seo word cloud

SEO is Dead – NOT

SEO is Dead – Blah Blah Blah

I see an article at least once a month and they’re titled “SEO is Dead”, “Is SEO Dead”, “RIP SEO”, etc. SEOBook created a nice infographic about where a lot of the “SEO is Dead” content originates.

The SEO tactics that a lot of “experts” are writing about that are dying are Black Hat SEO tactics. The reason Google is constantly improving it’s algorithm is to remove these tactics and provide the best results for the user – which is a great thing for White Hat SEO. A better name for these articles would have been “Black Hat SEO is DEAD”. And good, it should be.

One big claim in these articles, with no data proving that SEO is dead, is that Google keyword reporting has disappeared and Google is trying to destroy the SEO industry. That is very misleading. Google has encrypted a decent amount of search data, yet you can easily find information in the Google Webmaster Tools Search Query reports. And don’t discount Bing’s Webmaster Tools suite which has an ever growing amount of data to help you increase the quality of your website for search.

Google has to update their algorithm to get rid of Black Hat SEO techniques and rightfully so. If you employ White Hat SEO tactics, the words Penguin and Panda are not words that keep you up at night.

RIP Google Search?

SEO dies when people stop searching and Google stops updating their algorithm. Do you see that happening? I don’t see this happening anytime soon.

SEO is EXTREMELY competitive and much harder compared to 5 years ago. The highly coveted first page, first position ranking on competitive terms in Google search is still VERY alive:

percentage of traffic by google results

Anywho, Content is King – and this is the basis for White Hat SEO: to create compelling content for your audience that is optimized to the theme of the page so that Google’s algorithm sees your site pages as relevant to the search being entered. Content includes but is not limited to article/page copy, image names, tags, URL name, meta information, videos, social information, server load speed, and over 300 items in total. This is all to meet Google’s quality guidelines.

Moz has a great infographic that breaks down what Google’s algorithm crawls while indexing websites. Disclaimer: Put your glasses on before clicking.

Now ask yourself, why would Google & Bing provide quality guidelines and tools to reach these levels of excellence to everyone alive if SEO was “dead”?

Long Live White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is the practice of updating a web property to ensure that that site provides the best quality content possible and meeting/exceeding Google’s quality guideline standards.

So when I see an article that’s titled “SEO is Dead” or something to that nature, I ask myself: If SEO is really, truly dead, then why are the largest companies in the world spending immeasurable amounts of money employing this “dead” strategy?

Because there are multiple ways to measure growth and ROI when properly executed White Hat SEO has been employed for a web property. Rant over.