SEO is Dead – There’s no Future in SEO

RIP Blackhat SEOYep, you heard it here – SEO is dead.  SEO has been proclaimed dead on multiple occasions in the past decade, but this time it’s for real.  There are a growing number of people who believe that search engine optimization is no longer needed and that Google is killing it with updates like Panda and Penguin.  They also believe that because of the increased use of social networks and predictions that Google will automagically serve us content based on our patterns of behavior there will no longer be a need for SEO.

Of course SEO isn’t really dead, and in reality the core basics of search engine optimization haven’t really changed.  It’s all about creating a an easy to navigate website and publishing relevant content that offers value to visitors. Bottom line, it’s that simple. One of the best definitions I’ve heard recently was from Martin Shervington‘s interview with Martin Traphagen about Social SEO.  He defined search engine optimization as, “doing what’s naturally available to do that Google likes, and will improve your search results.”

What has changed is that Google continues to do two things: One, they are continuously finding ways to reduce spam and devalue sites that utilize black hat SEO tactics and two, the personalization of search results becomes more and more sophisticated every day.  The other major shift in the landscape is the increasing importance and influence of social media and networking.

SEO isn’t dead, but gone are the days where unethical or perhaps misguided SEO “professionals” can get away with manipulating search engine results.  A successful SEO strategy is centered around providing value to your visitors in the form of relevant content and includes a social networking component and in the end, it’s really about building credibility, trust, and relationships with your customers and the search engines.

I could go on and on about it, but instead I want to share the Social SEO interview.  The focus is largely on Google+ and I think you’ll find it both fascinating and informative.

What are your thoughts? Do you think SEO is dead?