Sitepoint.com had an interesting article last week, in which one of its contributors claimed that SEO is on its final legs.
It was a typical sensationalist article, designed to provoke a response of course but a good point was raised, regarding the way Google is constantly changing its algorithm.
The article cited its history which, in its most pure form, simply matched pages against words searched for.
Those with memories of this time, no doubt have a certain fondness for how easy it was to get rated with keyword rich copy, but it couldn’t last when it became clear that many webmasters were essentially spamming their sites.
Today, we are at the stage where a page is ranked according to its relevance, popularity and refresh rates.
It is in the popularity aspect that the article claims SEO may soon no longer be relevant. It claims that off site optimization is what is important. This may be so but in reality, it is just a matter of shifting focus.
Relying on off site recommendations, through social media outlets, is something Google is going to concentrate on. Yet companies are already concentrating on this too.
For those who get things right here and importantly, please the customer, SEO almost takes care of itself. Better in fact, it is not only customer written and led, but more effective than anything contrived in a management meeting.
In effect, it is a double win.
If customers are recommending you, your popularity in SERPs will be elevated.
If customers are writing about you, your relevance and refresh rates will affect a higher SERP rank.
So, is SEO in its final death throes? No – it is simply fitting in with the ever changing landscape of the internet.