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The Great SEO Debate Continues

December 21, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — It’s one of those questions designed to stir controversy and debate (and page-views) just as much as it’s meant to address a real topic. But still, it deserves some level of discussion, especially if you’re in the business of online marketing: With all the changes to search engines, particularly Google’s continuing personalization, is SEO becoming obsolete?

There’s no arguing that the art of search engine optimization has become much more different. But in a blatantly rabble-rousing but still thought-provoking article, Robert Scoble predicts that, within 12 months, the entire SEO marketing template will be basically worthless. It’s not only because of Google and Bing’s increasingly personalized algorithms — it’s also because of the growing prevalence of sical media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“No longer is it about optimizing search engine results and the new breed is going beyond just search engines to provide holistic systems that find and track customers not only on search engines like Google and Bing, but on social networks like Facebook and Twitter,” Scoble writes in the article. Read it here.

So, the theory that SEO is becoming obsolete is probably a stretch. However, it isn’t that far-off to say that the methodology is changing so much, that SEO will surely be completely different in a few years than it was in, say, 2008. That means, as online marketers, you have to stay on top of a constantly shifting landscape. It also means that, just because you once dominated SEO, doesn’t mean you always will.

It’s hard to think of all this as bad news, because it’s constantly leveling the playing field and giving newbies the chance to run with the big dogs. as much as it leaves room for new players to get in the game. But at the same time, it means that more time must be spent mastering a skill that you can never really master. And that is probably just how Google wants it to be.