That’s PR at its finest. Write a title that will bring about outrage in the SEO industry and you’re sure to get response. That’s how modern day PR works. You piss off half the people to the delight of the other half and you get a hugely popular article. It’s great for Forbes because they need traffic to feed impressions to their advertisers.
The thing about this column is that it’s actually really good.
It’s hard to argue with the points made. There have been articles about the death of SEO for probably the last 10-12 years. The only thing is that with the actions of Google in recent months it seems to be even more clear that SEO might actually die in the near future.
SEO is Not Dead. SEO is Less Important.
That’s my stance on this SEO is Dead issue.
I’ve seen this happening for the last three years. In 2008-2009 there was a lot to be gained from getting results. There were opportunities to tweak the pages on your site and add some content to rank well on Google and get some real revenue from the traffic.
Then things started changing. In fact, things have always been changing, but in the last two to three years the changes have been coming faster and it’s obvious what Google is doing.
I first noticed the change with my country music review website, Country Music Life. The posts I wrote used to easily rank in the top ten for the name of the song plus the artist name. Then Google made a change that favored its own YouTube channel. Small screenshots of the videos were added to the SERPs for the songs and the artists. The YouTube pages still outrank even the artists’ own pages.
That’s an argument for another day, but the fact is that Google is looking out for itself. I can’t blame them. We all do it. Google wants to make money and they’re doing it by favoring their own properties, which include YouTube and Google paid ads on the SERPs.
It’s obvious when you think about it that Google is not here to give people free traffic. They’re here to make money and if they think they can deliver the best search results to their users while having those results be entirely paid ads they’re going to do it.
People are noticing these changes. Revenue from Organic Search Traffic or SEO traffic is decreasing for a lot of industries and businesses. The writing is on the wall. It’s time for everyone that uses the Internet to acquire new customers to diversify the traffic sources.
Even those in the SEO world are changing. SEO advice is turning into design and user experience advice. I think this is great. We need a clean Web experience that is fast and easy. It’s good to change. SEO is changing.
SEO is not dead. It’s just changing.
I think SEO will always play at least a small part in the world of online traffic and sales. There will likely always be some traffic sent from Google that is truly organic. I’m sure Google would love to have 100% of their results paid, but I don’t know if it’s possible. We’ll find out. I think the Yellow Book is 100% paid, but I’m not sure and I’m too lazy to google it.
The last portion of the Forbes article is where things get interesting. It’s a key insight into what your company should be focusing on moving forward.
So how does it affect entrepreneurs and business executives?
Invest in real, valuable, relevant content that your audience wants. Make it so compelling people talk about it and share it.
Common sense, but not common practice.
What are you doing to make the next move?