Although it is a valid question considering the incredible speed at which things are changing on the Internet, the truth of the matter is, SEO is not dead nor is it dying. SEO is in a perpetual state of transition.
Let’s take a look at the various states SEO transformed itself throughout 2011.
February 24th, 2011 was the day Google launched their Panda 1.0 algorithm update. Before this, many SEO agencies and professional independents were utilizing directory listings (spammy or otherwise) and mass article marketing without any consideration for link reputation. IE: link neighborhood
Once the Panda update was in full swing we all began to see the effects.
Google claimed, shortly after launch, that Panda affected 11.8% of search queries however many felt this could have been much higher – especially the ones hit hardest.
Essentially it was at this moment that SEO made a colossal shift and now SEOs the world over realized that in order to continue their efforts, they would have to focus more on content. Yes that’s right…CONTENT IS KING…the revival.
Although we went through various minor tweaks to the original Panda, the overall consensus remained the same – contextual linking increased in importance exponentially.
Subsequently the existing term of “inbound marketing”, became dogma. In fact it’s in my opinion that inbound marketing is the future of Internet marketing. If you aren’t fluent in the various methods of inbound marketing strategies as an Internet marketer, you’ll most certainly suffer moving forward.
Then came Google Fresh…
November 3rd, Google released another substantial update dubbed “Google Fresh”. It was said to affect up to 35% of all search queries. But in what way?
Google Fresh was designed to provide the freshest content to the searcher for specific time sensitive search queries.
A good example of this would be the Stanley Cup Finals in the National Hockey League (NHL) – when someone searched Vancouver Canucks score, they would likely prefer to see current results against the Boston Bruins rather than some game from 2005. This would also apply to hot new product releases. Essentially it almost appeared as though the Google Fresh update was more of a “PR thing”.
we have SEOs scrambling again. Many began narrowing their focus towards more social media marketing to compensate for the freshness factor. Webmasters were forced to rethink the freshness and frequency in which they performed site content releases. For in order to contend with top “freshness” niches, one has to become as current and relevant as possible.
Also in 2011, Google announced their lack of any interest in meta keywords. This however is up for debate on it’s validity.
Where are we at today and does it appear that SEO is on it’s way out?
That’s a loaded question really. One I don’t believe to be clear cut. I do however believe that the SEO by any other name, will continue to be a necessary element to the success of any online business. On the other hand, it will become necessary for SEO agents to keep themselves on the cutting edge.
So no…the SEO is NOT dead. Vive SEO!