Today brings to a close SES New York 2012 and the hot topic for the week seems to be whether search engine optimization is dead. Considering that so many people were at the conference to discuss SEO and so many sites exist to discuss and promote SEO (including this one), this seems like an odd topic. However, the constant shift in the online landscape means there is the constant possibility that an idea that was proclaimed to be an absolute just a year ago may be completely antiquated now.
Is SEO dead? Google introduced the Panda algorithm in 2011, an algorithm that targeted content farms and penalized those sites. The constant Panda updates during the year created plenty of dismay in the web community as webmasters scrambled to ensure quality content was obvious on their sites. The recent announcement from Google that a new algorithm is on the way specifically designed to penalize “over-optimization” has webmasters cringing once again.
How can a website be optimized too much? Years ago the ideal in terms of SEO was keyword analysis. Last year the shift turned to creating outstanding content. The upcoming update to how Google ranks sites is going to have a dramatic effect on people that only spend their time optimizing their site rather than creating content and promoting the site via other means such as social media.
Webmasters that only spend time optimizing a site may start to experience a decline in page rank once the upcoming algorithm from Google goes into effect. Many of the things Silverback Marketing has stated since 2011 and the release of Panda still apply. Create relevant content high in quality and put in the time and effort to utilize social media to promote and share that content. A webmaster still needs to spend some time following SEO101 to make sure the site is optimized effectively to rank on Google and other search engines. However, the change means a different type of game plan needs to be created to ensure your site continues to rank well. The key is going to be staying cognizant about what Google is doing and be prepared for the update when it arrives later this year.
SEO is probably not dead but it is experiencing a shift. Be prepared to act accordingly. Have a great weekend!
Bruce Clay Inc. – Virginia Nussey – SEO is Dead. Long Live SEO! SESNY 2012
Search Engine Guide – Stoney deGeyter – SEO is Out! Inbound Marketing is in?
Search Engine Land – Aaron Friedman – What People Do Is The New SEO
Search Engine Watch – David Harry – SEO & Google: The Ugly Truth
SEO Theory – Michael Martinez – Advanced SEO Practices for 2012