First off, let me start by explaining the title. SEO (search engine optimization) isn't dead or dying. SEO is changing… a lot. In fact, I took a picture of a sign last week that brought to mind this very topic. So with that, let's get into this article.
SEO is a ubiquitous term for most business owners. Heck, even some website designers don't truly understand the in's and out's of professional search engine optimization. For the past 10 years we've (web professionals) been tracking rankings, building links and optimizing our customers sites for that coveted Google spot of first page placement, or even #1 placement. This effort is largely dependent upon the keywords you choose and the keywords/phrases that you optimize for the search engines. So, we track the rankings, try to improve and hope to be able to tell our client's that we've done them a great service and show them a ranking report that validates our efforts. Not anymore...
Good by Rankings, Hello Content
Imagine what it would be like to tell your client that there is no such thing as "Rank Tracking". Or that rank tracking is worthless. After all, this was a major service that many of use have made a living out of - so what happens when it goes away? The simple answer - adapt to the change and prepare to speak into this new reality. Get ready to have more conversations about "CONTENT" and less conversations about link building and rank tracking.
Basically, Google is trying to eliminate any manually controllable factor with regards to rankings. I guess they got sick and tired of black hat link building farms and sites getting to the #1 spot that should have never been there in the first place. I know I did.
All this talk of SEO dying is not new, per say. I've been following this topic religiously since Forbes.com came out with an article titled "The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, AND Real Content" - read it, it's a great article. You'll find that SEO isn't dying, but actually being re-born.
What Do the Experts Say?
First, here's the CEO of Ravel Tools, one of the top seo software companies in the world announcing that they are removing "Rank Tracking". This is big sign that the industry isn't changing, it's actually already changed.
"Raven has decided to remove unauthorized Google data from our platform. As of 5 p.m. PST (GMT-8) on Jan. 2, 2013, we will no longer offer Google rankings and are eliminating our SERP Tracker tool in its entirety. Also, we will remove all data provided to us by SEMRush. You have until then to include any of that data in your reports."
- Raven Tool, CEO / Click Here to read full post >>
Next is Paul Boag, owner of Headscape, saying that it's time to pay attention and change with the times. He offers some great advice in this post over at Smashing Mag that will help you adapt to this changing landscape we call SEO.
"If you hire a SEO company to improve your placement and you measure their worth on the basis of how high they get you in the rankings, then you are out of line with what Google is trying to achieve. Your primary objective should be better content, not higher rankings."
- Paul Boag, Headscape / Click here to read full post >>
What Happens Now?
That's simple. Now it's time to prepare to have a different conversation with your client. Start now by reviewing the resources above and getting your feet firmly planted in this new direction. If you're a web design or web marketing company, review your current service providers to see if they offer social and content services. Most of all, prepare for this new and exciting world of organic seo. It's actually pretty amazing because now the focus will be on the best content and the most favorable of sites, the playing field has been leveled. Enjoy it!
Thanks for reading and have a Merry Christmas!