEO is not respected (enough) as a skill in its own right.  PPC doesnt suffer from that fate, as google have done a fantastic job in teaching people about the uplift of paid search campaigns.

Even within web development, SEO is regarded by many at best as irrelevant, at worst as snake oil.

Search Engine Optimization needs a makeover.  Heck, it needs an extreme makeover.  If someone wants to grab the industry by the scruff of the neck and start shouting from the rooftops about it, we should all be grateful, not critical.

The few that are doing that right now are either under recognised, or overly criticised for gaining status within a small industry.

I implore you all people – take the time out to
TEACH SOMEONE what SEO actually is

TEACH SOMEONE how SEO is more cost effective than PPC.

TEACH SOMEONE how you can use natural search to engage target demographics.


Rant over.