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Is SEO Dead…Again?

Is SEO dead? Have Panda, Penguin and social media put the art of manipulating code and content to increase page ranking to rest for good? That’s the question Pace Lattin asks in a recent blog posting on titled, “Expert Says SEO is Dead.” But a better question might be, “When will bloggers stop asking if SEO is dead?”

In a very informative, and amusing, piece titled, SEO is Dead: A Fun Romp Through the ‘SEO is Dead’ Graveyard, on the blog, SEO strategist David Portney points out how often this phrase is used. Google rolls out a new set of rules and Chicken Little (and link-baiting) types begin screaming that SEO is dead. But before throwing themselves off of a cliff, these pundits should ask what’s really died?

It’s Called Change

Lattin’s point, it turns out,  isn’t whether or not SEO is dead, he knows it’s alive and well. What he’s really asking is whether the increased emphasis on social shares has changed the rules of the game for good?

On that point, he’s absolutely correct; the rules of the game have indeed changed. But this is hardly the first time Google has called a foul on an SEO technique they’re not crazy about.

It’s also not the first time that webmasters have had to radically readjust their methods. Yes, it’s true that unnatural (paid) link networks are no longer a useful SEO tools. And though it’s frustrating for anyone with a substantial investment in link networks, it’s just time to move on. In the same way that webmasters moved on from banner ads and dozens of other, now outdated, methods they need to leave link networks behind, too.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done to increase page rankings, it just means they’re more likely to involve paying someone to create valuable content instead of creating link networks.

Change has always been a part of SEO. Learn more by reading: Top 10 SEO Revelations.

Social Shares Matter

When it comes to his thoughts on social shares, Lattin hits the nail on the head – social shares matter a lot. That’s because Google is doing everything they can to keep webmasters from artificially manipulating search engine results.

Let’s face it, article directories, paid link networks, content farms and a host of other dead and dying SEO techniques never added much value to searches anyways

Social shares, however, carry a legitimacy that’s hard to beat. Sure there are paid social share sites like that pay users points for Tweeting hotel offers but that’s a far cry from a link farm.The big difference is that no one has figured out how to manipulate social shares in bulk, yet.

When they do, expect the rules to change again.

What are your thoughts on the current state of SEO? Is it dead, or just changed? Tell us on our SEO Forum.