Has SEO finally died?

In the light of Google’s recent shift to an on-going, self-correcting Penguin algorithm update, that’s a question that’s definitely worth asking.

It’s also a question that SearchEngineLand.com writer Nate Dame answered in a recent posting titled, How Google Won the PR War Over SEO, and Why That’s a Good Thing.

While Dame doesn’t go so far as to say that SEO is dead, he points out that Google has, for all practical purposes, beat black hat SEO pretty much into submission. As the title of his story indicates, Dame thinks that’s a very positive shift and he’s absolutely right.

Google has made a quite deliberate effort to shut down the SEO industry’s shadier practitioners over the past couple years and their efforts have definitely paid off. The tricks and shortcuts that helped black hats step over white hats on search results pages just don’t work as well as they used to.

The new world of SEO is governed by nameless, non-stop algorithm updates that reward high quality content and buries concepts like link farms once and for all. It’s also a world where Google has little interest in hand holding SEO’s at industry events via talking heads like Matt Cutts.

Dame also points out that Cutts, who was once served as the industry’s SEO oracle, has repeatedly extended his leave from Google and no one has been slotted to take his place. That’s a pretty good indication that Google has declared victory and is moving on from the old SEO way.

All told, the new SEO order is good news for web publishers who don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about SEO. On the flip side, it’s bad news for anyone who doesn’t like playing by Google’s rules because that’s the only set of SEO rules that matter at all anymore.



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